Waverley Stud offer high quality dressage foals & youngstock for sale bred from the very best Germany & Dutch bloodstock.View our Foals

Specialised Horse Breeding Services

FAQ's// Do you have a question that we haven't covered here? if so please feel free to contact us.

Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

Do you only breed dressage horses? Do you only have dressage horses for sale?

Yes we specialise in breeding dressage horses as this is what we know.  We keep a herd of no more than ten mares who have been specifically bred and licensed for dressage, and who have all scored particularly well in terms of  aptitude for dressage in their performance tests.  However some of our mares' pedigrees do contain jumping blood as we believe this contributes to the athleticism so essential to a successful dressage horse.  The majority of the stallions we use have also been specifically bred for dressage, although there are a few jumping stallions we would consider using due to their combination of super athleticism and great movement - Isobel Wessel's lovely Chagall (2012 National Dressage Champion) is after all from jumping lines!

How do you select your dressage mares?

We have in the main acquired only State Premium and Elite German mares - that is only those who have already proved themselves either by completing arduous performance tests judged by some of the world's most knowledgeable horse people, or by breeding dressage champions. And still on top of this, our dressage mares must have beauty and charm - though that is a more subjective matter!

We have bought one or two other mares who are not performance tested but who have distinguished themselves in other ways (usually because of rideability, progeny or rare bloodlines).

We also grow our own, preparing our own young mares for performance testing.  For example in 2012 Dalloway, who we bought as a foal, licensed in Germany and did so well she was invited to the final in Verden to the most prestigious show for 3 year old Hanoverian mares.  In 2014 we will be preparing two other of our young dressage mares for licensing.

We tend to prefer German bred mares due to the long tradition of breeding excellence and more established system of performance testing in Germany which has provided consistent quality over many decades.
These supremely well qualified ladies are the foundation of all we do!

What is involved in the mares' performance test?

Each German breed society or Verband (and indeed each of the warmblood societies in most other countries) has a procedure for the performance testing of mares.  These tests provide an independent and objective assessment of mares to help breeders identify the best breeding stock, and to help safeguard the integrity and quality of the breed.

The mare performance test comprises:

  • An assessment of conformation with marks assigned
  • Free jumping
  • A ridden test where the horse is ridden by its own rider in a group of four or five other mares
  • An assessment of rideability made by a test rider who rides each mare taking part in the test
In the mare performance test the basic gaits, jumping talent in free-jumping as well as the mare's rideability are judged.  For the assessment of the individual criteria (basic gaits, rideability and jumping talent), scores covering the marks from 0 (=not performed) to 10 (=excellent) are given. The final certificate contains an overall final score as well.  Honours (e.g. the title of State Premium Mare) are awarded if the mare achieves marks above an established threshold for various components of the test and has an overall score higher than the required minimum (usually in the region of 7 to 7.5%). 

How do you select the stallions you use?

Dressage stallions, especially, come in and out of fashion and a breeder must be aware of this.  However each stallion is chosen to compliment each particular mare; and we only use stallions who self-evidently bring something to the party.  Although dressage breeding record is important, a stallion must have triumphed in his own arduous performance test, and be able to add something to the mare in terms of conformation or movement.  The rideability score is particularly important to me, as it is no use having spectacular movement in an offspring if it is untrainable, and I always try to meet each stallion I use in person as behaviour in the stable is so important and indicative.   Although I will use young and unproven stallions if they are really special, my preference is also to use stallions who have proven they have the temperament and enduring soundness to win at the highest levels of dressage competition.

Are Waverley horses open to trainers and vets?

Yes you are more than welcome to bring your trainer with you - in fact we encourage it as we want any potential buyer to be doubly sure that a prospective horse is for them.  All our horses are also of course open to vetting.  Your family or friends are also welcome - just let us know how many will be joining you.

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