The passion for horse breeding often starts after an initial and close encounter as an amateur with the wonderful world of horses. For many it starts with a passion for horse riding and afterwards dreaming about horse breeding. Maybe the first foal is born from a family mare that is then paired with a second broodmare, then a third and so on.
And that’s how, for the more tenacious, the passion becomes a profession and an adventure whereby everyday strong emotions, joy and pain, pleasures and disappointments are part of this wonderful rollercoaster ride.
This is also the story of Alessandro dell’Anna and his AD Stallions. Let’s see closer-up how all this started from Alessandro in person.
“I started horse riding when I was 16 years of age tackling my first competitions as an amateur. Afterwards I decided to go abroad staying two years between Sweden, Denmark and Germany, where I competed in the higher level competitions. However, I did not have enough finances to invest in buying sports horses to continue my career as a rider and decided to return to Italy.
I started by riding for Enrico Uboldi riding stables, for which we purchased together two horses, one of these was BOTERO (SI, 2004, CENTO x LE TOT DE SEMILLY), a horse that would later define the rest of my professional career. BOTERO turned out to be a horse of many abilities, very respectful and of great quality. After about a year and a half the friendship with Uboldi ended and I decided to become the sole owner of BOTERO”
Is this the stallion on which you founded your breeding business?
“Yes, this is how my AD Stallions breeding business started. Indeed, my dream of transforming my passion to my job was starting to materialise.
With BOTERO I took part in competitions for young horses (5 to 6 years). At 7 years of age, the horse was forced to stop due to an injury and from then onwards I decided to use him as a stallion. The natural consequence was to start also breeding.
At the beginning, I wanted to use BOTERO to breed his offspring and ride them, something which I wasn’t able to achieve because from all of this it became a profession. At the time I also did some horse trading in order for me to move forward with my venture. This is an ambitious venture in Italy where the commercialisation of stallion semen, including that of the stallions you have personally bred and in which you have faith, is really difficult.
Returning to BOTERO, once the horse recovered from his injury he competed in the 1,30-1,35 m classes with Giovanni Magaton. But my goal was to use BOTERO for breeding and decided to stop his sports career and return him home.”
From the first foals born in 2012, how do you judge BOTERO offspring?
“In the first year BOTERO bred very different mares to better evaluate which traits he passed on. I personally decided to invest in him because I firmly believed in him as a stallion. The first offspring, since they possessed excellent character and rideability, ended up in the hands of amateurs. In spite of this, they were always high in the final rankings in the 2 and 3-year-old competitions.
Amongst them, I’ll mention MALU TUBINE (dam sire ROI DANZIG), with a thoroughbred mother, that won at 3 years the free jumping competition at Sommacampagna, and was fourth also in free jumping at Borgo la Caccia and tenth at the Championship final in Verona.
Often, as in the case of BOTERO, his first breeding years did not involve broodmares of great quality, but last year were born the first offspring from more important mares such as CORIULANA J, an extraordinary performer with Gianluca Palmizi, and GRATINA, ridden by Natale Chiaudani. They are offspring that makes me optimistic for the future.
I’m convinced about the effectiveness of BOTERO as a sire, and hope that Italian breeders continue to place faith in him. According to me, BOTERO is an underrated horse. I have worked with many horses and in him, I see the quality that I haven’t witnessed in other stallions. This year I will breed four mares with BOTERO.”
Then you met another breeder and a friend.
“I met Laura Trinchero because she knew that I was looking for a stallion and she had four interesting stallions to sell. So, I went to see her and, on that occasion, I bought the Holstein stallion CASKO J (2013, CASALITO x QUINTERO). His sire, CASALITO (2009, CASALL ASK X LANDGRAF) jumped in the 1,50m categories with German rider Christian Hess.
His first offspring are 7 years old and 6 are approved stallions. The dam of CASKOJ is the Holstein premium mare B-QUALISKA J. She is the sister of the Holstein approved stallion QUIN 13 (from VERDI), winner of the Bundeschampionat in Germany in the 6-year-old class with Katrin Eckermann.
