California Riding Magazine • March, 2014

Verso Do Retiro & Illiad P.M.
Lusitano and Friesian superstars sire the next generation of baroque sporthorses.

Illiad P.M. Photo: Marcie Lewis Photography

The Santa Rosa Equestrian Center is always abuzz with equestrian activity. Located in the beautiful wine country of Santa Rosa, the facility is home to several top trainers, the European Pony School and a regular agenda of clinics. No matter what's going on, two horses always manage to steal the lion's share of attention. They are the world class, approved breeding stallions Verso Do Retiro, a stunning buckskin Lusitano from Brazil, and Illiad P.M. a gorgeous jet black Friesian stallion from the Netherlands.

Verso will be making his mark on the show arena again this season with his owner Tracy Underwood, and Illiad is well known as an upper level dressage competitor and exhibition star with noted trainer Sabine Schut-Kery. Originally owned by Proud Meadows Farm of Texas, one of the first to import and promote Friesians in dressage in the United States, Illiad is now retired and standing at stud.

Verso Do Retiro

Tracy is an amateur rider who came to horses in her 40s. She is involved with many horse organizations and is a Northern Region Director of the California Dressage Society. She and her husband Wes purchased Santa Rosa Equestrian Center nine years ago. When the time came to choose breeding stallions, Tracy chose the very best.

Verso Do Retiro

Verso Do Retiro is a tall (16.3hh), flashy, athletic stallion. His metallic golden coat is enhanced by his long dark mane and tail. Verso was highly rated in his stallion testing, scoring a 9 on head and neck. Verso is approved for breeding by the APSL in Portugal, the ABPSL in Brazil, and IALHA in the United States.

Verso Do Retiro

Verso is from the Villa do Retiro breeding farm outside of Sao Paolo, Brazil. Both his sire Othelo do Retiro and grand sire, Dardo Do Retiro, are nationally recognized champions in Brazil in working equitation, which tests a horse's versatility and proficiency for ranch work through three elements; the first part is similar to a dressage test, then Doma Vaquera, an obstacle course judged on agility, and the third is a speed obstacle test with aspects of reining. True to his lineage, Verso shows great proficiency in both dressage and jumping.

Verso has shown in dressage at 4th level and Prix St. Georges. He won the coveted Pebble Beach 4th Level Perpetual Trophy with a score of 72%. He holds several USDF Horse of the Year placings and was the recipient of the 2010 IALHA High Point Horse Andy and Ira Dack Award for Overall English Performance. In 2009 he was Champion of the CDS Dressage Sport Horse Breed Show scoring an amazing 82.25% from international judge Lilo Fore.

Verso's kind, willing temperament is characteristic of his breed. He has competed through Prix St. Georges with a professional while Tracy served as his groom. "He's always been very well behaved and easy to handle." This season, she'll be competing Verso herself.

Illiad P.M.

Illiad is an exceptionally athletic Friesian stallion approved for breeding by the FPZV. Illiad was trained through Grand Prix by international dressage trainer Sabine Schut-Kery. Sabine successfully competed Illiad through Prix St. Georges but his competition career was tragically cut short when he suffered a dislocated fetlock.

Illiad P.M.

Not to be sidelined for long, Illiad came back from his injury, partnering with Sabine as an exhibition horse performing at events across the nation including Dressage at Devon and the FEI World Cup Finals and Rodeo Nationals in Las Vegas. Sabine was frequently seen performing Grand Prix movements hands free, without a bridle, side saddle and with the garrocha (a 13-foot pole). Many wonderful videos of Sabine and Illiad can be seen on YouTube.

As a result of his previous fetlock injury Illiad can no longer be ridden but is enjoying a wonderful retirement at SREC where he is king of the barn and produces beautiful, talented babies. Illiad passes on his extraordinary hair (his mane touches the ground), natural gift for collection and unprecedented work ethic to his offspring.

For more information on breeding to Verso do Retiro or Illiad P.M. contact Tracy Underwood at 707-975-2097, or visit