How SAW impacted My Career
I owe my riding success to two SAW horses, Alzu Alaska and Pohlands Cuppuchino.
I started riding Alzu Alaska by Tosca Voster’s Hanovarian imported stallion Atilla out of Alzu Anette (Admiral/ Propitiation xx) for Kathy du Toit, after a failed vetting. I was fresh off of ponies. Alaska was feral, quirky and had the most unorthodox jumping technique. He was tricky in the stable and had a habit of jumping out of his field to find greener grass. I remember one afternoon getting a phone call from my groom at Inanda Country Base to say that Alaska had jumped out of the double jump ring and decided to go for a jolly around Inanda!
A few months on and Alaska and I just clicked. He was very workmanlike, he loved his routine but most importantly, he was consistent. He loved winning (as silly as that sounds) and would do his utmost to perform. He won Junior Eventing Champs 3 years on the trot and was selected for eventing, dressage and equitation teams.
His brother, Alzu Airwolf (also owned and ridden by Kathy du Toit), was very similar in his way of going, type and eagerness to please. This seems to be a trait of the Atilla progeny.
Alaska is retired with us, at the grand old age of 30, and is still as quirky as he was when he was competing!
We bought Pohlands Cuppuchino (Concerto/ Wachman III/ Flirting around xx) from Mandy Mason in 2013. I had watched him as a young horse and was completely enamored with him. We were competing at Karkloof and my groom, Trust, said to me, ‘You need to buy Cuppuchino, he is the best event horse in the country!’ How right he was!
Cuppuchino loves his job. He is rangy, athletic and single minded. He is cheeky on the ground and sharp to ride. He will never say no and is the boldest horse I have jumped. He is tough and despite having poor conformation in front, he has stayed sound jumping around some of the biggest eventing tracks in the world. Funnily enough, he has the same habit of jumping from field to field that Alaska does! I can see a lot of Concerto in him but he is a lighter model, which comes from the thoroughbred lines of his dam.
I remember saying to my mom that I would love to have a mixture of my two great horses; Cuppuchino’s movement, scope and blood with Alaska’s consistency, type and brain. Cue Adieu! Adieu (Atilla x Winterstar) also belonged to Kathy du Toit and I rode her a few times while in juniors, before she was put in foal.
When I was in SA in 2017, I had seen Berghoff Eragon (Edward/ Metternich) and ridden him at Stafford Robinson’s premises. I completely fell in love with Eragon and actually was interested in buying him as an event horse. I loved his type, movement and versatility. I have always been interested in this German ‘E’ line as it has been proven time and time again in Europe.
So when it came time to decide on a stallion for our Cuppuchino/Alaska combination, Eragon was my obvious choice. We have had two foals from this line, which are full brothers. They are great types that are leggy, light and great temperaments!
Here’s to hoping that they follow in my two best horses’ footsteps!