HQ Magazine Issue 167a

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MADE 2 PERFORM protecting people
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Welcome to the latest issue of HQ Magazine. We are thrilled to bring you another edition filled with the latest and greatest equestrian content.

In this issue, we are proud to feature the much-anticipated Callaho Winter Collection 2024. From Lot 1 to Lot 22, this Collection is a showcase of superstar sporthorses destined for the top of our sport. Callaho Warmblood Stud’s commitment to breeding top-tier athletes is evident in every horse, so make sure you don’t miss this.

We also delve into the Biogen Maple Ridge World Cup Qualifier 2024, celebrating the exceptional performances and the incredible support from our title sponsor, Biogen. Their dedication to the health and fitness of South Africans continues to elevate our sport, and we are grateful for their unwavering support.

This issue also includes an exploration of the Subaru Outback XT as the perfect crossover car for equestrians and a study on the impact of hay nets on horse health. Additionally, we have features on sacroiliac disease in horses, the ongoing FEI World Cup™️ Jumping Series and much, much more.

We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you. Your feedback is always welcome, so please feel free to get in touch!

Lizzie and the HQ team xxx
HQ | 167A 3 Designer | Mauray Wolff

FEI World Cup TM Jumping Series The Biogen Maple Ridge World Cup Qualifier 2024 Event summary

Combination bits The debate

Your equestrian questions answered Products We Love Shopping fun Callaho Auction Winter Collection 2024 Our review Your perfect cross-over car! Subaru Sandton’s Outback XT
Study review of: The effect of hay nets – by DeBoer et al.
Pelvic problems Understanding sacroiliac disease in horses


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HQMagazine has, for many years, avidly followed the journey of Callaho Warmblood Stud through the sport. It is no secret that we relish the opportunity each year to dive into Callaho’s auction offerings and trace the journeys of their special horses through the sport. We love to study the breeding, look at the results of similar pedigrees in the sport, and, of course, find out where the horse has found his or her new home!

We have come to know that developments in Callaho’s breeding programme herald the beginning of a new level of quality in our sport. Every auction brings an influx of more modern, more specialised sporthorses onto the South African scene, and these cohorts of athletes, like clockwork, ascend the grades to join their siblings at the pinnacle of the sport. With 16 horses currently competing in the 1.50m Grand Prix classes, the proof is there for all to see.

Callaho commenced their breeding endeavours 25 years ago, and this

year marks the Stud's 19th and 20th Auctions. When you see this Collection and look at each horse on offer, there is no question that Team Callaho has made every single one of those 25 years count. The quality inherent in each and every horse is a testament to the years Callaho has dedicated to this labour of love; the refinement of their breeding programme has reached new heights, and the evidence lies in the Winter Collection of 2024.

There isn’t a horse on this Auction that we wouldn’t want to own; every single one is proven in his or her own right. The maternal and full siblings are right there in the sport, flying the flag for these bloodlines and demonstrating that these combinations are destined for the top. It’s almost intangible, but it’s definitely there; there’s just a little bit more of the Callaho breeding magic in this group of 22 horses.

Team Callaho has left nothing to chance; Callaho Warmblood Stud’s Winter Collection is a masterpiece 25 years in the making.

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Callaho Le Cadeau Callaho Liantos

the resounding answer would be ‘Lissabon’. This son of Lordanos, out of a Sion x Contender mare, had great success abroad and then here in South Africa, competing and placing in a handful of World Cup Qualifiers himself before returning to his stallion duties at Callaho.

The first of Lissabon’s progeny to be sold on Auction was the flashy colt Callaho Lansink (Lissabon x Pilot x Paradox I). Lansink was quickly and expertly produced up the grades by Rainer Körber. The

success in the Open classes.

2014 saw nine of the 40 auction horses on offer sired by Callaho’s Lissabon. Of those, two have jumped 1.50m (Callaho Le Cadeau and Callaho Le Padre); Callaho Lumos jumped up to 1.40m; and two other progeny competed successfully in the Opens! The following four auction years saw an average of 40% of horses on auction sired by Lissabon, ten of which have competed successfully at the 1.50m level winning Grand Prix Qualifiers. These include:

Callaho Le Padre & Zdenek


Callaho Le Cadeau & Desiree


Callaho Lexington & Jeanne


Callaho Liberia & Helen Criticos

Callaho Libra & Lisa Rahman

Callaho Luther & Tegan Bruyns

Callaho Lorenzo & Laurence


Callaho Liantos & Tamara


Callaho Laios & Alexandra Ric


Callaho Luc du Ayenne & Carl Boonzaaier

Considering these horses are just reaching their prime, there will certainly be more to add to this list!

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Callaho Libra

There are four Lissabon progeny on offer for this Auction: two broodmares (Callaho Let’s Dance (Lot 3), who is in foal to Victory Forever, and Callaho Lisa Mai, who is in foal to Benicio (Lot 16)). We might add that one shouldn’t write off broodmares as potential future sporthorses. Several Callaho’s sold as broodmares have gone on to compete successfully in the show ring, including Callaho Libra (Lissabon x Granulit), who was sold in foal to Victory Forever and now jumps in the 1.50m with Lisa Rahman. Her son currently competes in the 1.30m level and looks set to follow in his mother’s 1.50m footsteps!

The two Lissabon sporthorses on offer in this first collection of

2024 are Callaho L’Acord (Lot 4) and Callaho Lyon (Lot 22). Callaho L’Arcord’s dam Adele (Acord II x Wanderer) jumped up to the 1.40m with Govett Triggol. From the videos, Callaho L’Acord looks to be a pocketrocket, superstar showjumper in the making!

Callaho Lyon anchors the Collection, being the very last lot, and it’s just possible that Callaho is saving the very best for last. The combination of Lissabon and Welingan (Heartbreaker x C-Indoctro x Ramiro Z) has produced a variety of well-known, competitive jumpers, the most notable of whom are Callaho Le Cadeau (2009) and Callaho Liantos (2012). Callaho Le Cadeau is on his way back to top form, following some time out of the

ring, and this 1.50m-winning pair surely have their sights set on the SA Derby, having been the runnersup in their first attempt in 2021. Callaho Liantos and Tamara Rueda jumped their first World Cup Qualifier together in Shongweni last year and managed to finish in the places. The pair have claimed a huge number of Championship titles since venturing into the Opens; the most recent of which was their win at Burlington Cup last year. They are a combination that always makes their competitors nervous, and there will be much more to come from them in the nottoo-distant future. With good size, great vetting and a proven pedigree, Lyon is undoubtedly a horse for the big time, and we can’t wait to see where this future champion will find his home.

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Lot 3 – Callaho Let's Dance (Callaho's Lissabon x Dageraad x E-Pilot) Lot 16 – Callaho Lisa Mai (Callaho's Lissabon x Metternich x Graf Grannus) Lot 4 – Callaho L’Acord (Callaho's Lissabon x Acord II x Wanderer) Lot 22 – Callaho Lyon (Callaho's Lissabon x Heartbreaker x C-Indoctro)
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Another foundational Callaho stallion who, in the past, has had many successful progeny on auction is Con Coriano. Callaho’s Con Coriano is a son of the legendary Contender, a stallion that has left a remarkable legacy with progeny that have competed at the highest levels of showjumping, dressage and eventing. Contender has produced nearly 200

licensed sons around the world and even more state premium mares. Con Coriano himself demonstrated Contender’s rideability, elasticity and powerful jump.

Unfortunately retired early in his 1.50m career, his legacy lives on through his progeny competing successfully in the 1.50 classes here in South Africa, including  Callaho

Consuri, Callaho Confidor, Callaho Con Quito (the first Con Coriano to sell on auction in 2013), Callaho Conzano and Callaho Conrado.

