The first young horses are now competing at the Grand Prix level.
by Cheryl Erpelding
Belgian Warmblood stallion Jaguar Van Paemel’s black-type progeny have come of age. Otis Blue AC/WB (Jaguar Van Paemel x Numero Uno) just rocked his first International 1.50m Grand Prix. Last year we reported on Otis after he swept the WEFT in 2021, winning every 6-year-old class that he entered. He then returned home to Denmark to become the Eastern European Champion. In March of this year, his younger brother, Querido Blue AC/WB (shown by Jordy van Massenhove) won champion in the highly competitive 7-year-old 1.40m division in Belgium.
Between the 1.30m and 1.45m classes, there’s lots of Jaguar offspring liftoff. We find them succeeding on both continents. Up-and-coming stars include: Jarratelle JPS Z, Jipsy, Liverpool, J’Adore Van Paemel, Jagermeister Z (now known as Parachute Z), Lilibeth, Jackson De Laska Z, Je Viens D Fee Sauveniere, Jolie Folie Van Paemel, Just Grand Van Ten Bos Z, Luuk V, Nevada Van Den Lindenbergh, and Jukebox Van Paemel (sadly a traffic accident killed Jukebox in France). The fast-growing list is giving the Euro horse industry competition trackers a headache. Hippomundo’s Eric Goosens complained that he has difficulty getting the results from American horse show systems quickly enough to keep the data current.
“Jaguar has had so many foals, that I can’t even count them all without having to go back and open my notebook,” said Geri Bidwell, Jaguar’s American sponsor, who purchased him in 2019. “Just Google a video of Jaguar’s approved Danish son, Jewel Ask Z (Diamant de Semilly) if you want to see how classically one can glide around a 1.30m course. He’s so beautiful, if they were alive at the same time, I think he could have given Rumba a run for his money.” Geri compares him to another wonderful white stallion too. “The way he moves and jumps reminds me of Sir Caletto. He was a great German Hanoverian stallion that Barb Gualco imported years ago from Frank Schockemöhle. And there has been one very high-scoring colt from that match so far named Whoa Jumanji. We’d have to ask his breeder, Dr. Cliff Naretto — but, I think he scored a 97 from the BWP/NAD judges!”
Raising babies can have its share of setbacks and challenges. “Perseverance and faith are paramount if you want to make a great horse succeed,” said Geri. Jewel Ask Z had to take a year to come back from colic surgery to triumph in the show ring. So far, he is one of three Jaguar Van Paemel’s approved stallions, along with Jet Set Van Paemel and Liverpool ZL.
California Riding Magazine has featured Jaguar a couple of times since he arrived in California. More and more Jaguar foals are being born in the U.S.A. every year, and we try to keep up with a few. Conversely, Geri told us, “Some American breeders claim that it’s less expensive to keep their broodmares abroad. And, to them, I’d like to say, ‘Jaguar is still making babies in Europe too!’ His former owner/breeders, Luc Van Eckhoudt, Karin Verdeyen, and Kim Borloo, took some heat for letting him leave the country at first. But this family loved Jaguar, whom they affectionately still refer to as Jaggy. They wanted to reward him for completing over 150 FEI classes for them. They gave him a life in the sunshine, in a green field with an ocean breeze. I just pay his bills! He has all that here in California. But his semen is still sold in Belgium as well. You can see Jaguar’s gorgeous headshot featured in the most recent Van Paemel ads. We are trying to make him available to all.”
Featured on the cover this month is Parachute Z, an 8-year-old Jaguar mare, formerly known as Jagermeister Z. This dead-ringer for her sire was purchased four months ago, by the elegantly competitive hunter/jumper rider & trainer, Hope Glynn.
“I love that Hope gave Avery a big Jaguar baby for her birthday present,” said Geri. “What a great mother! Many of us have watched Avery grow up from the small pony division to the large hunters. We’ve seen her do plenty of equitation rounds. From the looks of it now, Avery and Parachute Z will be flipping their white tails high and running away with clean and fast rounds!”
“Growing up, all that medal ride judging can help teach us things, but how a rider does, later on, is really between that rider and their horse. It’s clear to me that Hope found a soul sister for Avery. This mare will teach her that the sky’s the limit when their hearts are on fire. I’m looking forward to cheering for this special girl-power Jaguar-Jumper, and seeing them give those boys a run for their money!”
Hope shared with us, “Parachute Z’s barn name is ‘Maple,’ and she is very sweet around the barn, but when she goes in the ring she’s spicy! She wants to be the winner as she is very brave, scopey, and fast. We are very excited to move Avery up into the Grand Prix ring by the end of summer. We love her.”
Another deeply loved Jaguar baby is Judgement Day Van ten Bos Z. Guided by Olympian Will Simpson, Farina Rowland bought “J.D.” as a 7-year-old prospect in Europe two years ago. A medical setback required her young horse to have major colic surgery, a long recovery, and some changes in his routine. And, Farina stuck with him. At one point, she admitted to having serious concerns that getting Judgement Day might have been a bad decision. But because of her horsemanship, hard work, and devotion, he’s made a complete comeback! Currently, he is doing well in the 1.20m classes, going clean at that level at Desert Horse Park, and bringing home the win for her at Paso Robles. Farina and Judgement Day are clicking now.
Farina stated, “He’s getting consistent, now that he feels right inside.” Their goal is to get to the Grand Prix level and have a great time doing it. “Judgement Day loves the show life,” she said. “He is quite quirky, craves attention, and he now loves his job. He gets jazzed up when he is getting tacked up at the show, and he feels good in his body.” She feels he has no limits and he has “all the scope that the Jaguar line produces.”
