Lynne Crowden Interview continued..

"From St Pr Limoncello, I am keeping her first foal and from my Gold Medal mare, Katinka, a Trakehner by Consul, I have yet to manage to retain a daughter but intend to. From St Pr Welley View, bought as an older mare but a full sister to a licensed stallion and International Grand Prix horse, I have kept a daughter. It all takes time but my breeding pool now numbers some 16 females at various ages and stages. Of these, only five were bought in, the rest were bred. I guess I should also mention the amazing Dornroeschen, an Elite mare that I bought as a foal, from whom we bred the even more amazing Farouche, by line breeding to Fuerst Heinrich. Both these mares will do embryo transfer and it will come as no surprise to know that they descend from the dam line of Florestan, so supporting my dam line theory for the best.

Mostly I buy my mares or filly foals by going to really good old breeders and wandering in their fields. Sometimes, I buy in auctions and have bought some very good mares that way."

El Dornroeschen

Following on from this, I asked what methods she used for selecting the combinations of stallions for mares.

"Keep it simple! Appraise you mare and decide on a maximum of two things that you need to improve and then look for those qualities in the stallion, and in his back pedigree. For most of my mares the need is only perhaps for even more movement. For the odd one, that is an exceptional mover, I might want the same movement but better conformation."

I often think that breeders have a hard choice selecting stallions, especially if they are chosing between some that have competed and others that have been utilised more for breeding with no competition career. So I put this to Lynne.

Elite Dornroeschen
  Di Maggio x Caprimond x Der Clou

"The answer is simple. If you are using a stallion to breed something, it must be more convincing as a breeder than a performer. What you see when the horse stands in front of you is not necessarily what you get. Looking at many foals and young horses from that stallion will give you a much more consistent and real picture. But here, be careful. You may see many stunning Sandro Hit’s or De Niros at foal auctions and stallion grading but remember that these were the best and there will be many, many more. Try and see the ordinary ones, off duty and in the fields. This will
 give you a better idea."

I then asked Lynne what bloodlines she felt had the most influcence in the world of sports horse breeding.

"I can only answer this for dressage although the convincing lines are fewer and clearer for showjumping. I would not be without Lauries Crusader, Consul, Bolero, Donnerhall, Weltmeyer (now probably recognized as the best dam sire by even non hannoverian studbooks) and Florestan. I like top Trakehner blood but only those bred for real sport who perhaps have a little less Trakehner type. I want a horse not an ornament. One has also to recognize Cocktail, Jazz and Ferro although they have perhaps less heritage at this stage. It would be nice to have some modernized Grande blood but it is almost impossible and it is questionable whether, right now, the extreme movement required of a top international horse would have been found with Grande."

Following on from this, I was interested to know more about what Lynne looks for in her foals:

"In foals I must be able to see the mechanic of the foal’s movement. I don’t want a foal that “floats”, I want one where I can see all the joints moving, bending and heading in the right direction. Apart from that, a well set on head and neck and, hopefully, some indication of a whither. Again, the mother line should be interesting."

Rockstar

From my own perspective I like to hear peoples views on specialisation in horse breeding.

"From the breeders’ viewpoint, specialization is helpful. The genetic material should be convincing and consistent. It is then up to the breeder to take that “specialist” platform and add something to it. A true breeder is perhaps thinking two generations ahead and would therefore think to add some jumping blood to a specialist dressage pedigree to get the extra athleticism and, perhaps, looseness and then breed back to re consolidate the dressage content."

Woodlander Rockstar
(Rotspon x Sao Paulo x Lanthan)
National Dressage Champion

As a further insight into Lynnes thoughts on stallions, I asked her what stallions she currently rated in the world of breeding.

"In dressage, I rate Imperio, Don Frederico, Londonderry, Diamond Hit, Chequille Z, Dimaggio, Kaiserdom and I was very taken with the offspring of Lord Loxley. In jumping, the Quidam descendants, Cornet Oblensky and the blood of Grannus is all very important but I am not absolutely up to date and jumping seems to spawn a new phenomenon every five minutes. If I had the money, I would love to have Imperio. He has been in the top three in two World Breeding Championships and is my idea of a top modern stallion with power and elegance and a certain further quality which you can’t quite put a name to."

As Lynne co-owns a few horses with other parties, I was interested to find out her thoughts on partnerships, which seems to be increasing with stallion ownerships.

