Gelding of the month – Seeis Le Champ

By Georgia Harley Photography: Merlynn Trichardt Photography For November, we are featuring Seeis Le Champ as our gelding of the month. Champ is a 14-year-old black gelding owned and competed by young rider Kerry Rees. The pair formed a partnership in 2019 and have since moved from the 1.10m to 1.40m level. The story Unlike […] The post Gelding of the month – Seeis Le Champ appeared first on HQ Magazine.

Gelding of the month – Seeis Le Champ

By Georgia Harley

Photography: Merlynn Trichardt Photography

For November, we are featuring Seeis Le Champ as our gelding of the month. Champ is a 14-year-old black gelding owned and competed by young rider Kerry Rees. The pair formed a partnership in 2019 and have since moved from the 1.10m to 1.40m level.

The story

Unlike in some of our other stories in the magazine, Seeis Le Champ and Kerry did not immediately hit it off. After the first ride, Kerry was definitely not convinced. However, thankfully, Champ ended up spending a week with Kerry, and this proved to be the game-changer for the pair. Throughout the week he was with her, Kerry attended a Nicola Sime-Riley clinic with him and says this really showed her his potential. Kerry remembers thinking at the clinic that Champ was a great horse and one that would help her in the future, and she couldn’t have been more right!

This memory resonated even more, two years later at Derby. This duo competed in the Micro Derby, and Champ “jumped out of his skin” and ended up placing 6th in a very competitive class. A horse like Champ is what every rider deserves. He has given Kerry confidence, taught her skill and offered her a chance to compete with the big guns.

Yet, despite his exceptional performances, Champ hasn’t always been easy for Kerry. In the beginning, Champ, just like Kerry, was unsure about their partnership, but with time, dedication and effort, Champ and Kerry now trust each other wholeheartedly. Champ is also not a huge fan of warm-up arenas and loves to cause a scene. “I’ve definitely learnt to stay on”, says Kerry. Then, when he arrived with Kerry, Champ was very anxious about hacking but, with lots of perseverance, now hacks out alone, very comfortably.

“He has the sweetest nature.”

Breeding

Seeis Stud imported a Belgium stallion, De La Cour. De La Cour is the father of Champ and the son of Orlando. Orlando was the 2002 6-year-old Belgium Champion, was 2nd in the 7/8 in Aachen, and later in his career, went on to win a CSIO 4* in 2004 at the 1.50m level. There’s really no doubt that Orland was a champion; he also has one of the best fathers and grandfathers a horse could have. Heartbreaker has built a sporthorse dynasty. He was not only a breeder of top offspring but a top competitor in his own right. At the 2014 World Equestrian Games, he had three sons and fifteen grandsons competing. With the numbers like this, it’s fair to say he’s influential.

Le Champ’s mother is Seeis Chanel. She is by the deceased son of Contender, Conti, who sadly died at a young age. Contender needs virtually no introduction. He continues to grow in the breeding rankings, not only in showjumping. He won the stallion test in 1987. His son, Contendro, went on to win his stallion test in 1999 and performance test at Adelheidsdorf in 2000. He was quality. He breeds quality.

 “He is and probably will continue to be the best horse I’ve ridden.”

About Seeis Stud

Seeis Stud is based in the veld of Namibia. It has not always been called Seeis, but their history of breeding stretches back a very long way. Seeis was formed from two of the backbones of Namibian breeding, Davetsaud and Voigtland. The Stud covers over 2000 hectares of land.

Final thoughts

In the future, Kerry wants to compete in the 1.40m comfortably and competitively, as well as in the 1.45m. This goal certainly seems realistic for this pair. Horses like Champ are invaluable and not only hold a special place in their rider’s heart but in the hearts of people who can see the partnership grow. When a horse like Champ comes along, you sit back and take note. These horses can define a rider and their career, and Kerry is putting in all the hard work needed to follow her dreams.

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