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Stallion Management with Melinda Hart and Richmond H – Part 1

A Majestic Black Stallion

Most of us have romanticised about having a majestic Black Stallion in our barn! We recently sat down for a behind the scenes interview with FEI Grand Prix Dressage competitor and Dressage Judge, Melinda Hart to talk about her beautiful Grand Prix Stallion, Richmond H. In part one of this four-part  series we follow the journey Melinda took from travelling to Germany to purchase Richmond H, all the way through  to preparing for his arrival at her beautiful performance yard Mirabella Warmbloods located  in Glenorie, NSW, as well as how she manages her stallion on a day to day basis.

Richmond H at the Auction in Germany as a 3 year old.

Richmond H

In 2004 Melinda set off to the sales in Germany with her sights set on a black 3 year old colt by ‘Sire of the Century’ Rubinstein I out of a Hanoverian State Premium Weltmeyer mare. With a vision in  mind of combining this colt’s impeccable breeding with her own incredible mares by super star Stallion Donerhall, thus blending the top three ‘bloodlines of the century right here in Australia.

In the flesh Richmond H was more than Melinda could have imagined standing proud with perfect conformation, which was  complemented by his incredible kind nature. Richmond H performed foot perfect  day in and day out at the week -long sales, being ridden multiple times a day for spectators and potential buyers. Whilst most of the stallions at the sales stood in the corner, rump facing the passers by,  Richmond H was always at the  door looking for love and pats. It was then and there Melinda knew that she had found her one in a million.

A Well Travelled Stallion

After the sales in Germany, Richmond remained with a German trainer who continued with his training and development for a period of approximately two years. During this time Melinda visited Richmond H every four months to check in on his training . From Germany, Richmond H then travelled to America to further his education and competition career.

In 2007 after competing successfully in America for a year it was time for Richmond H to embark on the journey to his final destination, Mirabella Warmbloods in Glenorie where he still resides today.

Melinda and Richmond H were extremely fortunate with the timing of his arrival and release from quarantine in Australia, as only days after his safe arrival home, the Equine Influenza (EI) hit New South Wales causing a state-wide lockdown which limited the  movement of all horses for the best part of six months.

Preparing the Property for a Stallion

So how do you prepare a yard for the arrival of a Stallion?

Melinda provided some insight into how she prepared the property for Richmond H’s arrival.

The purchase of a stallion requires a carefully thought out plan for the whole property, and the planning for Richmond H’s  arrival was no different.

Mirabella Warmbloods facilities were designed so that the stallions and geldings would be on one side of the property while mares were on the other. All of the paddocks host post and rail fencing with imported diamond mesh horse fence that is designed with the highest safety considerations in mind.   For extra layers of precaution there is electric fencing on both sides of the post and rail, providing 3 layers of protection for the Stallion and surrounding horses.

Melinda is very particular about the horses that are in the paddock next to Richmond H. The most submissive geldings are his usual neighbours, however at present he has another beautifully natured stallion residing next door.  Richmond H is the perfect gentleman to his neighbours!

Planning for a stallion does not stop at fencing. There are strategic  rules in place at Mirabella Warmbloods to ensure the safety of all horses and humans.

In the next three instalments  of this series we will continue to cover the  journey of Richmond H with the day-to-day management of having a breeding stallion at home, riding and training with the other horses on the property and considerations when competing with a Stallion.Be sure to tune in for Part 2, next fortnight.