If you are going to do something, you might as well do it right. That was Ronda Stavisky’s thought when she settled on an Olympic theme for her sporthorse breeding endeavor, Rising Star Farm. With the recent arrival of Valentino Z at the 45-acre farm in Central Texas, Rising Star now has five stallions: Cielo B, Concorde B, Déjà Blue B, Figaro B and Valentino Z, all Belgian Warmbloods and all from bloodlines featuring Olympic contenders.
The Belgian Warmbloods caught Ronda’s attention when she first began shopping for a stallion several years ago. She hasn’t looked back since and is, in fact, president of the Belgian Warmblood Breeding Assn. “Their goals of producing high caliber performance horses were perfectly in synch with what I wanted to do at Rising Star,” she notes.
Her first shopping trip took her to Bannockburn Farm, LLC in Indiana, where she found Cielo B. By Grand Prix jumper Simsalabim, out of a daughter of 1996 Olympic double gold medalist, Jus de Pomme, Cielo B has a pedigree featuring four Olympic contenders, not to mention several international jumpers. Around the farm in Texas, he is credited with giving Ronda the idea of sticking with stallions from Olympic lines. In Cielo B, these lines are complemented by a superb temperament as well as beautiful conformation and movement.
Cielo B won the BWP’s futurity class as a 2-year-old in 2004, at which point a BWP judge commented: “Cielo B is robust in terms of build, has a good square model and moves with great suppleness. During free jumping he displayed a lot of power. Considering his solid build it can reasonably be expected that he will do good work with the Thoroughbred mares that are used in great numbers in Warmblood horse breeding in the United States.”
The judge was right. Jumping his way through the young horse ranks, Cielo B qualified for the Young Jumper Midwest Championships as a 6-year-old last year. “We have yet to see the limits to this rideable, talented stallion and expect to see him in the Grand Prix arena in the not too distant future,” says his proud owner.
Cielo’s great traits are passing on to his foals, Ronda relays. “He has produced 100 percent Premium foals in his first four crops. He stamps every single foal! In 2008, his daughter, Galaxy RSF, was the second highest 2-year-old in the nation, while his son, Gentleman, was placed third overall.”
Déjà Blue B
Shortly after Cielo B’s arrival, Ronda realized Rising Star would need more horses. She returned to Bannockburn Farm and went home with the Ferro son, Déjà Blue B. The elegant stallion has an outstanding jumper and dressage pedigree, with impressive movement and form. His bloodlines include such stars as Ulft, Le Mexico, Greek Jab XX, Ramiro Z and Amor, and he features the Rising Star trademark of exceptional conformation and a wonderful temperament.
Continuing another Rising Star theme, Déjà Blue B is a proven producer and competitor. “My criteria are that stallions have to have good bloodlines and they have to get out there and do something!” Ronda explains.
Déjà Blue spent 2008 on the A jumper circuit with Erin Davis and October Hill Farm. He finished fourth in Zone 7 standings for USEF Horse of the Year 5-year-old Jumper standings. This year, Déjà Blue B will make his dressage debut with Jenna Stern of Olympus Sporthorses. Per his trainer, Blue has “exceptional rideability and an excellent temperament.”
Déjà Blue B produced his first foal crop in 2008 and all of the foals were Premium.
“Somewhere along the way,” as Ronda puts it, she became the breeding manager for the syndicate-owned Concorde B and Figaro B, who is owned by a friend.
Concorde B is by the “preferent” Dutch stallion Olympic Concorde, who is by the famous “keur” and “preferent” sire Voltaire. His dam, the “prestatie” mare Flyer, is by the legendary Marco Polo, one of the most influential Dutch stallions in breeding and jumping mares.
He excels in the jumper ring and is also a very stylish and successful hunter, the epitome of Ronda’s desire to breed FEI-capable horses that are well suited for amateur riders. “The elasticity of his gaits, excellent balance and athleticism makes him a great choice for hunters, jumpers or dressage,” Ronda says. “He is a more modern Warmblood type, lighter in frame, but with enough bone and substance for any mare. Concorde B’s excellent mind and willing temperament make him a pleasure to handle and train.”
The youngster of the Rising Star line-up at 4, Figaro B reflects his pedigree in his exceptional talent for dressage and jumping. Figaro B’s sire, Pavarotti vd Helle, has consistently produced offspring that have gone to the highest levels in both disciplines. Pavarotti himself was the reserve champion of the jumping test for Rheinland and Westfalen as well as the BWP. Following a trailer accident, Pavarotti became a champion dressage performer. The descendants of Pavarotti are notable for their good looks. As well, they combine super movement with excellent jumping technique. Figaro B’s grandsire, Pilot is “without a doubt the best Westphalian producer of jumpers,” says Ronda of a stallion that has produced about 30 Grand Prix jumpers.
A powerful jumper with beautiful movement, Figaro B should shine in both arenas. Adding a “10” temperament to his talent and good looks, Figaro B should be an important stallion in the future, Ronda says. He should make his dressage debut this spring as well as an entry into the hunter ring sometime this year.
Just joining the roster is 13-year-old Valentino Z, a jumper familiar to many West Coasters thanks to his success with junior rider Julie Weisz. Valentino Z is a son of Darco, one of the best sport stallions in history. Bred in Belgium, Valentino Z brings a very exciting pedigree to North America, Ronda asserts.
Visitors are welcome at Rising Star Farm, which is located 26 miles north of Austin and is equidistant from Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Figaro B, Déjà Blue B and Valentino Z live at Rising Star, while Cielo B and Concorde B are on the road campaigning. Ronda usually has a few young horses for sale, but they go fast. She has four youngsters due this spring, two of which are already spoken for. Ideally, she likes to sell the youngsters in utero. As the farm continues to produce super talented and well-temperamented horses, that may be the safest way of securing one.
For more information on breeding to Rising Star Farm horses, visit www.risingstarfarm.net or call 512-751-2390.