Aritzia, an F1 Canadian Sport Horse filly bred and owned by Four Leaf Farms and Danielle Gregoire of Richmond, Ontario has an impressive history of wins since she started showing on the line as a foal.
Among them are the 2009 CSH National Foal Championship and since, has earned many CSH championships, including Grand Champion Canadian Sport Horse at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Her most prestigious honour to date came on the final Saturday of the 2012 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair when she was declared winner of the Governor General’s Cup, considered the top prize for Canadian-bred three-year-olds that show potential as sport horses in the disciplines of hunter, jumping, eventing or dressage.
Aritzia is by European-based Hanoverian jumper stallion Abke out of an imported Hanoverian mare, Licorne (by Lemon Park). Danielle Gregoire and husband Ed Stewart added Licorne to their small sport horse breeding program at Four Leaf Farms to improve their broodmare band. When they bought her, she was in foal to Rotspon and produced a filly, Rumtanzen, in 2006.
Danielle says they learned about sport horse breeding by talking to top breeders in Canada and the U.S. They have also relied on the advice of Artizia’s handler, Ronnie Davidson, a veteran with many Cup wins to his credit.
Breeder Judy Yancey of Yancey Farms in Florida, who is also a frozen semen dealer, helped them choose Abke for Licorne. Danielle says her philosophy is to look at the mare’s strengths and improve on her without trying to change her.
Four Leaf Farms strives for quality rather than quantity and has just one or two foals a year. Aritzia’s full sister, All She Wrote, has started following in her sibling’s footsteps and finished as Reserve Champion to Aritizia’s Grand Champion at the CSH Breeders Show at the Royal.
Danielle advises small breeders not to be afraid to ask more experienced breeders’ for their opinions or for answers to questions, no matter how trivial they may seem. Hearing their feedback can be an invaluable in furthering your education about the breeding industry, she has found.