Versatile Young Hanoverian Stallion: Beau Balou

by Louise Masek

Beau Balou is a 2015 Hanoverian stallion who is already making a strong impression in the North American h/j world. He started his winning ways early, having won Top Hanoverian Foal at his inspection. He then went on to be successful at numerous line shows and then, at the age of three, placed 2nd in the prestigious Lieutenant Governor’s Cup at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. He himself is the whole package for the NA market: great movement (his canter is exceptional), strong, correct conformation, a wonderful temperament, and of course, the pre-requisite chrome – 4 high whites, 2 belly splashes and unique facial markings. His gaits are elastic and powerful and his jump is scopey.

He is already accepted into the prestigious Hanoverian Jumper Breeding Program and has successfully completed the 2 North American Sport Stallion Tests in Maryland, earning his lifetime approvals for the main European registries. In 2019 he finished 2nd in North America, with a score of 8.28.

What is even more exciting is he has proven to strongly stamp his offspring. They often inherit his “bling,” as well as superb temperament, size, substance, athleticism and movement. He has 2 foal crops on the ground, with the oldest just turning 3 this year (2023). Some of the more mature offspring are being backed by their owners and all owners report that they have been entirely uncomplicated.

“Charlie,” as he is known in the stable, is by Bon Balou and is out of a Selle Francais mare, Iroise de Grandry, who jumped internationally, at the 1.5m level. She was bred by the renowned French show-jumping family, the Angots and was competed by their daughter up to the 7 year old classes in France, then sold on to Italy and Switzerland. She eventually made her way to Canada and retired from competition at age 16. Her pedigree is unique to North America in that she not only carries the famous Alme and Jalisco B blood, but also that of Laudanum and a dash of Anglo-Arab. Laudanum is the damsire of the 1.7m jumper Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve. he is also the damsire of Jaguar Mail (leading sire of eventers in France, and 2nd in the WBFSH Sire Rankings in 2018. Laudanum is described as careful and courageous and was a winner of multiple Grand Prix, Puissance and Nations Cup classes with Pierre Durand.

Beau Balou’s sire is Bon Balou, who unfortunately passed away at the young age of 9. Bon Balou was a modern-framed horse with outstanding jumping ability, excellent, active paces and an exceptional temperament. He descends of course from the Balou du Rouet and Baloubet du Rouet line. Baloubet du Rouet wrote sporting history by winning the World Cup finals three times in a row, was the individual Olympic Gold Medallist in 2004, as well as winning Team Bronze in Sydney. Bon Balou’s damsire is the legendary Argentinus who was the youngest millionaire amongst Germany’s top sires. Grand sire sire is Landadel, son of the legendary Landgraf I and carries a double dose of Ladykiller, who needs no introduction, as one of the top producing stallions of the century for both dressage and jumping.

So, with a pedigree jam-packed with 1.5m, 1.6m and 1.7m jumpers, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It will be exciting to watch how far Beau Balou can go in his career, His superb movement, an outstanding character and the ability to strongly stamp his get just add to his desirability as a top sire.

In the barn, Beau Balou is laid back and well-mannered. He grew up surrounded by mares and sometimes handled by amateurs. I did not intend to keep him as a stallion but he kept proving to me that he was worthy of it. He consistently answered every question I asked – so many questions, like: Is he easy to handle? Does he have good, strong conformation? Are his legs correct? Does he have good feet? Does he xray well? Does he scope well? Is he athletic and elastic? Is he scopey and brave over fences? Is he EVA negative and not a WFFS carrier? Then later, when we started him under saddle, he had to be rideable and willing to work. He also had to retain his great movement and scope under saddle, as some horses do not.

When it came time to breed, his semen was analyzed by SBS at time of collection, then 24 and 48 hours later to see how it would ship. Same with the frozen semen. If it was not of the highest quality, that too would have been reason to geld him.

When his first foals were born, we then assessed them. There were enough, and out of a variety of mares to confirm he strongly stamps his offspring, adding athleticism, often size, a quiet but fun temperament, and a terrific canter. We had to ascertain what type of traits he throws? Can his foals be registered with any major registry? The list of questions was endless. At the end of the day, there are so many stallion options for mare owners, that I believe a horse has to be truly exceptional to deserve to be kept a stallion. He has to add something unique to the gene pool, not just look pretty and have 4 white socks. Charlie ticks every single box.

On top of all this, Beau Balou loves to work and is an amazing student. It is exciting to watch both his and his offspring’s development. I believe there will be quite a few foals that will make their owner’s dreams come true….