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Bred for performance

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dolly and debFor horse breeder Dolly van Zaane, Bindoon, there’s no greater satisfaction than seeing one of her horses reach the performance pinnacle for which they were bred. At the recent Wooroloo three day event she had the joy of watching DVZ Debonaire win the CCI two star event with owner and rider Rebecca Thomas.
“Debonaire made it look so easy, he is really on the job and powers across those cross country jumps with confidence. I am so thrilled with his performance. It is so exciting to follow him and Bec and share the success”
Years of research and planning go into the breeding of a sporthorse like DVZ Debonaire, who is sired by Dutchman, an imported stallion, and out of Thoroughbred mare Dancing Ash. Dolly says she knows what the horse is capable of, even before the foal hits the ground.
However it takes the right training and rider to get him there, as she says, “ I can put the best horse on the ground, but it’s the rider that makes them”. It seems Rebecca is the perfect fit.
The now 12 year old horse originally started his career as a show-jumper, but was inconsistent. A few owner swaps saw him finally getting the dressage training that he was lacking, and Dolly says the rest is history “He is finally doing the job for which he was bred.”
Self taught Dolly has bred over 60 foals since she first caught the breeding bug as a sixteen year old working for a stud in her Dutch homeland. She became fascinated by the genetics, and spends a huge amount of time choosing the right stallions to fit her brood of homebred warmblood mares.
Although she has recently added a magnificent thoroughbred stallion to her stud, DVZ stud horses are mainly bred using AI (Artificial Insemination), allowing Dolly to use the best stallions Europe has to offer.
AI is an expensive process, and with a 30-35% success rate, a lot of money is spent before the mare is even pregnant. It’s also tricky to get all the stars to align, and Dolly relies heavily on the advice and skills of local vet Dirk Bolsenbroek of Gingin Veterinary Clinic.
To the average person it may seem that her foals command exorbitant prices, but Dolly says a stud like hers really operates on a shoestring budget, and it is clearly her talent for picking the right genetic mix that allows her to achieve her goal of the ultimate athletic horse.
“I’m not in it for the money, as I am happy to break even, it is the thrill of seeing all my research culminate into this new born foal, and the satisfaction that the choices I made were right.” she says.
With around 18 horses from her stud out competing at top level this year, Dolly is kept busy out watching them, as well as eagerly awaiting for the next round of  precious foals to arrive.