First son of Weltmeyer in NZ. Yay? (beware of photos)
Okay, so I suppose other people know more than me, but when I saw Jody Hartstone's new stallion Whisper IV (registered in Germany as Weltstar 38), I wasn't too impressed. Sure, he's gorgeous and got that stallion power, but dear god he can't piaffe to save his life! Whisper will be the first stallion by the immortal Weltmeyer to stand in New Zealand - which is supposed to be a good thing, right? I used to idolise Jody, but now, I'm not so sure. It seems like, after all her Andrew Maclean style training and morals when it comes to rollkur, she's encouraging NZ to follow the trend and go for these big flashy warmbloods that can't sit for a good piaffe or find their ass because it's so far behind in extended trot. Which, because of the good lack of trend-following and rollkur in NZ, is a sad thing. I'm probably going to get a hiding for this, but I actually think this horse is worse than Moorlands Totilas, and for me, that's saying a lot. I'm not saying I'm an expert in any way, I'm just stating my opinion and hoping to hear some back (and I'm curious to know how he compares to the better know international Weltmeyer stallions) - so leave your torches at the door.
I agree, I don't feel like his has much impulsion or sit and reach to his hind end at all. I think he is another of those big, pretty warmbloods with flashy front legs but no motor in the trunk unfortunately. Would be interested to see someone experienced with horses of this type and movement try to improve through classical dressage and conditioning his suspension and impulsion through the hind end. Personally...I wouldn't breed to him no matter who is parents or siblings were or what they did. I hate that people get stuck into this line breeding and stop thinking about what will actually improve their mares and make a truly correct individual.
Seen him with his Aussie rider though? Much better! Brett did a wonderful job with him, I was very upset that he lost the ride and the Whisper was sold to a Kiwi :O Whisper has the most insanely awesome temperament! I knew his owner in Australia, her 5 year old kids rode around on him, he was just so quiet. My coach has a 5 year old by him and he is just magic. So beautiful to watch he just floats across the ground and will certainly go GP. Extremely trainable temperament.
I also have a friend with one and she's only just started competing her. 68% at her first novice test. Again, impeccable temperament, floating movement, very powerful backend.
Another friend has a BIG whisper gelding. AGAIN, superb temperament, super SUPER backend, beautiful lose shoulders and very natural sit and swing.
And yes, GREAT hocks, GREAT ability to sit, VERY good horses behind. I'll try and rustle of up some footage of these progeny.
Jody has only just got her hands on him, hence he's certainly not performing at his peak. He was in contention to be an international favourite for Australia and we had many a visiting international/European rider/coach/trainer comment that it was quite a loss to have him sold from Holland.
Seeing Whisper warming up at the Victorian Dressage Championships a few years ago, Brett had him so soft, through the bridle and engaged, it was beautiful to watch the power in that stallion. He really was a super horse to observe from the sidelines. Unfortunately Brett had a falling out with Whisper's owner as he decided to take another stallion overseas, thus loosing the ride of Whisper. The owner decided to take him out for herself, and she unfortunately did not do him justice in the slightest and DOES use rolkur methods at some points.
This is a stallion who DOES have the ability to be beautiful behind, but rider error/training has got him out behind. I am hoping that Jody gets to know him and does him justice, I would not hesitate to put him over a nice mare.
Thanks for shedding more light on him Kayty. I would be interested to see pics or vids of his progeny. It's also good to know that he does have the ability, willingness and training to be a competitive ride and producer. I too hope that she gets to know him and they start to work together to get his butt under him!
NE, he may not be as spectacular as the top European stallions, but for a southern hemisphere stallions he's very good compared to what has been around. His temperament is second to none, and all his progeny seem to be quiet and trainable enough to be very suited to young/amatuer riders which is a fabulous selling point seeing as so many stallions at the moment are being bred for enormous paces but throw far too hot for a YR to handle.