v.l.n.r.: Secret Dream Décor, Secret Cherokee Décor, Furst Domino Décor, Ferrucio
Die Fohlen von Züchter Shane Reilly in Australien haben allesamt eine gute Dressurabstammung, mit der er nach und nach weiter züchten möchte.

A good dressage horse, then the color

It was less than a year ago that we published the changes to the Hannoveraner breeding program from 24 April 2023 on our social media channels. The post already attracted a lot of attention back then. The news that colors such as piebalds, palominos, cremello, smokey, black and buckskin will also be accepted in the future, provided they meet the pedigree conditions, pleased many Hannoveraner lovers. Our daughter society in Australia, the “Hanoverian Horse Society of Australia” (HHSA), has adopted the modified breeding program from us and the first piebald foals have now been registered in Australia. Breeder Shane Reilly has a lot to say about the history of Furst Domino Décor by Fürsten-Look/Florencio and Secret Cherokee Décor by Secret/Florencio I.

Shane Reilly has long had a fondness for piebalds. “I’ve been breeding on and off for about 16 years now. I have a particular fondness for dressage horses and especially for colored dressage horses,” says the native Brit. When he was 16, his first piebald “Pepsi” probably paved the way for him. In 2008, he bred his first piebald for competition and further established the color in Australian dressage competitions. “Breeding was one of those things. I bred warmbloods, but never with licensed stallions and the dam line wasn’t particularly strong. They were nice horses, but the pedigree was not intended for the established stud books. Mistakes like this happened to me at the beginning.” He then focused more and more on the dam line in order to breed beautiful, modern foals. But he never lost sight of the idea of breeding foals with special color, and he began to take an interest in licensed stallions and to take a look at European breeding.

After about six years of not being able to sit in the saddle or breed due to problems with his back, a bay Tobiano mare by Florencio/Negro, the dam of Furst Domino and Secret Cherokee, immediately caught his eye. She inherited the tobiano gene from her great-granddam Living Collor, a daughter of Samber, who carried the tobiano gene. In 2019, he bought her as his new riding horse and in 2020 she embarked on the long journey to Australia. It quickly became clear that the Sydney breeder wanted to establish a new breeding line with Hoelgaard’s Flozizca. “I based my breeding with her on the Hannoveraner horses, the stallions I loved, such as Fürstenlook.” In 2021, Fürst Romancier’s first pinto foal was born by embryo transfer and paved the way for Shane’s membership of the HHSA with its first registration. It was registered in the Rhenish breeding bush of the Australian daughter society. In 2022, the mare had two foals by Secret via embryo transfer. The first colt was born on 22 November 2022 and was followed shortly afterwards in December 2022 by the next colt Secret Cherokee Décor – later the first bay tobiano to be registered in the HHSA after the breeding program change. His half-brother, Furst Domino Décor, followed in January 2023. In June of the same year, the HHSA followed our decision to include horses with special colors that meet the pedigree requirements in its studbook. With a picture of Furst Domino Décor, they announced on Facebook at the time: “This cute colored Rhenish foal, pictured with his imported colored Florencio dam, could indeed be a Hannoveraner!  We are waiting for the decision!”

“My approach is always to breed a very good dressage horse first and the color second,” Shane explains his approach. Reilly proved to be spot on with this breeding of Domino back in February last year. We paid him a visit as part of the registration tour through Australia and he received the “Gold Medal Foal” award on February 14 – just in time for Valentine’s Day. “The representatives of the societies absolutely praised Domino, he scored an 8.5 for his conformation and basic gaits and several 7s. I’m so happy with my gold medal Domino,” Shane wrote on his Instagram account. After the HHAS approached him, it was quickly decided that his two pinto foals should also be registered as Hannoveraner and so Shane had his Flozizca entered in the main studbook as one of the first colored Hannoveraner. “I want to keep improving my breeding, especially the dam line. I am far from finished with my vision of an ever-improving dressage line from my breeding. If they are born with a special color, that is of course great, but it is not the main focus, I also love all other main colors. What fascinates and drives me is to constantly improve their movements and limbs.”

When asked why he has already had his foals registered as Rhinelanders through the HHSA and now continues to breed Hanoverians, he laughs. “I really never expected Hannover to ever accept color breeding, but I’ve always thought that the Hannoveraner breeding society is one of the best breeding societies in Europe, if not the world. And well, I secretly love your brand too.”

Shane loves his four foals from Flozizca, each in their own way: “They all grow up quickly, are funny and sometimes cheeky. It’s nice to see all their funny personalities. They all look completely different, you wouldn’t think they were related.” And just in time for the end of 2023, there was another wonderful twist for Shane, his heart mare and her four offspring: Shane was able to buy a private facility about 90 minutes from Sydney on the coast.

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Shane Rilley talks about his Hannoveraner breeding

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