The June Auction has three Con Coriano progeny on offer: Callaho Con Touch (Lot 1), Callaho Con Quilla (Lot 5) and Callaho Con Calito (Lot 7).

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Callaho Consuri Callaho Conrado Callaho Conzano
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Callano Lebanon Callaho Conray

Callaho Con Touch brings forth the ever-successful Contender x Balou du Rouet pairing. With such genetics, she is surely destined for greatness. Her dam Butterfly also produced the Lissabon gelding Callaho Let’s Fly, who jumped successfully in the 1.35m with Jethro Bower, and Callaho Lariboo, the gorgeous Callaho’s Larison mare who is being produced by Ashlee Taylor and at just eight years of age, is already jumping successfully in the 1.35m classes.

Callaho Con Quilla is a daughter of Quinta, which makes her a halfsister to Craig Rankin’s Callaho Catinka (Catoki), who is already winning in the 1.40m classes

with Rainer Körber, and Franziska Laidler’s Callaho’s Sampras mare, Callaho Santa Monica who is currently jumping 1.20m and showing endless scope.

Callaho Con Calito has certainly drawn attention with his impressive front-end technique, quick reflexes and boundless scope. He is surely one for the big time. He also ticks all the genetic boxes as he is bred in the purple, with a dam (Stolzenberg x Escudo I) that has already produced three Open showjumpers since she began breeding in 2012! Top Junior riders, the Minty brothers, each

have a sibling, with Hamza riding full brother Callaho Conray in the 1.40m, and currently holding the title of Junior President’s Cup winners, and Uthmaan riding his half-brother Callaho Lebanon (Lissabon), the gorgeous dark bay eight-year-old in the 1.35m. Rechelle Kloeck also had great success on another half-sister, Callaho Larike (Lissabon), winning a handful of 1.30m classes, including the 1.30m Derby when the mare was just seven years old before she sadly retired due to injury. With a jump that matches his pedigree, Callaho Con Calito should be on your ‘top picks’ list.

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Lot 1 – Callaho Con Touch (Callaho's Con Coriano x Balou Du Rouet x Calido I) Lot 5 – Callaho Con Quilla (Callaho's Con Coriano x Quidam's Rubin x Gotthardsen) Lot 7 – Callaho Con Calito (Callaho's Con Coriano x Stolzenberg x Escudo I)
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The unforgettable Callaho’s Sampras (Stakkato x Liberio H x Calypso II) was known affectionately as ‘Pete’ and had incredible success under the saddle of Lorette Knowles-Taylor, winning several 1.40m classes before his untimely passing at just eleven years of age.

Callaho Sequoia Vella, a winning 1.40m horse with Geordi Byrne, was one of the first Sampras progeny to be sold on auction, alongside Callaho Sigmund, who jumped in the Open classes with George Coutlis last year. Sampras also sired Callaho Sha Rukh Khan, who is one of the topranked 1.30m horses with Thomas

van Rijckevorsel, as well as a handful of other 1.40-1.50m horses based in Europe.

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Callaho Sigmund Callaho Sequoia Vella
Callaho Sha Rukh Khan

On the upcoming auction, you will find Callaho Sequoia Vella’s full brother, Callaho Supa Vella (Lot 11), as well as the flashy broodmare, Callaho Solada (Lot 6), who is in foal to Innovation X.

Callaho Supa Vella. Team HQ has a weakness for big chestnuts with white faces and long white socks, but this gelding has much more than just the looks to his name. Callaho Supa Vella is destined for greatness, and his pedigree explains all that

you see in front of you! His granddam is none other than Ravella, who was the mother of Jeanne Körber’s 1.50m jumper Fiorella and Callaho Luca Vella, who is jumping in the 1.50m with Tegan Bruyns. This dam line breeds champions, with Fiorella herself producing Callaho Lexington, the winner of the recent 1.50m Biogen’s Grand Prix at Maple Ridge with Jeanne Körber. ‘Supa’ by name really is ‘super’ by nature, and we will surely see this boy in the big classes in a few years’ time!

Callaho Solada is a 6-year-old mare out of Colada (Concerto x Polydor) who had three foals prior to producing Solada, two of which are already jumping in the Opens: Callaho Lucius (by Lissabon) and Callaho Commidor (by Con Coriano) with Kyla Brimacombe’s Callaho Foreign Affair (by For Joy) joining them soon! With impeccable bloodlines and in foal to a known producer of exceptional horses, Callaho Solada has a lot to offer!

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Lot 11 – Callaho Supa Vella (Callaho's Sampras x Callaho's Lissabon x Raphael) Lot 6 – Callaho Solada (Callaho's Sampras x Concreto x Polydor)
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Another stallion with two progeny on the Auction is Innovation X. Innovation was acquired as a result of Callaho's dedication to developing our sport for the future. The future of showjumping requires horses with more blood and sharpness, and this is what Thoroughbred blood brings to the table. Innovation is an incredibly modern 75% Thoroughbred by the Thoroughbred Holstein stallion Fragonard out of a Chepetto (Cento x Ramiro Z) mare,

and what he has produced so far has left us wanting more…

His first progeny to sell on Auction was Callaho Imagine, a striking dark bay gelding out of a young Callaho’s Lissabon x Quidam de Revel mare. The hammer went down at an impressive R1,300,000.00, and this very sensitive and scopey gelding is now being carefully produced by the Healy’s. Innovation’s next son was sold on the 2023 Summer Auction. Callaho Iggy Pop is out of

a Casparon x Argentinus mare, and is true to his description as a horse with immense power and potential. Iggy Pop has had his first few outings with owner Jodi Fernandez and has wowed everyone who has seen him in action. If these two are anything to go by, then Callaho Imperio (Lot 12) and Callaho I’m So Good (Lot 19) should be on your ‘want’ list.

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Callaho Iggy Pop
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Lot 12 – Callaho Imperio (Callaho's Innovation X x Fürst Romancier x Charon)

Lot 19 – Callaho I'm So Good (Callaho's Innovation X x Wachmann III x I'm So Bad xx)

Callaho Imperio’s dressage dam line has resulted in a horse with exceptional elastic paces. This young gelding’s free jump gives you the impression of what ‘floating’ over a jump actually feels like smooth, neat and effortless. Do yourself and favour and check him out.

Callaho I’m So Good is the first Innovation sporthorse mare to

feature on Auction and is another exemplary specimen. She is by Pohland’s Watch Me P (Wachmann III x I’m So Bad xx), who won multiple World Cups with Lorette Knowles Taylor and is a full sister to Lisa William’s Derby winner Warrangal P, and James Lowe’s 1.45m jumper

Wachmeister P. Watch Me P’s first foal, Callaho Con Catch Me (by Con Coriano) was the 2022 Winter Auction top seller at R800,000.00 and has already jumped 1.30m with Reine Marshall for Optima Sport Horses. We eagerly anticipate I’m So Good living up to her name!

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Callaho’s Benicio was purchased in 2007 to kickstart Callaho’s dressage breeding programme, and while he has produced some exceptional dressage horses, his progeny seen on auction all look to have exceptional jumping technique as well. One of the 2015 Auction top sellers, Brigitte Bardot, jumped successfully in the Open classes, showcasing Benicio’s ability to breed jumpers. Benicio is not only a multiple Grand Prix winner but the sire of several PSG and GP horses and nearly 30 licensed stallions, of which seven are Premium status. He often passes on his

striking looks but always passes on his jaw-dropping movement.