"I think the stallion partnerships are about extending the portfolio of the good “local” stallion. In Germany, despite a view to the contrary, most breeders will go to a stallion station in the near vicinity. With stallion partnerships, they have that same feeling but the semen may come from two hundred miles away. It’s a good system. Also good to be able to move stallions around to give the local mares a fresh face."

With her stallions in mind, I asked Lynne what incentives her Stud offered mare owners.

"Our incentive for mare owners is that when they use our stallions we will give them 100% support with the foal or youngster as it matures. We have limited capacity but will always find time and space for the offspring of our stallions for show and grading preparation, backing and breaking and, if required, sale. We also give them real knowledge and advice and an objective view as to whether the stallion they choose is likely to be right for them."

Lynne's horses are well known in the world of showing, grading and dressage. The "WOODLANDER" prefix is very well known throughout and I asked Lynne what she felt was her greatest achievement...

"Our greatest achievement has to have been to have been in the last eighteen months starting with one of our “broodmares” taking the Six Year Old Shearwater; her daughter taking the Futurity Dressage Championship: Wavavoom, a home bred stallion, out of a home bred mare being licensed in Verden, Hannover, as a stallion; Rockstar winning the National Championship but also winning 9 out of 9 Advanced Medium classes on the Sunshine Tour and only rising 7; Dornroeschen winning the National Advanced Medium title and beating Valegro, and Farouche, her daughter beating the performance test record at the Hannoverian Show and winning not only the performance test with no mark lower than 9, but also taking the Supreme. Then for our owners there were Show Champions, First Elites and First premiums as well as other performance test winners. It makes next year even more of a challenge."

"I love winning and you never forget those moments of real top wins but I also love my horses and I am so proud of them. This means there are lots of smaller thrills, but not less important, when you see them performing."

BHHS-2009-Farouche-supreme

With 2009 being an exceptional year for Woodlander Stud, I was interested to know what Lynne's future goals were...

"My goal is to be a world class breeder and this means, not necessarily Olympics because that a bit of a freak thing, but to have the Woodlander prefix on a dozen successful international horses and maybe one iconic one and then that would be the time to hang up my boots."

Woodlander Farouche
Furst Heinrich x Di Maggio x Caprimond
Supreme Champion 2009 Hanoverian Show

Due to the success of her own breeding programme I asked Lynne what advice she would give our readers when it comes to breeding...

"My advice is to take time, by looking in a concentrated way and listening to and watching a lot of judges, to educate your eye by seeing hundreds or thousands of horses. Don’t be closed to what you see and only look for what you believe already. Educate your eyes and then trust them. Don’t be too complicated but look at the big picture and then look for the small details that take away or add to it."

Wavavoom2

Lastly I asked Lynne what she would like to see the British Breeding Industry evolve...

"I am involved with a number of organizations that are very important to breeding in the UK. The first would be the BWBS(now WBS – UK) which is an umbrella studbook with no bloodline politics but a good high standard for grading with foreign judges at major events and year on year judge training. It is THE British and most inclusive studbook for warmbloods that mirrors European standards and will shortly introduce its “International” book. The British Hannoverian Horse Society is also pivotal in this area with very high standards and as a daughter studbook of the Hannoveraner Verband issues British life numbers for their horses. I am also a Non Exec for National Equine Database as I feel this source of information is vital to Breeders."

Woodlander Wavavoom
(Weltregent x Longchamp x Davignon)
Licensed in Germany

"I would like British Breeders to stop moaning about people buying German or Dutch horses and then registering their horses with Oldenburg, Westfalian, ZFdP and KWPN Studbooks, so confirming that they think this paper is more valuable and, by the way, then registering their horse as German or Dutch."

"I would like to see more breeders take time to look at pan European breeding and then pick the best to make the best for British Breeding. That includes the best in the UK where, relatively, the quality of many mares is higher than you would find in the rank and file breeding population in Germany. They also have lots of mares that are not very good. Mare owners leave too much to the stallion in every country. I don’t have a problem with an owner who adores a mare at the end of her sporting career and wishes to breed from her. If she’s not good, then it might be better to leave her and love her in a field without spending more time and money to breed an indifferent foal. However, you don’t know what you are going to get until you have done it. Above all I should like British Breeders to have more self confidence and be brave with their breeding. It IS worth improving the mare; it IS worth paying a good professional to prep your horse at any stage and, above all, it is worth taking less money from a better rider/producer........"

Past Issues

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