RF 1 Corragio and Emil

Emil Spadone Is Chasing His Dream Of Breeding High Hunters

Jan 4, 2023 – 2:56 PM

In the summertime of 2015, Emil Spadone flew to the winter base of his Redfield Farm in Ocala, Florida, from his summer time dwelling in Califon, New Jersey, to verify on his breeding operation. There he met up with Alex Bell, who runs the day-to-day operations on the Redfield Farm breeding program, and he or she posed a daring query to her boss.

I requested, Do you assume I may accomplice on a horse with you? recalled Bell. He stated, Effectively, lets stroll via the fields, and also you decide one.

Bell already had a teenager in thoughts, and after they acquired to the yearling paddock, she pointed at a chestnut colt by Spadones homebred stallion Maximus and out of McLain Wards FEI World Cup Qualifier winner Phillipa (by Electro). He was one amongst dozens, however Bell had no downside choosing him out.

Emil Spadone stands three stallions at his Redfield Farm, together with Corragio. Laura Smith Picture

I cherished Phillipa, and I cherished [her baby] from the day he was born, stated Bell. He was one that you’d stroll via the sphere, and he at all times stands out due to his seems and his conformation. He has the kindest eye.

So Spadone agreed to accomplice with Bell on the colt, named Mr. Manhattan. Quick-forward six months, and Spadone and his workforce free-jumped the crop of 2-year-olds to see what sort of means they’d.

We solely made him leap over [a crossrail], and he stated, OK, thats sufficient, recalled Bell. You could possibly see his expertise.

Just a few years later that very same horse would have a storybook begin to his profession that included topping the 2020 3’3″ inexperienced hunter, cash received, USEF Horse ofthe 12 months standings; incomes the 2020 $25,000 North American Inexperienced Hunter 3′ and three’3″ Championship at Capital Problem (Maryland); and successful the 2022 3’6″ inexperienced hunter championship on the Pennsylvania Nationwide with Daniel Geitner aboard. He completed the 2022 season on prime of the USEF HOTY 3’6″ inexperienced hunter, by increment, standings.

Johnny Barker, who trains the 8-year-old gelding owned by Martin Schlaeppi, described Mr. Manhattan as a once-in-a-lifetime horse. His expertise with Manhattan and different Redfield Farm offspring like Memphis Blue (MaximusEnvy, Casall), who completed seventh within the nation within the 3′ inexperienced, cash received, HOTY standings in 2020, have made him a believer in Spadones breeding program.

Emil is breeding these horses which are bred a bit of extra true to kind, I feel, stated Barker. In different phrases, if you would like a hunter, hes making an attempt to breed one to be a hunter. It makes it simpler to search for them.

RF 2 Daniel Geitner_Mr. Manhattan PAN_1827
Redfield Farm offspring Mr. Manhattans yr within the 3’6″ inexperienced hunter division included successful the division championship on the Pennsylvania Nationwide with Daniel Geitner up. Kimberly Loushin Picture

‘I’m A Dreamer’

Greater than 20 years in the past, Spadone began touring to Europe to seek out hunters, jumpers and equitation horses, and hes seen the market change significantly over that point.

You could possibly discover [potential] hunters and equitation horses, they usually had been affordable, he recalled. You could possibly deliver them dwelling and develop them and purchase a younger horse and do very well. Nowyou cant blame thembut the Europeans perceive the marketplace for these hunters is so robust. After they really feel like they’ve a hunter [its very expensive]. Its very onerous to seek out something thats moderately priced.

Somebody despatched me a video of a 3-year-old the opposite day for 100,000 Euros, he added They stated that they know theyre going to get it, so theyre not taking much less. I stated that it seems very nice, however I cant afford it. Its too dangerous for me.

Spadone nonetheless has a busy importing businesshe estimates he selects and imports 60 to 75 horses a yr, and hes a managing accomplice of the worldwide horse delivery firm Horseflightbut his breeding operation has grown by leaps and bounds. Hell harvest embryos from mares he likes to keep away from interfering an excessive amount of with their present profession.