Callaho Bacardi. With her sire’s looks (liver chestnut with big white socks and face) and expressive movement, Callaho Bacardi (Lot 10) will be getting 9s and 10s for just trotting around the outside of the dressage arena! This mare has the potential to go all the way. Don’t miss this opportunity to get your hands on a future dressage Champion.

Callaho Benika. Lot 14 is the broodmare Callaho Benika, who is in foal to Callaho’s Larison. While Callaho Benika does not have Benicio’s colouring, she certainly has his movement, and one look at her walk and trot will leave you wanting. She is in foal for the fourth consecutive time to Callaho Larison, so evidently Callaho found the magic combination on the first try, and you are guaranteed something VERY special. This really is a two-for-one special!

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Lot 10 – Callaho Bacardi (Callaho's Benicio x Fidertanz x Stedinger) Lot 14 – Callaho Benika (Callaho's Benicio x Fidertanz x Stedinger)
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Callaho’s Corinth was produced successfully up to the 1.50m classes by Carl Boonzaaier, and we are now starting to see a handful of his progeny moving up to the Open classes, including Callaho Corina (1.40m with Kimberly

Williamson), Callaho Corleone (1.35m with Paige-Lee Goetsch), Callaho Coritano DSH (1.35m with Jessica Lupini) and Callaho Martini Cortina (1.30m with Claire Martin). He also produced the top seller of the 2020

Auction; Callaho Corrigan, who is being produced carefully by Martyn Swanepoel. On this Auction, you will find two Corinth progeny: Callaho Corazon (Lot 13) and Callaho Corbin (Lot 20).

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Callaho Corina
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Callaho Corleone

Callaho Corazón. The saying “If they are good enough, they are big enough”,  is exactly what comes to mind when we see Callaho Corazón. Earlier this year, Callaho’s Qui Cassa, who is also only 15.2hh, showed us the truth of this as she jumped clear with Junior rider Hamza Minty around their first 1.40m track. At first glance, Corazón looks like a cracking Junior horse, but let’s not limit her potential…

Callaho Corbin comes from a very exciting dam line. His dam Wanja (Quick DIXI) is by Quick Star, who was not only an incredibly successful jumper but also produced some of the best showjumpers, including 2014 WEG Individual and Team Champion

Orient Express HDC as well as Olympic Team and Individual Gold medallist Big Star. Wanja so far is proving herself as a supreme broodmare, having produced three 1.40m horses, including Callaho Con Dior (by Con Coriano) and Callaho Cento’s Boy (by Cento).

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Lot 13 – Callaho Corazón (Callaho's Corinth x Callaho's Lissabon x Silvio I) Lot 20 – Callaho Corbin (Callaho's Corinth x Quick Star x Jalisco B)
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Following a successful 1.60m career in Europe the striking Carthago Z x Landadel x Lord stallion Carnaval La Silla was acquired by Callaho. Sadly, Carnaval passed away earlier this year, but his legacy will live on through his progeny. His first two Callaho progeny went on Auction in 2020, and both Callaho Carlsberg and Callaho Carradine are already

jumping in the Open classes. From the 2021 Auction Collection Callaho Carmelita and Paige Nunan, as well as Callaho Carrera with Greg Scott are in the 1.20m. From 2022, Callaho Carado and Isabella Saunders, Callaho Carmen and Divan Bosman, and Callaho Carisco and Ray Körber are all jumping in the 1.20m. It certainly seems like getting your hands on one of his progeny is a wise investment.

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Callaho Carradine
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Callaho Carmen

Callaho Carly Simon (Lot 15) is a full sister to the aforementioned Callaho Carmen, who is competing successfully with Divan Bosman and is truly a sure bet for the future. Her dam is Alzu Opportunity, who is by Optimum vd Wellington. Optimum vd Wellington sired several top jumpers after being imported to South Africa, including Alzu Oregon and Alzu Orissa, who came first and fourth, respectively, in the 2015 Derby, as well as Alzu Ovation and

ZM Okinawa, who also competed at WCQ level. This mare has it all: scope, step and carefulness. She is undoubtedly going to make her future owner and rider very happy!

Callaho Carrie Calypso (Lot 17) is big, brave and has potential not only as a jumper, but also as an

eventer and dressage horse. She is so beautifully put together that we wouldn’t rule her out as a showing prospect either. Her dam, Callaho Lorna Calypso (Lissabon x Calypso II) produced the 2019 Auction top seller Callaho Valdez (by Victory For Ever) who jumped in the Open classes with Nicola Kohne.

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Lot 15 – Callaho Carly Simon (Callaho's Carnaval La Silla x Optimum vd Wellington x Bambix) Lot 17 – Callaho Carrie Calypso (Callaho's Carnaval La Silla x Callaho's Lissabon x Calypso II)
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Callaho Pica's Boy K


At Lot 2 we find the the only Equinox De Chalusse progeny on offer for this auction, Callaho Equidor. Equinox de Chalusse is a son of the extraordinary Numero Uno out of a renowned Vigo D’Arsouilles mare. Numero Uno was said to be honest, reliable and willing, and to have passed these traits on to

his progeny, and evidently, they have continued down the line with Callaho’s training team describing  Equidor as ‘brave, honest and easy’. But that’s just half the story with Callaho Equidor, as his dam is none other than Jeanne Körber’s

1.50m mare Picadilly Z. This mare has also sired the Callaho’s Con Coriano gelding Callaho Pica’s Boy K who recently won the 1.35m Championship at Revil Stables. Incredibly, this is yet another horse that ticks all the boxes!

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Lot 2 – Callaho Equidor (Callaho's Equinox De Chalusse x Pablo's As x Nimmerdor)


For our local breeders, there are several chances on this Auction to get your hands on a proven broodmare:

Lot 9, Callaho Bolivia, is the eight-year-old daughter of Callaho’s Bolzano du Quinze, who has recently stepped up to the World Cup classes with Gareth Neill. Her half-brothers Schwaike Codi (Udokes) and Condor (Chin Chin) jumped successfully in the 1.35s, and her six-year-old half sister, Callaho Carsilla (by Carnaval La Silla) has recently been acquired by Kayla Gertenbach. Bolivia is in foal to Con Coriano, who passes on rideability, electricity and a stylish jump to his progeny; what more could you want?

Lot 18, Callaho Zidria is by Padinus (Heartbreaker x Calato) and is in foal to Con Coriano. Zidria has produced eleven progeny for Callaho, including two Lissabons: Callaho Le Padre (SJ 1.50m) and Callaho Le Padino (SJ1.40m), as well as two full brothers to the foal she is carrying, Callaho Confidor (SJ 1.50m) and Callaho Con Zidrio (SJ 1.30m). She is a sure bet.

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Lot 9 – Callaho Bolivia (Callaho's Bolzano du Quinze x Nimmerdor x Landgraf I) Lot 18 – Callaho Zidria (Padinus x Calato x Masetto)

Lot 21, Callaho Contendra is a daughter of Contendro I. Contendro I is a renowned producer of top dressage, showjumping and eventing horses, which is what earned his position on the World Breed Federation of Sport Horses Top 100 sires lists in all three disciplines for three consecutive years, and made him the number one sire of eventers from 2015 to 2019. In foal to Victory Forever, the sire of Leona van der Merwe’s World Cup showjumper Callaho Vidanté, and Ziska Nel’s 1.40m showjumper Callaho Victory Love, a future champion is just a few clicks away!



From Lot 1 to Lot 22, this Callaho Winter Collection is packed full of superstar sporthorses. With Callaho Warmblood Stud truly dominant at the very pinnacle of South African sport everyone with aspirations of equestrian excellence should have their eyes on this June Auction.

