California Riding Magazine • August, 2014

Flying Changes

Hanoverian ES Escudo II (1992-2014)

On July 8th we lost a true legend; Escudo II (Espri/SPS Athene/Arkansas), a most endearing friend and family member.

Prior to joining us at Rainbow Equus Meadows in 2006, Escudo II was pictured on the cover of the State Stud "Celle" DVD as the star of the "Celle" stallion parade. His dressage tests without rider, unattached in an open field with pylons, earned him the title "World Champion Freiheids Dressur." His incredible type, conformation, movement and jumping ability earned him the title 1994 Hanoverian Licensing Champion, his offspring propelled him to high breed values and he made both German Top lists for jumpers and riding horse type.

Escudo II was one of only two U.S. stallions to appear in both top lists. Often bred to modernize old-fashioned jumper mares, Escudo II always managed to improve type. Amongst all Hanoverian jumper stallions worldwide he enjoyed the highest riding horse type breed value for eight consecutive years. Escudo II was a class I stallion who completed his testing at Adelheidsdorf with 125.63; 4th out of 43 stallions: 117.56 dressage and 125.73 for jumping. We see that versatility in many of his offspring. Escudo II produced 10 licensed sons and several showjumpers up to Grand Prix level, 13 SPS mares and 47 offspring were selected for German Hanoverian auctions.

Hannovers' poster boy for learning ability, Escudo II performed his many tricks, entertaining thousands and quickly gaining admirers from all over the world. When we first brought him to California he received fan mail and we received hate mail from Europe for taking him here, away from them. In just six years, Escudo II became one of the most prolific producers for the AHS, with 114 registered offspring and he has many more registered across all registries. Last year was his biggest breeding year and this year he covered about 50 mares already, so there will be many more to come.

An infection in his leg deteriorated his tendons so quickly that he could no longer walk outside his stall and we made the decision to not let him suffer anymore.

Escudo II loved people! He once had 20 4-H kids crawling all over and under him and he loved every minute of it. His upbeat, smiling personality and positive attitude towards anything in his life endeared him quickly to all who knew him. He will be missed very much: such a unique smart and brave soul. We will forever be blessed to have been his people.

by Edgar Schutte, Rainbow Equus Meadows


Dan Abbey

"Dr. Dan" Abbey passed away on July 2, at his home in Oceanside. The longtime course designer and beloved member of the West Coast equestrian scene had been fighting cancer for many years. Dan always described it as a privilege to work in the horse business and on the show circuit. A cheerful and active presence throughout his career, Dan received tremendous support during his illness, much of it from and through the California Professional Horsemen Assn.'s Foundation, which helps horsemen in need.

His caregivers included "some very special friends: Jimmy Grijalva, Rachel Wieklinski, Vlade and Mary Wells," the CPHA reports, plus many friends in the industry.

He is the namesake for the CPHA's Dan Abbey Sportsmanship trophy, awarded each year to a rider identified by Dan as embodying great sportsmanship in their final junior year.  The lifelong horseman took great pleasure in giving back to the sport. "I love it when people - especially the kids and the new amateurs - come up to me at the horse shows and ask me about the course; why I did this or that, or why distances are certain lengths," he told CPHA reporter Sharon Liveton for an article posted on the Foundation's website. "I love talking to them."


Lena Nordlof-Davis has taken on the post of dressage trainer at Valenti Equestrian Club in Rancho Santa Fe. A long time trainer, Lena was most recently based at Fairbanks Riding Club. Photo: McCool