Today QUIN 13 is ridden by the Mexican rider Simon Nizri who this year was third at the CSI4* Grand Prix in Balvanera and fourth at the 1,60m GP in CS14* of Guadalajara.
The dam line of CASKOJ is the stamm Holstein 318d2 from which descend also the stallions COROFINO I and II, CORIANO, DIARADO, CRAWFORD, NEW STAR QUALITY and the 1.60m performers CONCORDIA LA SILLA, LICHTSPIEL, BARBOUDERUET and CABRIO.”
Having arrived at your second stallion soon after you added a third.
Exactly, in 2014 BOTTONE was born, the only son of BOTERO that I did not geld. In so being I added a third stallion. BOTTONE is now 7 years old and is the prototype of a modern horse possessing everything: rideability, respect and strength.
His mother, the Hannover ACORADA (FOR EDITION x ACORD) is one of my mares (Hannover Stutenstamm 1191712, Schridde727). She is the sister of COURAGE DE FEIGE, international winner in the 1,60m categories with Giulia Martinengo Marquet and also NUMERO CLAVE, a performer in 1,40m classes. From this dam line also descends the renowned stallion GOLDSPRING DE LAUZELLE
The first offspring of BOTTONE was born in 2020. Producing great horses, tall, with an imposing physique and expressive heads. One of his sons was purchased by the eventing rider Pietro Sandei.
BOTTONE has a full sister, ATTRAZIONE FATALE, born in 2016, that I have kept for myself and that bred this year with POKER DE MARIPOSA. ATTRAZIONE FATALE will start her training this year with the purpose of seeing her compete.”
Will all your stallions compete in Italy this year?
“Yes, exactly. This is very important because Italian breeders will have the opportunity to see them in competitions and therefore to value their sports qualities and chose the most suitable ones for their mares.”
In the world of breeding what is your reference point?
“My reference point is the Holsteiner Studbook. For me, they breed the ideal sport horse with a good mouth, good conformation, modern type and with a good gallop. Young Holstein stallions are also tested in competitions but not at very high competing levels.
The strength of the Holstein breeder is that every year they propose a group of young stallions that they then use.
Their trend is to use young stallions in which they believe. In Italy, we are xenophilous and tend to use old and affirmed stallions, while other breeders already use their offspring. Indeed, we don’t bet on the young generations and we often don’t have enough faith in young stallions.”
What mares do you currently have?
“Among my mares I have QUINTESSENZA, by BOTERO (dam sire QUIDAM RUBIN), that descends from the Westf. Stamm 329, the dam line of BALOU DU REVERTON, BALOU DU ROUET etc.
I also have two thoroughbred mares: GIULIETTE GIRL and MATIMOVIESTAR (from ROI DANZIG, a well-known eventing stallion), dam of MALU TURBINE (from BOTERO).
Two sons out of MATIMOVIESTAR were purchased by the eventing rider Pietro Sandei (one from CASKO J and one from BOTTONE). Her daughter MADAME BOTERO has been kept by me.
I also co-purchased GALISKAJ, the uterine sister of CASKO J, born from CASSILANO (CASSINI x LANDETTO). She is 6 years old and this year I will try to obtain some embryos from her since I already have requests from Holstein.”
So, your activity is the commercialisation of the semen of your stallions and breeding?
“Breeding serves as a means of testing my stallions. The idea is to use my stallions and my mares to see how they reproduce and see their strengths.
I cannot recommend people to use my stallions if I have not done so beforehand myself, it is a question of trust.
The commercialisation of horses is instead an activity that I have stopped, as I sell only my foals and keep the mares when their mothers become too old. In this way I maintain the dam lines.”
In your work activity that is developing, you have put together important partnerships.
I started to collaborate with Marc Mertens and with the Anglo European Studbook (AES) about 6 years ago. The collaboration started by chance when I wanted to get BOTERO approved in another Studbook as well as in the Sella Italiano. Afterwards, with him we also moved onto the organization of the AES approvals in Italy. He is a person that has taught me a lot about breeding.
Today, I am the contact person for AES in Italy. When there is a request for a stallion approval in the AES, I am accredited by them to examine the stallion. They have always trusted my judgement.