Thank you, as always, must go to Callaho Warmblood Stud, for the years of work that go into creating a Collection like this. Their foresight, attention to detail and relentless pursuit of perfection take our sport to a new level, time and time again.

We’re delighted to be partnering with Callaho for this Auction review and eagerly anticipate the impact this Collection will have on the future of South African equestrian sport.

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Lot 21 – Callaho Contendra (Contendro I x Caletto I x Grannus)





The Biogen World Cup Qualifier at Maple Ridge Equestrian is always a standout event on the equestrian calendar. Held from Wednesday, May 22nd to Sunday, May 26th, the event once again proved hugely popular. With a full list of entries and a packed schedule, it was a treat for all spectators and riders who came out for the lovely Autumn afternoon.

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Founded in 2004, making this their 20th year in existence, Biogen is the largest health brand in Dis-Chem and one of the largest in South Africa. It is an authentic sports and wellness brand with a wide and premium range of vitamins and supplements that cater for all sporting codes, disciplines, and lifestyles. As a brand, they are deeply committed to the health and fitness of all South Africans.


He adds: “The endurance, focus and precision that showjumping demands, offers a unique opportunity to showcase our in-depth range, and attach our brand to an elegant and classy sport”.

As title sponsor of the Maple Ridge World Cup Qualifier for the past four years, and with their commitment to the health and fitness of all South Africans, the sponsorship provides a welcome reminder of the role each rider plays in the sport as an athlete, in their own right.

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The collective organising team’s commitment to excellence and attention to detail shone through in every aspect of the event at Maple Ridge, and on behalf of the equestrian community, we would like to extend a huge thank you to Biogen and all other companies and sponsors who continue to invest in our sport.

A special and huge thanks needs to also go out to Maple Ridge and Verity Combrink for the beautiful grounds and hospitality that contributes each year to the event’s success. It would also be remiss not to mention the Goetsch family for their ongoing passion for and commitment to the sport. The event would also not happen without the hard work of all those behind the scenes, including our esteemed judges, the commentators and media partners, ground staff, grooms and of course the riders and their beautiful horses.



Although more commonly known for its sports range, Biogen has one of the largest and most credible ranges of vitamin and herbal products in SA.


Congratulations to all the competitors! For a look at the highlights and results of the Biogen Maple Ridge World Cup Qualifier, please click here.


One look at the Biogen top placing rosettes left me wanting, and I don’t think I was alone! But the coveted and unique black and red rosettes are not the only thing I love about the Biogen Maple World Cup Qualifier each year. The show is always well run, the prize money is fantastic, and the venue is transformed by all the red bannering, making it a very special show and always a highlight on the calendar.” Amelia Campbell-Horne


Biogen did a phenomenal job. Their ongoing support in the equestrian sport has been amazing. They ran a very slick show with a brilliantly organised championship day. From our side, we would like to thank Biogen, Stan, Shawne, Paige and Chatan for the lovely goodies for the riders and grooms. This is one of our favourite shows of the year. It was also a show that marked a few firsts for the Rotoflo Team, and we could not have picked a better event at which to achieve these benchmarks.” Team Rotoflo


It's not about sponsoring a class or a show; it's about bringing together a community. We are privileged, as members of the South African showjumping family, to have people so dedicated to the longevity of the sport, like Biogen. They understand the role it plays in so many people's lives, from our dedicated grooms to our ever-soproud horse owners. Biogen pulled out all the stops at the most recent World Cup Qualifier Competition at Maple Ridge Equestrian Farm, as per their normal style. Thank you, Biogen, for the consistent support of our equestrian family.” Laurence Mowatt, Winner of the 1.40m Grand Prix on Callaho Lorenzo


I love this show. It’s my favourite every single year. Biogen is such a generous sponsor. Even just as a photographer on the sidelines, I was spoilt with coffee vouchers and food and made to feel super welcome. Oh, and I have to mention the rosettes - they were massive and magnificent and a great pleasure to photograph! Thank you, Biogen!”



Biogen is the official sports nutrition and


I would like to extend my gratitude to Biogen for their continued support of the showjumping community; without sponsors, it will not be possible to grow the sport and host these World Cup Qualifiers that give us the opportunity to compete at the highest levels. Hosting World Cup Qualifiers is hugely costly, but these Qualifiers are the one event that gives riders the opportunity to measure themselves against the international standard, which I believe is imperative for the growth of the sport. Thank you to everyone at Biogen for all you do for South African Showjumping.” – Leona van der Merwe



Thank you, Biogen, for your unwavering commitment to our sport. We are incredibly grateful for not only your sponsorship of this show and the support you provide to our community over the course of each year but also your dedication to helping our riders to “be their best” in the pursuit of their equestrian goals.

The brand is exclusively available at Dis-Chem Pharmacies and on www.biogen.co.za


DID YOU KNOW? The youngest horse in the Biogen Maple Ridge World Cup Qualifier was eight years old, and the oldest horse was eighteen years old.

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For over 18 years Biogen has provided health and wellness solutions that are designed to improve and support your overall lifestyle and wellness journey. Visit our website for more information on our other premium ranges of nutritional supplements, vitamins, minerals, joint support, anti-ageing, immune, stress, and beauty products.

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Photographed: Callaho Tel Aviv with Chatan Hendriks. Photographed by: Pix By Alex



HQ had the opportunity to spend a morning with top showjumper, Jodi Pieterse, and Dealer Principal of Subaru Sandton, Scott Cawdry to find out exactly what the Subaru has to offer the equestrian community. We were quite simply and literally (more on this later) blown away by the experience!


The Subaru Outback is one of the most capable gravel road vehicles currently available. This should be relatively unsurprising given Subaru’s rally racing heritage; Subaru won the World Rally Championship Manufacturer’s title over three consecutive years from 1995-1997. They have harnessed and adapted all the technology required to secure those titles and produced a car that is not only safe and functional for farm life but can hold its own and give you some ‘voom’ in the city!

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Jodi says, “It’s perfect for farm life because it does the dirt roads; you can throw your saddle and tack in the back (there is a lot of boot space!) and head off with your two-berth. Yet, at the same time it handles the city and gets you through the traffic so well.”

The Subaru Outback boasts an impressive, braked towing capacity of two tons, with a spacious boot providing extra safe storage for all your expensive equestrian equipment. According to Jodi, it ticks all the towing boxes, and has even handled the treacherous dirt roads around Sun Valley with ease.

It is permanent all-wheel drive, turbo-powered and boasts impressive safety and driver assist features.

As Subaru are focusing on petrol models, it is unsurprising that the Outback is a new generation Turbo Petrol model, making it a seriously powerful vehicle. This doesn’t only mean you have a capable towing vehicle, but a nippy city ride with that extra power for whenever you need it.

Despite being the priciest car on offer from Subaru, the Outback is still a hugely affordable alternative to the normal ‘equestrian’ cars. Not

only this, but it comes all the bells and whistles as a standard package.

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That’s the key thing about the Subaru; you can feel fancy, smart and right at home in the middle of Sandton unlike most other ‘farm vehicles’, but still be farm smart out in the bush in the same vehicle. It is the perfect cross-over.


The new Subaru Outback’s all sport the following standard features:

• EyeSight Driver Assist Technology This technology is simply mindblowing! It monitors traffic movement and your surroundings providing:

1. Optimised and adaptive cruise control - It doesn’t only maintain your speed, but assists with adjusting your speed to maintain a safe distance from the car in front.

2. Pre-collision breaking - EyeSight not only warns you, but applies the brakes and can help you stop the vehicle before a collision.

3. Pre-collision throttle management - If you mistakenly put your car into drive instead of reverse, and EyeSight detects an obstacle in the way, it cuts the power to prevent you hitting it!

