A LOOK FORWARD TO
The National Shire Horse
Show now occupies two full
days and has something for
everyone with a love of the
breed. Ann Rogers went to
meet an exhibitor
TRELOW Father Abraham is a super premium stallion, a status achieved as a result of his progenys achievements. He made Shire Horse Society history last November when a filly foal by him was born in Australia.
The eight-year-old, 18.1hh black stallion with four white feet, is by Snelson Buscot out of Chatteris Blossom and belongs to Terry and Vicky Sandling of the Shires Family Adventure Park, near Wadebridge, Cornwall. The Sandlings bought the him as a foal to join the stud which is the advertising wing of their company, Kathan Wine Importers.
They currently have 30 Shires including three stallions and the young stock. "The more horses we bred the more room we needed and we had to buy a bigger place. The family park followed," says Terry.
The park occupies 48.5ha (120 acres) of their 243ha (600-acre) farm and provides enough entertainment to keep a family occupied all day. "We have the third largest tourist attraction in Cornwall," says Terry. It includes five lakes, a Toddlers village and dramatic features such as the Demon Drop Slide, the Jungle Fantasy and, new this coming season, the Double Twister.
Shires contribute displays and musical drives in their own covered arena, while geldings are used to give cart rides.
Trelow Father Abraham – known as Beau at home – is away for much of the summer, standing at Geoff Robinsons stud in Newark, Notts where he covered about 30 mares last season
* Supreme championship
"He has given us some wonderful brood mares and show mares with tremendous fronts and great wide chests. Hes put height in our stock and a fabulous temperament," says yard manager Gaynor Rossall whose special charge he is. "He took the supreme championship at Troon and in 1996 he won the progeny cup based on points at the national show when Trelow Bartimus and Trelow Florence took first prizes."
"Last year two of his daughters won major shows. Trelow Antigone took the championship at the Three Counties Show and Trelow Florence took the championship at the Bath & West," recalls Terry. "Hes a most outstanding stallion."
An American breeders interest in Abraham led to him standing at the West Kington Stud Equine Semen Collection Centre in Avon at the end of 1996 where semen was collected from him by Martin Boyle of Stallion Reproductive Services.
"He had not to go near a mare for six weeks and was in quarantine for a further three months," says Vicky explaining the preliminaries to the collection.
"There were all these stallions worth thousands and thousands of pounds – millions, some of them – and this tuppeny hapenny Shire stallion," recalls Terry.
Abrahams stablemates were top eventers, show jumpers, riding ponies and Thoroughbreds. The famous names included Dutch Gold, Apollo, Its the Business, and Jumbo.
Some of Abrahams semen was destined for Australia, and Terry contacted British Airways who sponsored the journey to help conserve the Shire horse breed.
The semen was imported by Bill Lambert from Waverley near Sydney and used to inseminate his mare Aldreth Becky. The outcome was a foal to be known as Wyee Rebecca, daughter of Abraham.
This summer the filly should have half brothers or sisters born in the USA. Ten mares belonging to Jenson Shires of Nebraska have been inseminated with Abrahams semen. One of them has been proved to be in foal and confirmation is awaited on the others, says Vicky, adding that a breeder in Germany is also planning to stock mares using Abrahams semen.
Meanwhile Abraham himself enjoys a holiday at home in Cornwall and some of his Cornish offspring are being prepared for the national show. The Sandlings are planning to take his three-year-old daughter Antigone and the two-year-old colt Absalom, also by Abraham. A yearling colt and a yearling filly are going along too.
Antigony, a three year old mare by Trelow Father Abraham, is among the Shires the Sandlings plan to show at Peterborough.
Terry and Vicky Sandling:
The more Shires they bred the more room they needed.
The adventure park followed.
Trelow Father Abraham looking his best for the show ring. He will miss the 1998 national show.
Left: Abrahams Australian daughter Wyee Rebecca with her mother Aldreth Becky. Above: Abraham fresh from the field where he enjoys a roll in the mud. He is currently enjoying a holiday at home in Wadebridge, Cornwall.