Jacinda Younger

I have been riding since I was two years old, competing in all disciplines on ponies, but my love then was hunting up until I went to Law School at 18. I went to law school and gave up riding for 5 years. When I returned to the Manawatu to work I brought my first love and “horse”, who was a very highly strung mare and yet still managed to fall in love with Dressage. After struggling with her for 6 odd years I managed to get her through the grades up to Open Medium level. I was then offered Jerome to buy, so I retired my mare and started on him, my second love! Jerome is full brother to Jamal (Kalista’s 2002 World Games mount) he is about 18.2hh and is about as neurotic as they come personality wise, he cant be tied up to anything cause he just flicks his head and it breaks, he is a real scardy cat when handling him on the ground Mr Lionheart we used to call him and if something goes wrong when you are riding him that is either “too hard” or hes mucked it up his answer is to jack-up and let those back legs fly – our arena fence will never be the same and missing 4 x 2 sections of wood in the post and rail everywhere! We started training with Ben Conn who is now one of my best friends and he taught me to relax and laugh. Suddenly this very stressful mount became a joy to ride by 2006, coming reserve Open Medium Central Districts Champion beaten by my ratbag friend Kalista on Salutation! Ben and I after redoing all of Jeromes basics and got him ready to compete advanced in end of winter 2007 when I found out I was pregnant with my now darling Claudia. I wasn’t prepared to risk the pregnancy continuing riding and given Jerome was a finicky customer to pass on we chose to turn him out. I started riding him again once Claudia was born and completed in 2008 Central District Dressage Champs where he did the test of his life coming second to another friend Penny Castle on Gymstar One. By the afternoon he was lame and sadly despite all efforts he never came right. To be honest at 17yrs old we did well to keep him as sound as we did for as long as we did at his sheer size, I think a tribute to Ben’s biomechanically sound training. So he and my mare are now “in love” and retired on the hill of our property fit as fiddles.

Meanwhile at National Dressage Champs 2007 with Jerome and over wines with Ben, the discussion started how we needed to start finding a young horse for me. Being a Business owner – I have my own Law Practice, I could not justify spending a small fortune on a horse that would never earn its keep. Ben raised the idea of buying a Colt as a riding horse and standing him at stud. The idea had never crossed my mind, but given Jerome acted like a Stallion (in every way) around in season mares we had already had our stepping stone. So Ben went on the hunt. He asked me what my perfect colt would be and I said, temperament, temperament, temperament! But after that black, four white socks, white star and Donnerhall/Rubinstein lines. I’ll never forget Bens face when he got off the phone from Di and Henry George of DiCavalli Stud, he said I think I’ve just found your perfect horse! Now we’ve just got to get them to sell him!!! They had a colt that they were thinking about putting on the market, but were considering whether to retain him for stud themselves.

Di and Henry with a passion for the sport had years ago gone to Germany with all the experts they could muster and brought Donnerubin’s sire, their foundation stallion Donautraum who is by the greatest dressage sire of all time Donnerhall and their foundation mares including Donnerubin’s Dam Deliah who is by De Niro (Donnerhall/Akzent II) out of a Rubinstein mare. We were excited about the bloodlines, simply put there was not a weak line going back five generations. But we had yet to see him and he had to fit the tall order of temperament, conformation and movement. 10 days later with Ben in tow, we found ourselves unexpectedly in Australia looking at a 4month old Donnerubin (Donnerubin). It really was love at first sight. We saw him dance around the arena with his Dam and we all had to pick our jaws off the ground. I think for me what sealed the deal was meeting Donnerubins Dad Donautraum. Its hard to tell the future temperament of a four month old foal, so we spent some time with his parents. His Dam was a sweety but his Sire had Wow factor just standing there in his paddock. We all wandered into his paddock at the urging of Henry and met this quiet horse who not only was simply stunning but was so sweet and well natured for any horse let alone a stallion. We all now marvel how Donnerubin is just a splitting image of his Sire in everyway. Ben was so impressed he brought a Donautraum colt himself at the same time, now named Diesel, who also is splitting image of his Sire only bay!

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