4. Lane departure warning - EyeSight watches for lane markers and warns you if you are departing from your lane.

5. It is the world’s first driver-assist technology that uses cameras to identify any suspicious activity around you and alerts you to this.

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The Subaru is one of the lowest risk vehicles for hi-jacking - a big benefit to all its South African consumers!


• Rain sensing front windscreen wipers.

touchscreen infotainment display.

• Dusk sensing and steering responsive headlights.

• Hands-Free tail gate (for when you are carrying all your tack and don’t have a free hand to open the boot).

• Reverse and front view cameras.

• Harmon Kardon Speaker System which includes 12 speakers in the cabin including a sub-woofer in the cargo area to ensure impeccable sound quality.

• Wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™️ integration, and wireless charging.

• 11.6-inch high-resolution

• 8-way power adjustable front seats with seating memory function.

• Distraction mitigation system - This system uses facial recognition technology to monitor the driver for signs of fatigue and incorporates driver settings auto adjustment for up to 5 pre-programmed drivers. The adjustments also include infotainment, climate control settings and door-mirror adjustments.

• It is a permanent all-wheel drive, designed for a more stable and safe drive. It also saves those less car savvy from figuring out which button they need to press

to get themselves out of a sticky situation they might have found themselves in.

• The car features different offroad modes such as snow, mud and gravel which can be selected between in the relevant situations.

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The Outback comes standard with a 3 year/75,000km service plan and a 5 year/150,000km warranty with an option to extend the service plan 4yearr/100,000km, 5 year/150,000km, or 5year/120,000km. Rest assured that all new Subaru vehicles come with their comprehensive warranty and maintenance plan.


When we asked Scott why the Subaru Outback was selected for Jodi he said:

1. Space – It has great boot space as well as cabin space.

2. Power – The new turbo engine lends itself to towing and has significantly more power than the often-selected cars. It is the most powerful Subaru at the moment, so the best suited for Jodi to tow the horses.

3. Safety – With all of its exceptional safety features, Jodi and her horses are safe on the roads.


It’s not big and clunky; it can hold its own in the city as well; and it’s powerful. – Jodi


“I love its power; you know you always have the power behind you when you need it. I love the sound system; can I say that? It just puts me in a good mood; you can just jam along regardless of what is happening; I love the sound! (HQ: We’ll add here that the Subaru’s are fitted with Harman Kardon sound systems, so that should explain why the sound system makes such an impression). I love the sunroof; in fact it’s easier to say I just love all the extra bells and whistles and I just feel like a fancy person driving it!

To be perfectly honest, this car really suits my personality too! I can be a bit of a girly girl. Sometimes I want to wear a dress and high heels, and other times I’m the girl that goes with the manure and the boots, so, it really suits me perfectly as it suits both sides of my lifestyle all in oneSandton and the farm.

It’s quite a big car in terms having space for everything, but at the same time I never have an issue with traffic or getting in and out of parking spaces. It beeps at you if you are getting into trouble! It has cameras and sensors all around.

And the car gets me everywhere! I’ve gone through thick sand at the racecourse, down the treacherous dirt roads here in Sun Valley, and it’s even capable of driving all across the farm, into the arena, over curbs and through trenches!

It is also an incredibly comfortable car… And I have to mention, particularly during this heatwave, that the air-conditioning that comes out of the seat is a game changer. It doesn’t only have heated seating in the front seats, but seat cooling! The cooling is instant, and a feature that every horse rider will appreciate after a hot ride! (HQ: We all had a sit in the car to experience the seat cooling and can attest to the fact that our lives will never be the same; we were ‘blown away’! The next Maple World Cup or Derby we will be hunting Jodi down for a sit in her car to cool ourselves off!)



While Jodi will be rolling in her shiny new Outback which is Subaru Sandton’s flagship vehicle, there are several other Subaru’s that might be of interest to the avid equestrian enthusiast.

Firstly, there is the Crosstrek which is your compact SUV cross-over; its named is derived from the words Crossover and Trekking, aiming to highlight the car’s capability and

versatility across a range of terrains. The new Crosstrek also spoils you with the latest technological and safety features.

Then there is the Forester, SouthAfrica’s safest mid-sized SUV. It is larger and more 4x4 oriented, but still offers all the bells and whistles. If you are in the market for an exceptionally practical, luxurious, spacious and safe family vehiclethis is an option for you!

Finally, there is the Subaru WRX which is the sport/rally version of the vehicle. It is a car that is still being raced in the American Rally Association Championships. This sport-inspired sedan boasts intimidating power, balanced with the reassuring grip that Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system provides.


Subaru Sandton (ONLY) will be hosting an ongoing campaign for as long as Jodi is affiliated with the brand. Whoever comes into Subaru Sandton and quotes the name ‘Jodi/ Jodi Pieterse/Jodi Ambrose’ will be offered a special discount on a vehicle. Your specific discount will depend upon the Subaru you wish to purchase, the vehicle you are trading in and the purchase agreement. Be sure to head to Subaru Sandton ASAP to get your tailer made ‘Jodideal’ and discounted purchase.

THEIR PERFORMANCE, YOUR SUCCESS Our consistent standards of excellence and broad product range mean that every horse at every stage of life and in every discipline gets the ration that is perfectly balanced just for them. FOR FEED ADVICE PLEASE CONTACT Leigh Adams | 083 998 6824 Leigh.Adams@rclfoods.com Debbie Dick | 076 755 5164 Debbie.Dick@rclfoods.com FOLLOW US www.epolequine.co.za uppe marketing A35443



Both locally and internationally, equestrian news has been abuzz with Jumping World Cup talk. We have recently witnessed Henrik von Eckermann claim back-toback World Cup wins aboard King Edward, while here in South Africa, we have just completed the second

World Cup Qualifier, where Leona van der Merwe claimed victory aboard her special mare 334 Hey I'm Wilma at Maple Ridge. Here, we dive into the history and how the system works and share some interesting facts about the FEI World Cup Series.



The World Cup Series was created in 1978 by the Swiss journalist, historian and equestrian enthusiast Max Ammann. According to eurodressage.com, the original plan was to focus on indoor shows and make a Formula 1 style series or a worldwide showjumping ‘tour’. This idea was abandoned in favour of the League system that still exists today due to the cost and stress of transporting horses worldwide. Max presented his concept along with the rules to the FEI Secretary General and then President, the late Prince Phillip, who approved the idea provided Max would run the series.

Max then required funding and, through his connections, approached and presented the idea to the President of Volvo and secured the sponsorship! Ultimately, Volvo sponsored the finals and qualifiers for the first 20 years of its existence. From 1999 to 2013, the series was sponsored by Rolex, and then Longines, the current sponsor, took over.



Max Ammann was also integral in setting up the Dressage and Driving World Cups. The reason there is no FEI Eventing World Cup is that event horses compete on only some weekends, so the league would be too difficult to implement.



World Cup Qualification is set up in regional Leagues, each with a maximum number of qualifiers that can be held in that region for each series (year), and event dates must be submitted to and approved by the FEI.

The Leagues within which riders can qualify for the final in the 2024-2025 series are:

• Arab League, Middle East SubLeague

• Arab League, North African SubLeague

• Australian League

• Central European League,

Northern Sub-League

• Central European League, Southern Sub-League

The central European League has a final that will be held in Poland in February 2025

• China League

• Eurasian League

• Japan League

• New Zealand League

• North American League

• South African League

• South American League

• South East Asian League

• Western European League (riders require an invitation to compete in the qualifiers according to FEI World Cup rules)


The qualifying competitions in Western and Central European Leagues are run according to Art. 238.2.2. This is a Table A competition against the clock, with one round and one jump-off against the clock. The remaining athletes who do not jump off are classified according to penalties and time in the first round. Other Leagues can choose to run the according to Art 238.2.2 or Art.,, 273.4.3, 273.2.2.