Jane Healy of Healy Enterprises is happy with her two foals out of her Dutch mare, Indy Blue. After seeing how Alex Bidwell’s Jaguar daughter J’Adore Van Paemel went around, she knew she wanted to breed to Jaguar. She told us she is pleased with how the cross with Jaguar and her Plot Blue mare came out. Two colts later, she explained “Jaguar gave the foals beautiful necks, shorter backs, and a very long stride,” she said. “Wild Blue Jaguar earned good remarks from the judge at his breeding inspection last summer. He was awarded BWP/NAD Elite status.” Jane’s recent newborn foal is the first 2023 baby to arrive for Jaguar. Though Wild Blue Jaguar was born black as night, this colt she nicknamed Ace, has lots of smokey eye paint and fawn color.
Dr. Cliff Naretto bred the BWP/NAD elite high-scoring colt Whoa Jumanji (Jaguar van Paemel x Sir Caletto), while Charles Schnieder owns a high-scoring AHS colt too. Charles has several Jaguar offspring, but this year’s second-born Jagaur foal is a particularly large strong colt is named out of a Cullinan du Borget mare. One from last year (Jaguar van Paemel x Eldorado Van De Zeshoek) brought Charles a gold medal from the last AHS inspection, and another is yet to come this season. Aiken is full of baby Jaguars!
Geri said, “I’m always amazed how the best of Europe finds its way to America, and these Jaguar babies of euro-origin flourish on our shores. But American breeders should remember that we bred our great horses like ‘Snowbound’ and ‘Gem Twist’ here too! Thoroughbreds used to do it all. I see a new trend that American lines are being retraced from what was possible twenty years ago. More and more Jockey Club papered Thoroughbred owners are getting sick of the race track carnage, and seeking the bone strength of powerhouse stallions like Jaguar. Creative breeders recognize what his modern blood is all about, and the chance to morph foals from the six furlongs racers into really fast jumpers. BWP/NAD wants to register Jaguar foals that come from good mares with US Jockey Club papers. “They are clever about how to add speed back to the breed,” explained Geri. “And those well-built Thoroughbred mares that are judged to be conformationally correct, can then be rewarded for having their Jaguar baby. They can go on to get a second life as a proven producer in the BWP/NAD broodmare book, which raises their value.”
The Thoroughbred mare Gisele, a Storm Cat daughter, was an undefeated racehorse in her day. She was rescued after Linda Hickey, the mother of Hap Hansen’s winning junior Hickey Sisters, Solana, and Iris, saw her on a video clip. They bought the mare and thankfully prevented her from being sent to Mexico for slaughter. The saintly chestnut mare came west and produced a beautiful Jaguar colt named Whistle for Freedom. Now the mare and her colt are enjoying the good life at Buffy and Rick Oas’s beautiful PollyRich Farm in Solvang, where they spend time with a host of other lucky horses.
Known for being kind but sensitive, the Jaguar offspring thrive with patience and gentleness. Geri said, “You won’t ever need to use spurs on your Jaguar, and most of them will go in a snaffle. The trick is to take your time with them. Everything you do now will be reflected in the quality of the horse you have later on.” Geri reminded us of how Jaguar’s long legs and nimble dexterity can also get a foal in trouble. “We use leather halters only.” She explains “these Jaguar babies can get those legs caught up underneath their chins way too easily. Nylon halters won’t break, but leather will. I take all the leather halters off, too, every time I catch and release them. A few foal owners have complained to me that they hate to take the halter off because it can be so hard to catch the darned foal. (That makes me laugh ~ and, I have to admit to them that their Father is the same way!)”
Heidi Smilde even named her colt‚ “Catch My Jaguar.” “The trick is to have your foal WANT to be caught by you. If they anticipate that they get to go someplace good with you, they will agree to it. Your mood is everything. They will run away from anyone with a foul temper. It’s the Van Paemel way; Luc has been breeding this line of horses since he was 13. He is 68 now, and he said he breeds for three things only: the ability to jump; soundness; and good character.”
Tired of the drought, fires, and crazy hay prices that we’ve seen in California lately, Heidi Smilde loaded up all her horses and drove them across the country to the great Bluegrass fields of Kentucky. She said, “Geri, my Jaguar colt is so brave that I could not do anything without him! He leads all my others into the trailer. He’s one of the nicest babies I’ve ever had, very smart, and the most friendly and easy-going.” When she drives up to the edge of the field now, guess who brings all the other foals up to greet her? Yeah, Catch my Jaguar ….
Geri added, “That tells you volumes about Heidi, too. She wants what’s best for her family and she’s not afraid to go out and make that happen. I expect her Jaguar colt will be like a mirror to how she has trusted and loved him since birth.”
Raising a Jaguar foal is a joyful life’s reward. Experiencing the amusement of seeing them come nose to nose with new things every day and seeing how wonderful all that is, is priceless. Miki Hiller shared this about her colt Mick Jaguar, whom she calls Jagger. “He shares his snacks on the grass with the pig,” she said. “Jagger is very friendly. He is the greeter of the Farm.” She showed us a video of Jagger in his paddock. The horse knows how to set limits with the guests: When the bravest of free-roaming potbellied pigs crawled up into his feed bucket, he picked it up by the scruff of the neck and gave him a toss!
According to Geri, “The people who enquire about breeding to Jaguar are drawn by the epic dream of him. A little taller than his sire, Cicero van Paemel, Jaguar genes are raising the bar.”
In America, Jaguar’s semen can be purchased fresh or frozen through the Alamo Pintado Clinic in Santa Ynez, CA (tel.# 805-688-6510). If you are in Europe, then you can get it frozen by the dose in Asse, Belgium, through E.R.C. Morette (tel#: 32 2 453 00 61. For more info go to the Jaguar Van Paemel Facebook page and Instagram, or visit www.Jaguar.horse and also search Jaguar on www.RidingMagazine.com.