Jean Peck says, "The first time I saw Gwyddion I was sitting on a bench up on the trails with our Golden Retrievers. A fabulous chestnut horse came cantering round the bend, with a young lad on board. He stopped to talk and the horse was obviously an Arab-all 16 hands of him."

A week later at the barn, Jean met the lad's mother-a dressage trainer who imported Warmbloods from Europe. She remarked on the beautiful horse her son was riding. Although not an Arabian fan, she was certainly impressed by this young stallion, who had only been under saddle for a month. She suggested that Jean ride him and see for herself.

"The very next day," Jean said, "I took her up on her offer, and must say, having owned and bred over fifty Arabians, he is probably the most athletic, powerful, balanced, and cadenced horse I have ever ridden. He was unbelievable at such an early stage of training."

Despite Gwyddion's rather poor, rough pasture condition, his conformation, quality and movement were undeniable, plus he had a lovely gentle temperament and was totally unspoilt. Their vet, Cory Soltau, said that he'd like to borrow him to compete in the Tevis 100 mile ride!!"

Jean soon began to realise that he had exceptional potential for dressage. At one show, Jean met the trainer Patience Prine-Carr, who admired Gwyddion, and, it was agreed that he would go to Patience in September 2001 to begin his serious dressage training in preparation for going to Scottsdale in February of 2002.

Patience's dedication and hard work are undisputed. At Scottsdale after only five months of training and at his first show under saddle, he won five Training level tests with an average score of 66%. He was also second in his debut First level test with 64%. "To our absolute delight," exclaimed Jean, "he capped it all by winning Scottsdale Champion Sport Horse Stallion. To our amusement, Patience had people following her asking 'who is that big red horse'? He was probably the only unclipped chestnut at Scottsdale!! He amazed people by having his stall door open all day with just a mesh guard in front, attesting to his wonderful temperament and dislike of bars."

"We have been overwhelmed with interest in our big red Arab," Jean says. "Following ads in The Arabian Horse World and Dressage Today magazines, we realise just how many Arabian owners are seriously interested in Dressage and the new Sport Horse classes. We are all anxious to support this grass roots section, which relies on conformation, training and manners."

Gwyddion has now returned home, and is now tackling his next task of being a breeding stallion which he has taken to--even with the dummy, like a duck to water. His pedigree reads like a who's who of Polish Champions. His Polish sire was a Halter and English Pleasure Champion many times, and his dam Dervona, bred by Wayne Newton, produced nine foals, Gwyddion being her last. Several of her progeny have gone on to be successful performance champions in various divisions including racing. Dervona was honoured to be accepted into the Main Mare Book of the International Registry of Sporthorses (ISR).

Gwyddion's full sister Dervatiw Gwendalyn also had a successful halter and racing career and was High Point Mare at a special ISR inspection for Purebred Arabian mares. It is hoped that Gwyddion will follow in their footsteps.

Apart from his illustrious Polish heritage, Gwyddion also carries up close the wonderful performance blood of Ga'zi, who in turn traces to Abu Farwa and eventually the flamboyant movement of the Crabbet mare Rissla. Thus again the beauty of Naseem found also through the Russian stallion Negatiw his great grand sire.

"It is one of our greatest dreams," reflects Jean, "that maybe in the future, our wonderful stallion will breed the beautiful and treasured mares we have in England to create the next dynasty of Paslow Hall Arabians. Our world will then go full circle, and he might one day just grace a green paddock in England."

Written by Liz Salmon


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