In South Africa, our competitions are generally run according to Art. 273.4.3, whereby all clears or the top 25% of competitors (where there are fewer clears) from the first round jump a shorter second round in reverse order of faults and time. Results are calculated according to penalties accumulated over both rounds, and a tie is broken by the time of the second round.

Riders are allocated points according to where they finish each qualifier.


In order for a combination to compete in a World Cup Qualifier, they need to have completed the initial round of at least one FEI competition at the same event.


In Leagues with over six qualifiers, only the best 50% of an individual’s possible results count towards qualification for the final. In Leagues such as the South African League, where there are usually five or six qualifiers per year, either three or four qualifiers count, meaning riders usually only have one or two ‘drop’ scores.

The top 18 riders from the Western European League qualify for the final, alongside 14 riders from North America (seven from the East, three from the West, two each from Canada and Mexico). One rider from the South African League will qualify for the final the following season (due to export/ travel restrictions). This means that Bronwyn Meredith dos Santos, who won the 2023/2024 series, has

According to regulations, she must ride a horse that she competed as her nominated horse in a competition in the 2023/2024 series. As Bronwyn competed both Bibisi and Capital Levubu as nominated rides in at least one WCQ, she can choose which to compete in the final! The number of riders from the other Leagues will be decided by the FEI jumping committee according to the overall standings of their own League.

Riders can qualify by competing in Leagues outside their nationality as an ‘extra’ athlete. However, they need to have gained at least as many points as the last qualified ‘local’ athlete from that League in order to qualify. This was the case with Marlene Sinclair, who finished tied first with

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Additional qualifications for the Final include a possible Wild Card Host Country entry, and the Defending World Cup Champion (in this case, Hendrik von Eckermann) is allowed to enter as an additional athlete with two horses of their choice.


Despite adaptations to the Finals format in 1981, the series has remained relatively unchanged over its history. The World Cup final is usually held each year in April at a different venue. It involves three final

competitions held over at least five days where the combination with the least accumulated penalties over the three competitions claims victory. In the unlikely event of an equality of penalties and a tie for first place after the three competitions, there will be a jump-off against the clock over a reduced course of at least six obstacles.


A tie was last observed in 2012 between Richard Fellers (USA) on Flexible and Steve Guerdat (SUI) on Nino Des Buissonnets. The jump-off saw Rich Fellers claim the World Cup title by just 0.64 seconds.


The FEI Jumping World Cup for the current (2024/2025) series will be held from the 1st-6th April 2025 in Basel Switzerland. The general format is as follows:

Day 1: Training session and/or a warm-up competition

Day 2: First Final Competition: One round according to Table C (One round against the clock where knocked obstacles incur time penalties and results are based on time). Any penalties incurred in this event do however carry over to the final individual rankings.

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Day 3: This is run as a Table A, against the clock (one round and a jump-off against the clock. Set at 1.50-1.60m, and not eligible for combinations that were eliminated or retired from the First Final Competition.

Day 4: Rest day

Day 5: Third Final Competition: This is run as a Table A, not against the clock (two rounds over a Grand Prix course). Set at a height of 1.50m-1.60m, the two rounds are approximately equal in the number of obstacles and length of the course; the second round has an increased level of difficulty. There is no jump-off to decide the winner of the third round.

FEI World Cup™️ Competitions may be held outdoors when appropriate to suit local climatic conditions (such as in South Africa), but the FEI World Cup™️ is in principle an indoor competition and the FEI World Cup™️ Final has to be held indoors in a permanently covered arena.

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In the 45 World Cup Finals hosted, riders from only ten countries have won: the USA and Canada were very dominant in the early years, then the UK, Austria, and Brazil. The Netherlands and France have each had one winner, while Germany and Switzerland were dominant for most of the past two decades until the Swede Hendrik von Eckermann’s reign.


Rodrigo Pessoa and the legendary Baloubet du Rouet had three backto-back World Cup wins from 19982000. The pair were also second in 2001, third in 2002 and second again in 2003! The only other combination to have come close to this feat were Meredith Michaels Beerbaum and the unforgettable Shutterfly, who won in 2005, 2008 and 2009 and were second in 2004.


Combination bits are currently the cause of a lot of debate on social media worldwide, with a wide variety of different takes on the ethics of their use. Here, we look at what combination bits are and what we need to think about when considering their use:

Please note that according to an FEI Steward this bit is not competition legal.


1. Mouthpiece: This can be similar to a snaffle bit, which applies direct pressure on the horse's mouth. It can vary in style and material, with some having jointed or solid mouthpieces.

2. Shanks: Like a curb bit, combination bits often have shanks that extend from the mouthpiece. These shanks provide leverage, which increases the pressure applied when the reins are pulled.


3. Noseband: Many combination bits include a noseband, similar to those found on a hackamore. When the reins are engaged, this noseband applies pressure to the horse's nose.

4. Curb chain or strap: This is positioned under the horse's chin, similar to a traditional curb bit. When the reins are pulled, the curb chain tightens, adding pressure to the horse's jaw and encouraging him to lower its head.

used combination bits; many of these horses are showing clear signs of discomfort and distress. Combination bits require skilled handling, so please think carefully and evaluate your riding with your coach before using one of these tools.

A curb chain can be seen in this photograph.


• Pressure distribution: Combination bits distribute pressure across several points (mouth, nose, and jaw). Some believe this makes these bits milder than bits that concentrate pressure solely in the mouth, while others feel they simply exert more pressure in more places.

• Versatility: These bits are claimed to offer more versatile control, making them suitable for horses that need a combination of direct pressure (like a snaffle) and leverage (like a curb). However, it is worth noting that achieving the benefits of this versatility requires a high level of skill and understanding of the bit and the horse's way of going on the part of the rider.

• Communication: The multiple points of contact are said to improve communication between the rider and the horse, helping to refine commands and responses. Again, this relies on the bit being used by a very skilled and experienced rider.



• Training: Combination bits are often used in training situations where the rider feels the need to communicate different types of pressure to the horse.

• Transitioning: Combination bits can help horses transition from

a hackamore or snaffle to a curb bit, as they offer a mix of familiar pressures.

• Sensitive horses: Some think horses with sensitive mouths may respond better to the distributed pressure of a combination bit.



1. Myler combination bit: This bit is known for its unique design that combines elements of snaffle, curb, and hackamore.

According to the FEI Steward we spoke to this bit is illegal in competitions, although there appears to be some debate over this on social media.

2. Three-ring combination bit: This bit features three rings on the shanks, offering multiple rein attachment points for varying levels of leverage.

3. Gag combination bit: This incorporates elements of a gag bit, adding upward pressure to the horse's mouth, which can lift the horse's head.


Here at HQ, we don't believe that combination bits are inherently cruel. However, their effect largely depends on how they are used and fitted and the horse's specific needs. As with most things, it isn't the tool that is the issue; it is how it is used. The following factors must be considered:

1. Proper fit and adjustment:

• Ensuring that the bit is correctly fitted to the horse's mouth, nose, and chin is crucial. An improperly fitted bit (of any kind, but particularly combination bits) can cause pain and discomfort.

• The noseband should rest comfortably on the horse's nose, and the curb chain or strap should be snug but not tight. Some riders are seen riding with the noseband much too tight or too low, both of which cause discomfort and are, therefore, a welfare concern.


2. Rider skill and experience:

• Combination bits require skilled handling. Riders must understand how to apply and release pressure appropriately. Consistent pressure used in any context is not only ineffective but creates welfare issues.