Im an enormous believer within the mare, he stated. Initially, with a hunter, I attempt to get nearly as good a mover as potential; I feel that basically helps.

I dont wish to breed simply any mare, he continued. I need kind. I need motion. I need them to have the ability to leap and be athletic. We actually attempt to be as choosey as we are able to with the mares that we breed to, a minimum of for our personal program.

He began about 17 years in the past breeding three or 4 horses a yr, and he struck gold virtually instantly. He bred the stallion Mynos to a Cor De La Bryere mare named Corallie. He had imported each horses and had a particular place in his coronary heart for the mare.

Im a bit of little bit of a dreamer, stated Spadone. I cherished that mare Corallie. She jumped in such superb model; I’d take into consideration making an attempt to supply some actually fancy hunters. I additionally breed some jumpers, however my ardour for breeding began and nonetheless stays within the hunter ring. Its so onerous to seek out horses that transfer and leap, and I dream of manufacturing them and making them.

That cross led to Maximus, who would go on towin the common conformation hunter stake at Devon (Pennsylvania) in 2014 with Caroline Willard Briles within the irons and sire many prime hunters for Spadone. Along with Mr. Manhattan, he sired Mr. Particular (out of Clear Crusing), whos an everyday winner with Campbell Brownin the junior hunter ring and Abbygale Funk within the 3’3″ inexperienced hunter division. On the 2022 Platinum Efficiency USHJA Inexperienced Hunter Incentive Championships (Kentucky), Mr. Particular and Mr. Manhattan advancedto the championship spherical and every received the $5,000High Rating American-Bred Awards of their respective sections.

Spadone offered Maximus to Laura Mateo, and after his efficiency profession wrapped up just a few years in the past, Mateo despatched him again to Ocala to face at stud at Redfield. Spadone was thrilled so as to add him to his stallion line-up. He additionally stands two different stallions: Callie Seamans Carrico (CatokiKapitale, Capitol II), who competed via the 1.60-meter peak in Europe earlier than changing into Seamans amateur-owner hunter, and his personal Corragio (ConthargosConie, Tjungske), who acquired his begin with Cassandra Kahle, received a $25,000 USHJA Worldwide Hunter Derby with Brian Feigus, and claimed the three’6″ inexperienced hunter reserve championship with Hunt Tosh on the Nationwide Horse Present (Kentucky) in 2022.

RF 3 Maximus DSC_8523
In 2014 Redfield Farm-bred Maximus received the common conformation hunter stakes class at Devon (Pa.) with Caroline Willard Briles using. Mollie Bailey Picture

Two different Redfield Farm offspring are excellingnorth of the border. Sarah Barkers mounts Cheers (CabardinoSandy, Sandro Hit) and Frasier (Fandango HXSandy, Sandor Hit) simply swept the grownup beginner hunter division on the Royal Winter Truthful (Ontario), with Cheers successful the grand champion beginner hunter title in addition. And offspring like Gerald Cameras amateur- proprietor hunter Maxlight (MaximusWindlight) and Susan Symons inexperienced hunter Nation Rose (DiaradoPhillipa, Electro) are shining of their respective divisions.

Whereas his largest successes have come within the hunter ring, Spadone additionally breeds the occasional jumper, like Chaccolate (Chacco-BlueWalrusa, Oaklund), who simply received the $25,000 Duke Childrens Profit Grand Prix (North Carolina) with Doug Payne up.

From A Passion To A Severe Endeavor

For the 2023 season Redfield may have 45 foals coming: 20 out of Redfield mares and 25 owned by prospects.

Im unsure if its Emils habit or mine a bit of bit too, stated Bell, Ocala. He at all times tells me, When we’ve got 20 pregnant, it’s important to inform me to cease, and sometimesI overlook to inform him. Im form of pushing them, at all times saying, I feel we must always breed this one to this one, perhaps get one embryo.

The breeding operation spans two separate properties within the Ocala space and is dwelling to round 200 horses. Bells duties embody all the things from working with the veterinarians to helping with the supply of the foals to beginning the 2-year-olds to taking the kids to their first present.

