Discipline : Dressage rider and coach, Breeder
Born : 1979
Lives : NSW, Australia
David is a full time rider, coach and breeder owning and operating Revelwood Warmblood Stud and the international stallion agency, Waterview Park. His most successful horse to date was the imported KWPN Stallion, OO Seven who won a number of prestigious competitions at Grand Prix. A son of OO Seven, Agent de Jeu is headlining David’s competition horses with success at small tour with a goal of Grand Prix by the end of 2015.
David and his wife Amanda have a five year old daughter, Annabel and reside on the Central Coast of NSW.
Nowadays, as he told Rebecca Ashton, David is away from home a lot giving clinics…
“I’m traveling around the country a fair bit, a lot of people who come to my clinics have our horses, which is great. We pride ourselves on how we start the horses too. A lot of people will start them with cowboys or a stock rider. That’s great in some respects, but we want them to be dressage horses. It’s like having a child and training them for 100 metres running but then telling them now you’re a diver and just throwing them in the pool. We want to introduce the horses to contact and they get lunged and long reined and they’re round so fundamentally when the first ride takes place, they walk, trot and canter on the bit because they’re soft in the back.”
How do you choose your stallions?
“We’re always looking, but basically we always want stock that we would love to ride ourselves, whether they’re ridden or not. The first stallion we bought of this generation was Smash Hit. We went to Europe to look for fillies and we came back with a colt. It was just a case that we saw him and he was quite expensive but we decided that we really needed to have him. At the time, we contacted some friends of ours and they went halves with us. We left him in Europe until he was two. The other owners wanted to put him through the licensing over there and then sell him but we wanted to bring him home so we bought their share and imported him.”
“Then we went back and bought Riverside. I had said to Ingo and Susan Pape for a couple of years that when they had finished with Riverside, we’d really like to have him. Reggazoni, Donnerhall, Pik Bube; really good, strong breeding and I liked that he would work well with Thoroughbred mares because there’s a really big band here, even though it is diminishing a bit now.”
“Then Quando Quando came about from Kristy (Oatley) who’s a good friend.”
“Ferrero Rocher, we stood at stud for Jenny Rapson for a few years and then again, when she decided to sell him, Amanda went and had a ride and we bought him.”
“Magritte we still have. He’s about 29 now.”
“00 Seven came about through Emmy de Jeu. The first time I saw him was when I picked him up from quarantine. I tell everyone never to buy sight unseen and I did! He was absolutely awesome. But I’m not going to get ahead of myself and do it again. Actually, come to think of it, I did do it again! I did it with Agent De Jeu! He’s by 00 Seven out of a Florestan mare. The same lady who bred 00 Seven, Isabel Van Sponselee-Gisbergen bred him and she’s a good friend of Emmy.”
Why have you decided to import the stallions rather than just do AI?
“We do that too via Waterview Park, which is a frozen semen importing business that we own. But there’s always a misconception that if it’s in Germany or Holland, it’s better, but we are fortunate to have stallions like Quando Quando. He’s an Olympic stallion, he’s produced price highlights at auctions, he’s produced licensed sons and he’s the grandfather of Quaterback. Stedinger, our latest stallion, was a licensing champion in Oldenburg. He has fathered two licensed sons and numerous state premium mares.”
“Quite a few breeders haven’t been successful with frozen semen so we can send them chilled semen. Sure, people pay more for the service fee with the fresh semen but you have a live foal guarantee and the conception rate is a lot higher. We’ve also put a fair bit of effort into having top broodmares. A lot of our mares are imported or a generation from fully imported.”