• Experienced riders can use the combination bit to communicate effectively without causing pain, while inexperienced riders might inadvertently cause discomfort.

3. Horse's sensitivity and needs:

• Different horses respond differently to various types of bits. Some horses may find a combination bit more comfortable due to the distributed pressure, while others may not respond well to it.

• Understanding the individual horse's preferences and sensitivities is critical.

A standard snaffle bit.

4. Purpose and context:

• Combination bits are often used for specific training purposes or to address particular issues. For instance, they can help a horse transition from a hackamore to a bit or provide additional control in specific riding disciplines.

• They should be used to improve communication, not as a tool for forcing compliance.

5. Regular check-ups:

• Regularly checking the horse's mouth, nose, and chin for signs of irritation or injury can help prevent issues from developing.

• Adjusting or changing the bit if signs of discomfort or resistance appear is essential.


While combination bits can be effective and humane when used correctly, they have the potential for misuse, which can lead to cruelty:

• Excessive pressure: If a rider applies excessive pressure or uses harsh hands, the multiple points of contact (mouth, nose, chin) can cause significant discomfort or pain.

• Complexity: Combination bits can be more complex to use correctly than regular bits. This complexity means that inexperienced riders may unintentionally misuse them, causing discomfort or pain to the horse.

• Mixed messages: Different trainers, riders, and equestrian schools of thought offer varied advice on using combination bits, creating confusion and inconsistency in their application.


There is a balance to be struck between enhancing performance and ensuring animal welfare. Critics argue that some riders and trainers prioritise control and performance over the horse's comfort and well-being. Whilst it is difficult to ask ourselves these questions, we do have to consider whether what we are doing is in the best interests of our horse or the best interests of our competition record. If the answer is the latter, we must revisit our choices.

• Incorrect usage: A combination bit cannot compensate for poor training. All too often, horses are 'bitted up' to suppress (not solve!) training issues.

• Ignoring signs: Failing to recognise signs of discomfort or distress in the horse can result in prolonged use of an unsuitable bit, causing physical and psychological harm.

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Combination bits are not inherently cruel, but their humane use depends on several factors, including proper fitting, skilled handling, and the individual needs of the horse. When used thoughtfully and with a focus on the horse's comfort and wellbeing, combination bits can be an

effective tool for communication and training. However, misuse or lack of understanding can lead to discomfort and cruelty, so riders must educate themselves thoroughly, prioritise their horse's well-being, and seek guidance from knowledgeable professionals when considering the use of combination bits.

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ay nets are commonly used in horse management to prolong feeding time and reduce hay waste, but concerns about their impact on horse health exist. A recent two-year cross-over study compared hay usage, dental wear, and dental conditions between horses fed with (NET) and without (CON) hay nets.



Hay nets are popular for optimising hay feeding, as evidenced by a survey where 73% of horse owners reported using them primarily to reduce hay waste and prolong feeding time. Existing research has shown that hay nets can significantly reduce hay waste and decrease the dry matter intake rate, prolonging feeding time and keeping horses chewing for longer.

Despite their benefits, some horse owners worry about potential health

risks to the teeth, neck, and back when using hay nets. In a recent survey, 16% of horse owners chose not to use hay nets due to concerns about health risks to the teeth, neck, and back.

Previous studies have shown mixed results, but recent research suggests that hay nets may actually support oral health by improving rostral oral cavity scores and maintaining pull pressures comparable to those of horses grazing on pasture.

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• Participants: 13 mature adult horses were divided based on body weight and randomly assigned to either the NET or CON treatment group for one year. The groups then switched treatments in the second year.

• Conditions: Horses were kept in adjacent dry lots with shelter, ad libitum water, and free access to round bales with or without hay nets (4.45cm openings).

• Measurements: Key metrics recorded included body weight, body condition score (BCS), dental work (incisor length and dental abnormalities), and hay usage. Digital images were taken monthly to assess rostral oral cavity scores (ROCS).


• Hay usage and body condition: Horses fed without hay nets consumed more hay and had higher body weight and body condition scores than those fed with hay nets.

• Dental health: There were no significant differences in incisor length, presence of incisor bevels, rostral oral cavity scores, or dental abnormalities between the two groups.

Therefore, the data suggest that using hay nets does not negatively impact dental health and can effectively reduce hay consumption, helping to manage horse body weight and body condition score.



The study highlights that hay nets are a beneficial management tool for reducing hay waste and controlling horse body weight and condition without negatively impacting dental health. As horses are hypsodont, their teeth continuously undergo wear and growth, and maintaining a balance between attrition and eruption is vital. The findings provide reassurance that hay nets can be safely used as part of a comprehensive feeding strategy.

By understanding the long-term impacts of hay nets, horse owners can make informed decisions supporting both their horses' health and well-being and efficient hay usage.


• Horse body weight and body condition score were greater when fed hay without hay nets.

• Hay usage was greater when horses consumed hay without hay nets.

• Hay nets did not impact incisor length or cause bevels on the incisors.

• Horses had the same number of dental abnormalities regardless of hay net use.

These data suggest that hay nets do not negatively impact dental health.


Effect of hay nets on horse bodyweight, body condition score, hay usage, and dental health in mature adult horses

M. DeBoer, L. Keener, J. Layeux-Parks, O. Schueller, L. Johnson, K. Martinson https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2024.105051

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Sacroiliac disease is a relatively common condition that affects the sacroiliac (SI) region in horses. The sacroiliac joints, located where the spine meets the pelvis, play a crucial role in the horse’s locomotion and ability to carry weight. Damage and dysfunction in the joints and the region generally can give rise to obvious pain and lameness, but symptoms are often more subtle and not immediately apparent. Either way, issues in this sacroiliac area can significantly impact a horse's performance and overall well-being.



In horses, the section of the backbone that runs through the rump area inside the pelvis is called the sacrum, and on each side of the body, it’s connected to a part of the pelvis called the ilium. This connection is called the sacroiliac and is a separate area on both the left and right sides of the body.

The sacrum and ilium are bonded with tight connective tissue, which is pretty much immobile in a sound horse. The muscles in the area provide further support. This allows a horse’s weight and the powerful forces required for movement to be transferred back and forth between the backbone and the pelvis efficiently and without any discomfort.

In sacroiliac disease, this tight bond between the sacrum and one or both sides of the ilium becomes weakened and a little looser. As a result, during movement when weight is transferred from the legs to the body, the weakness in the bond allows a small amount of movement between the sacrum and the ilium, which then causes inflammation and pain.

Over time, scar tissue accumulates around the sacroiliac area, and calluses can form on the bony surfaces, making the union between the bones weaker still and the problem worse.

If there’s damage to the sacroiliac area, there’s likely to be a mild worsening of lameness after a hindlimb flexion test or when the horse is ridden.



Sacroiliac disease can be a primary problem or secondary to other orthopaedic issues. Primary damage to the sacroiliac region may result from a specific traumatic incident, such as a fall or slip. In these cases, there can be a sudden significant strain to the sacroiliac area caused by the impact, and the tight fibres bonding the sacrum to the ilium can be torn or strained. Whether one side of the sacroiliac region is affected or both will depend on the nature of the incident.

Sacroiliac disease can also result from repetitive strain and overuse. This is usually found in conjunction with another underlying problem, most commonly proximal suspensory disease in the hindlimbs, hock joint arthritis (bone spavin) or kissing spines. However, any prolonged lameness or severe conformational fault could be responsible. Due to pain, these issues tend to cause long-term asymmetry within the body, particularly the pelvis, so the forces acting on the sacroiliac area are abnormal. Over time, this causes a gradual weakening of the fibres connecting the sacrum and ilium, and their bond is loosened.