I began it as a interest, and its actually not my most important enterprise, stated Spadone, who principally focuses on coaching hunter, jumper and equitation horses and riders. Its costly to breed and feed all these horses. I dont assume I may make a dwelling simply being a breeder, however I do like it. I really feel like [breeding in this country] has grown. An increasing number of those that have a mare wish to breed her, then they preserve them with us, and we break them. The breeding enterprise has grown significantly within the final three to 4 years.

Within the previous days it was method cheaper to purchase in Europe, however now theyre so costly that it offers you the motivation to proceed to breed, he continued. It’s onerous to breed a prime, prime fancy horse, and its additionally onerous to purchase one. Each are onerous, however I really feel prefer it could possibly be one of many solely methods to essentially get one is to breed one.

Spadone fashions his breeding program after that of Paul Hendrix of the Netherlands. Thats the place he realized to X-ray the 2-year-olds and instantly deal with any that may have osteochondrosis or a chip. Hendrix free jumps his mounts for the primary time as yearlingsSpadone waits till simply after they flip 2and offers them marks to trace their progress.

However whereas Spadone can rattle off pedigrees for every of his offspring, hes not terribly obsessive about lineage, particularly for a breeder.

Im thinking about it, and I observe it, and after I see a horse I like I wish to know who theyre by, however for probably the most half I do it by really feel, stated Spadone. If I actually like a mare, I attempt to assume [what stallion to use] to get the perfect child out of her.

Spadone chooses to not present his younger ones on the road, preferring to allow them to develop up in enormous fields with shelters. However the farm has performed host to a number of U.S. Hunter Jumper Affiliation hunter breeding clinics. On clinic days, Bell and her workforce put together 5 foals, 5 yearlings, 5 2-year-olds and 5 3-year-olds for the attendees to critique.

Oliver [Brown] is in control of it, stated Spadone. He will get lots of people to return, they usually all go take a look at the infants and discuss how they might pin them. Oliver explains why No. 4 is in first place and why he places them so as. They evaluate notes and talk about it. Thats a enjoyable factor. It will get folks excited, and other people get to see the place and the infants. The employees likes it and attire up for it. Its onerous work, however they get a kick out of it.

RF 4 Weanlings IMG-5670
Alex Bell handles the Redfield Farm infants every day from the time theyre born. Picture Courtesy Of Alex Bell

The youngstock are dealt with every day by Bell and her assistants from Day 1. After they flip 2, Bell spends 30 days beginning every horse, earlier than they return to the sphere. At 3 they arrive in for one more 45 days of coaching. When theyre 4 they be part of the Redfield Farm coaching program.

I feel the most important problem I face as a breeder is the price of elevating infants. Its costly, he stated. Its so costly in Florida to get good hay; it prices triple what it used to. The prices of elevating these infants is difficult, and it’s important to hope that you just get some good ones, so after they get offered that helps preserve you going.

I promote horses for a dwelling, however I like shopping for and breeding horses far more than I like promoting them, he added. If I didnt must promote them I wouldnt, however I’ve to promote them to maintain this going.

Barker and Schlaeppi have returned to Redfield breeding a number of occasions to pick out extra younger horses. Barker has partnered with Spadone on just a few horses, and most just lately helped Schlaeppi choose 4-year-old I.C. France (CarricoEnvy, Casall), who received the two′ USHJA hunter championship at Aiken Summer season Traditional I (South Carolina) her first day out with Geitner up.

Hes very useful in serving to me choose horses, stated Barker, Middleburg, Virginia. Ive truly gone and checked out some younger horses, and hes advised me, You actually dont need that one. To me thats very useful. Hes acquired quite a lot of honesty and integrity, and I belief him one hundred pc so far as telling me concerning the horses and the vetting points up entrance.

This text first appearedin the December 2022 concern ofThe Chronicle of the Horse.Subscribersmay select on-line entry to a digital versionor a print subscription or each, and they’re going to additionally obtain our life-style publication,Untacked.

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