Through Marc Mertens I have also contacted Kees van de Oetelaar, co-owners of stallions of the calibre of CONCORDE and VERDI TN, as well as being a famous breeder.
This year he has sent me two of his stallions and we are sharing a young, promising, stallion.”
By the way, we asked also Kees van de Oetelaar to speak about your collaboration.
“I met Alessandro thanks to Marc Mertens during an AES approval in Italy. I had the opportunity to get to know him both professionally and as a person. He is serious, reliable and merits worthy of trust.
All of this has meant we have a joint ownership with a young interesting stallion, CASALLINO, as well as assigning him two very promising and quality stallions, that are standing out both in breeding and sports (CHAPEAU TN and MAESTRO VAN DE BISCHOOP). Both come from very good mother line and renowned sires.
Certainly, for Italy this is an opportunity to draw on high-level young stallions and with fresh semen.
The prospect is to work with continuity with Alessandro thanks to the trait d’union with Marc Mertens. The trust placed in Alessandro and his work is not in discussion, therefore I believe we can work a lot together in the future. He is a person that has earned my esteem: stallions of this calibre are not given to the first one that comes by.”
In fact, this year for the Italian breeders there is significant news.
“The big news is that this year three stallions have recently arrived in the stables: MAESTRO VAN DE BISHOOP (BWP 2012, CORNET OBOLENSKY x LIBERO H), CHAPEAU TN (Holst. 2012, CLEARWAY x QUINTERO) and CASALLINO (2018, CASALL x CASSINI), where I have a 50% stake.
The full brother of CASALLINO is CASALLITO, born in 2016 and bought at the ESHA auction by Tal Milstein, and that amounted to one of the highest bids ever paid at this auctions.
His uterine brother CAN RESIST (from CORNET OBOLENSKY) at 8 years jumped in the 1,50m categories with the Mexican Andres Gonzalez Dufrane. CASALLINO is 3 years old and will obtain both the AES approval as well as that of Sella Italiano.
MAESTRO VAN DE BISHOOP and CHAPEAU TN are instead two already acknowledged stallions.
MAESTRO VAN DE BISHOOP, approved for BWP and AES, is by CORNET OBOLENSKY, one of the best stallions in the international circuit, always to the top of the FEI-WBFSH sire ranking.
His motherline is the Merrielijn 231, Oldenburger Stamm 190, fokfamilie 724.
His mother, SECRET LOVE WONDERLAND, produced of a series of international winners and approved stallions.
Among them are full brothers DULF VAN DEN BISSCHOP (from HEARTBREAKER), sold in the USA and elected in 2017 BWP Ambassador thanks to the quality of its progeny, HOLLAND VAN DEN BISSCHOP, a stallion performer at 1,60m level with Dutch rider REMCO BEEN and ESTINA, an international jumper with Samantha McIntosh for New Zealand.
Another uterine brother of MAESTRO is the KWPN stallion ARIZONA (from UTRILLO VAN DE HEFFINCK), that die prematurely. The sister of SECRET LOVE, JADE VAN DE BISHOOP (from OGANO SITTE, is ridden by Pieter Devos in 1,60m classes.
MAESTRO VAN DE BISHOOP won in young horses competitions and jumped with Giampiero Garofalo in the World Championships for 6 –year-olds in Lanaken. His first offspring was born in 2016.
The sire of the showjumping talent CHAPEAU TN is CLEARWAY, that produced top horses like CLARIMO, ridden by Rolf-Göran Bengtsson’s, as well as GLOCK’S COGNAC CHAMPBLANC (ISJ 1,60m with Gerco Schröder).
His mother VUTTION VA descends from Holst Stamm 1463 and produced also the approved stallion PIONIER VAN PRINSEVELD (from CASALITO). His second dam is the half sister of the Holstein stallion L’EPERON (from LORD), international jumper with Carsten-Otto Nagel.
From this dam line descend the stallions BALDINI I and II, LESOTHO and CARANO.
CHAPEAU TN competed until 2019 in young horse classes, while in 2020, took part in his first 1,45m classes with Dutch rider Kars Bonhof. CHAPEAU TN has already 260 offspring born in Holland since 2017.