Often, there are minimal visible signs of sacroiliac problems. Pelvis asymmetry is present in some horses – this is best viewed from behind, with the horse standing square. The gluteal muscles may be different sizes, or, more usually, the bony prominences at the top of the pelvis (the tuber sacralae, often known as hunter’s or jumper’s bumps) aren’t level. Horses may show pain when pressure is applied to the back or pelvis, and there is tension in the muscles, but the degree of lameness varies.

Sometimes, following a specific recent trauma, lameness is obvious and only in one limb, but often, a subtle loss of performance across both hindlimbs is all that is noticed. There is likely to be a lack of drive from behind, and the rider feels the horse is pulling from the front limbs rather than pushing forward from the hinds. Elevation and stride length are often decreased in the hindlegs, and the horse might frequently disunite in canter.




Performance issues: Reluctance to engage the hindquarters, difficulty in cantering, or reduced jumping ability.

Lameness: Subtle or intermittent lameness that may shift from one hind leg to the other.

Back pain: Sensitivity or pain when the back is palpated, often noticeable during grooming or saddling.

Stiffness: Stiffness, particularly after exercise or rest, which can affect the horse's gait.

Behavioural changes: Changes in behaviour, such as reluctance to move forward, bucking, or resistance to being ridden.


While sacroiliac disease can be suspected in certain types of lameness, as noted above, many other problems can also present similarly, so these need to be ruled out. If a clear lameness is visible, the sacroiliac area can be numbed to see if there’s improvement in the gait, but this is reasonably unreliable. Ultrasonography of the sacroiliac regions via the rectum can also be used as an additional diagnostics tool, but, again, it can be pretty unreliable. Instead, nuclear scintigraphy is the primary way to diagnose the problem, as clear abnormalities will be seen on this scan.

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Treatment aims to allow the sacrum and ilium to regain their strong bond, which often takes many, many months. Time and rest with controlled, non-ridden exercise, including lungeing, long-reining, in-hand walking and walking on a treadmill or horse walker, can be helpful.

Working closely with a certified equine therapist, specific stretches, reversing movements, and polework can also aid in improving flexibility and core strength while allowing the sacroiliac area to heal.

Veterinary treatments can include:

• Giving the horse cortisone injections, using long needles directly into the sacroiliac regions, is anti-inflammatory and relieves pain.

• Administering shock wave therapy for pain relief and to promote the growth of new blood vessels in the damaged areas and, therefore, healing.

• Supplying oral anti-inflammatories and pain relief.


For nuclear scintigraphy, the horse is injected with a radioactive compound that travels through the bloodstream and attaches to any injured parts of the skeleton. The machine can detect this radiation, highlighting any diseased or damaged areas.

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Unfortunately, the outlook for many horses with sacroiliac disease is not optimistic. Due to a horse’s size and weight, re-establishing a robust, fibrous connection that has been weakened is challenging, particularly if the problem is long-standing.

Further, when another underlying injury has caused the sacroiliac disease, the overall outcome often depends on the prognosis of that condition. For example, kissing spines can be successfully corrected surgically, whereas proximal

suspensory disease is much harder to control.

Ultimately, time, patience and hard work in rehabilitation are essential. Recovering from a sacroiliac injury takes many months, and this can be frustrating, particularly when you’ve spent long periods carrying out the rehabilitation exercises without seeing much improvement. As hard as it might be, it is important to stay positive. Although some horses may require ongoing treatment, most horses will recover sufficiently to be rideable to some level.



In cases where the sacroiliac disease is secondary to another injury, it’s essential to address the underlying problem first.


Preventing sacroiliac disease involves maintaining the horse’s overall health and fitness:

• Conditioning: Gradual and consistent conditioning programs to build strength and flexibility.

• Proper training: Ensuring that training programs are appropriate for the horse’s age, fitness level, and discipline.

• Saddle fit: Regularly checking and adjusting saddle fit to avoid undue pressure on the horse’s back which can cause compensatory issues in other places, such as the SI joint.


Sacroiliac disease is a complex condition requiring a comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and management approach. Unfortunately, the prognosis is not overly favourable. However, with proper care and attention, many horses can return to some level of meaningful work and lead comfortable, productive lives. Working closely with veterinarians, trainers, and other equine professionals is essential to ensure the best outcomes for horses affected by sacroiliac disease.

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How should I store my new riding hat?

Caring for your riding hat is important not only for appearance but, more crucially, to allow it to continue providing the same high level of protection and standards. After riding, you want to store your hat away from direct heat and in a place where it is not likely to be dropped or knocked off onto the floor. It is a good idea to keep it in a hat bag for added protection. If your hat gets wet, dab it with a clean towel and leave it to dry. Never put it on a direct heat source like a radiator or in the sun to dry. Similarly, you must always store your hat at room temperature, as extremes of cold and especially heat can cause catastrophic damage to the essential safety features. This is because the inner shock absorbent section of the helmet is commonly made from expanded polystyrene, which is damaged not only by impact but also by exposure to heat. This damage inevitably reduces the shock-absorbing ability of the material and, thus, the helmet.

removable liners can often be washed in a nonbiological detergent and replaced when dry. The best advice, however, is to keep the manufacturer’s care instructions and be sure to follow them.

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How do I work out the size and shape of the saddlepad I need for my new saddle?

The most crucial factor when selecting your saddlepad is matching the cut to the shape of your saddle. Dressage saddles are cut with a straight seam at the front to follow the elongated line of the knee roll and panel. These saddlepads are often a little deeper to compensate for the additional length in saddle flap. For more general purpose (GP) and jumping saddles, you can look at discipline-specific saddlepads.

There are many saddlepad options available in a hybrid GP/jump cut. These are designed with a forward-cut seam that follows the curvature of a typical knee roll on a jumping saddle but has enough depth to allow for the slightly longer flap of GP.

Most half pads are suitable for general purpose, jumping and dressage saddles.

Manufacturers tend to make saddlepads available in two or more sizes – small and large. Saddles with a 16-inch seat or smaller would usually require a pony-sized small pad, while those larger than 16 inches would be considered for a cob- or full-sized saddle pad.

Why are grey horses born darker?

Compared to white horses with pink skin, greys possess a modifying gene inherited from one or both parents. This gene causes the horse’s coat to turn grey with age even though he was born darker, usually chestnut or bay. The skin of grey horses is not pink and will stay the same colour from birth (usually black).

The modifying gene affects the hair follicles’ ability to produce melanin that gives the coat its colour; hence, over time, as new hair grows, colour will appear to be lost. This can often be most apparent at the change of season when a new coat is grown.

The speed at which a horse goes grey varies between individuals, but in foals and yearlings, the first white hairs usually appear around the muzzle and eyes and on the flanks. Over time, his coat is likely to become dappled and eventually turn completely white, perhaps with flea-bitten markings.

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LeMieux Arika Turnout Rug

outer, the Arika Turnout rug boasts a seamless design that effectively protects in wet weather. Its lining ensures a snug fit during wear, while the 100g thermo-bonded fill offers gentle warmth and protection. With a secure front closure and crossed surcingles featuring a removable centre strap, the rug stays firmly in place without hindering your horse's grazing and movement.

The Arika is unique in that its edges feature reflective safety strips, promoting visibility in low light conditions. To top it off the rug has an extra-long tail cover and is sold with a matching neckwarmer included.

The LeMieux Arika Turnout Rug is available in select Western Shoppe branches and online.

Learn more at www.westernshoppe.com

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HQ | 167A 108 WWW.HQMAGAZINE.CO.ZA Next magazine issue of available 1 July2024
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