Ilona English Named Leading U.S. Eventing Breeder for 2016

Ryan Wood and Powell at Jersey Fresh. Photo by Jenni Autry. Ryan Wood and Powell at Jersey Fresh. Photo by Jenni Autry.

EN has long celebrated U.S. breeders and horses bred in the U.S., and we’re excited to take an in-depth look at the top breeders and homebreds of 2016.

The USEF has released the list of the Leading Eventing Breeders for 2016, and Ilona English of Summit Sporthorses has taken the top spot for the third consecutive year. Horses bred by Ilona collected 2,099 USEF points in 2016, which is the highest number accumulated by a U.S. breeder since 2012.

It’s no surprise that Powell leads the way for Ilona and Summit Sporthorses, of Ringoes, New Jersey, with 917 points. Ryan Wood piloted the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Pablito X Dinara, by Donnerwerth) to a fantastic season that included a wire-to-wire win in the first CCI3* of his career at Jersey Fresh before going on to win the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Championship.

Ruby, who is out of the same dam as Powell, is a rising star for Ryan and Ilona. The 7-year-old Oldenburg mare (Royal Prince X Dinara) has only finished outside the top 10 once this season, with top Intermediate finishes at Red Hills, Millbrook and Loch Moy. She also finished fourth in the CIC2* at Jersey Fresh.

Another up-and-comer to keep your eye on is Ben Nevis (Bugatti Hilltop X Dinara). This Summit Sporthorse homebred is another half-sibling to Powell and Ruby. The 5-year-old Oldenburg gelding stepped up to Training level this season with a bang, winning twice at Waredaca and once at Virginia.

Lauren Kieffer and Landmark's Monaco. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Lauren Kieffer and Landmark’s Monaco at Fair Hill. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Jacqueline Mars of The Plains, Virginia, has previously taken the USEF Leading Eventing Breeder title twice in 2012 and 2013 and this year finished second in the rankings with 2,011 points.

Landmark’s Monaco completed the season as Ms. Mars’ most accomplished homebred with 554 USEF points. The 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse/Thoroughbred stallion (Formula One X Glamour xx, by Flash Tycoon xx) most notably finished 3rd at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI2* with Lauren Kieffer.

Landmark’s Monte Carlo, who is a full brother to Landmark’s Monaco, completed his first Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event this year with a clear and fast cross country trip and jumped clear and inside the time in the CCI3* at Fair Hill in the fall to finish 12th.

Ms. Mars’ homebred Harbour Pilot, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cruising X Shannon IV xx, by Catch On Fire xx), also had a strong season with Hannah Sue Burnett, finishing 11th at Aachen CICO3* and fifth at Blenheim Palace CCI3*.

Maya Black and Doesn't Play Fair. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Maya Black and Doesn’t Play Fair at Great Meadow. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Jenny Lucianna of Stanwood, Washington, sits third in the USEF Leading Eventing Breeder rankings with 1,186 points thanks to one special little horse: Doesn’t Play Fair. The 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Camiros X Oncoeur, by Coriender) owned by Dawn Dofelmier finished third at Rolex Kentucky this year with Maya Black, plus clinched a win at The Fork CIC3* and second at Carolina International CIC3*.

Doug Payne and Lysander at the Ocala Jockey Club. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Doug Payne and Lysander at the Ocala Jockey Club. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Elizabeth “Didi” Callahan, of Oxford, Maryland, is fourth on the 2016 USEF Leading Eventing Breeder rankings with 1,015 points. We have a soft spot for Didi’s 9-year-old homebred Lysander, who EN has followed closely since he was a 5-year-old running his first Preliminary.

“Big Leo,” a Thoroughbred/Holsteiner gelding (Lordship X Just For Terry xx, by Roanoke xx) owned by Doug Payne and Kristin Michaloski, won The Fork CIC2* this spring on his dressage score of 37.0 and stepped up to the CIC3* level at the Ocala Jockey Club last month, finishing 12th with a clear cross country trip.

Boyd Martin and Ray Price W. Photo by Rob Bowersox.

Boyd Martin and Ray Price W at Loch Moy. Photo by Rob Bowersox.

Windurra USA rounds out the top five with 1,013 points. Stay tuned to EN for a much more in-depth look at Boyd Martin’s breeding program, which has quietly been producing promising horses for the future. Ray Price W is currently Boyd’s leading homebred and also from the second generation of his breeding program, as he also bred Ray’s dam.

Ray Price, an 8-year-old Warmblood/Thoroughbred cross (Raise A Stanza xx X Fair Fiona, by Salute) won the first CIC2* of his career at Loch Moy this summer before going on to finish second in his first CCI2* at Virginia. Named after a hard-hitting Australian rugby player, Ray Price is definitely one to watch for the future. Did we mention he’s more than 75% Thoroughbred?

Phyllis Dawson, Colleen Rutledge, Debi Crowley, Darren Chiacchia and Rose Sullivan make up the rest of the top 10 on the 2016 USEF Leading Eventing Breeder list. You can click here to view all of the U.S. breeders on the list, then click on each name to see a detailed list of which horses they bred along with bloodlines.

Congratulations to all, and thank you for your dedication to breeding quality event horses in the U.S. EN salutes you!

[2016 USEF Leading Eventing Breeders]