There is also the possibility to have frozen semen from TINTIN DE LA POMME (DIAMANT DE SEMILLY x FOR PLEASURE), a SF stallion of 2007, that unfortunately died prematurely.
TINTIN performed brilliantly in his career with numerous wins and placings in international categories with Andres Peñalosa and Natale Chiaudani (7th at GPCSI3* in Oliva, 7th at GPCSI2* in Caserta, 2nd at CSI3*-W in Dubai, 2nd in the Six Bar at CSI2* in Sharjah, 4th at CSI2* at the Baltic Summer Tour, 5th at the GPCSI2* at Gorla Minore, 3rd at the Six Bar at CSI2* in Verona, twice 6th at CSI3* in Vermezzo, 4th at CSI4*-W in AbuDhabi).
The dam line of this stallion is the SF 106, certainly one of the most important and renowned, thanks to FRAGANCE DE CHALUS and his mother NIFRANE. The mother of TINTIN, NIMFE DE LA POMME, produced the stallions TELSTAR DE LA POMME (SF by NABAB DE REVE), a performer in 1.60m classes with Lorenzo de Luca and Jonna Ekberg, TWISTER DE LA POMME (SF, by DARCO) ISJ 1.60m with Dutch rider Meike Zwartjens, and JUSTAN HERO (BWP, by ERCO VAN’T ROOSAKKER), ISJ 1.60m with Agnieszka Cecuga.
The excellent FRAGRANCE DE CHALUS is the second dam of TIN TIN DE LA POMME. She produced the stallions MYLORD CARTHAGO, BAMAKO DE MUZE, NORTON D’ÉOLE, FARFELU D EMUZE, HUGH GRANT DE MUZE, DE MUZE JULES and L’ HERMÈS DE MUZE, as well as numerous international winners and daughters that have revealed to be in turn also excellent mares. This dam line is, without doubt, one of the most important and popular in the world.
TINTIN DE LA POMME has limited progeny born in Belgium since 2011 as he was dedicated exclusively to his sports career.”
Are the 6 stallions in your stables this year available with fresh semen to Italian breeders?
“Yes, exactly, they will be available at the following stud fee:
– BOTERO 800€, CASKOJ 700€, BOTTONE 600€, CASALLINO 500€; plus VAT. Payment: 50% at delivery and 50% after October 1st pregnancy confirmation.
A 100€ discount will be applied for full payment when booking.
–MAESTRO VAN DE BISCHOOP 800€ plus VAT, payment 50% at delivery and 50% after October 1st pregnancy confirmation.
–CHAPEAU TN 900€ plus VAT, payment 50% at delivery and 50% after October 1st pregnancy confirmation.
Conditions are live foal guarantee at 24 hours after birth.
– TINTIN DE LA POMME 1000 € + VAT
Anyone interested can contact me at + 39 340 999 9773.
The activity is expanding with an increasing number of stallions for the next breeding season.
“Yes, I have purchased land where I will build my new stables where I also intend to organise breeder events. For this reason, I will increase the number of mares. My purpose is to produce show jumping horses, at any level, for the lowest to the higher and more competitive competitions.
I like to produce horses that are easy to manage and ride, for whatever type of jumping competition. I want to produce collaborative horses, horses for everyone, including beginners. Amongst them a champion may emerge but this implies matching him to the rider who is capable of developing it and also a good sponsor. It is not as easy and many good horses don’t emerge for these reasons.”
Your dream is therefore becoming reality after much personal sacrifice.
“I started from nothing and slowly I’m building my business by following my passion. I’m with my horses all day long and I know each one profoundly and live with them on a daily basis. In my personal venture I have been fortunate to meet the right people that have taught me much about breeding. I have developed with them a great sense of collaboration, for example with my vet, Dr. Giovanni Ranzenico, who follows my horses across the entire breeding season.
Finally, this year my stallions CASKOJ, BOTTONE, CHAPEAU TN and MAESTRO VAN DE BISHOOP will compete in Italy and will be observable by all interested breeders.
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