California Breeders Jump on the Jaguar Foal Train

More and more breeders find BWP Stallion Jaguar Van Paemel to be a perfect cross for their mares

by Cheryl Erpelding

When equestrian and stunt driver Prestin Persson’s barn manager said her mare had foaled, she was blown away when she went out to the mare’s one-acre paddock to find her only 2-hours old newly born colt as he calmly walked up to greet her. Prestin said she normally takes her mares to her veterinarian Fernando Canales’ facility to foal out her babies. Still, A Pulitzer Prize decided to come early and he would casually walk up to his human mother after being born was quite an amazing experience. He acts more like a puppy than a normal high-spirited warmblood colt and that first moment together has just melted Prestin’s heart.

Prestin was looking for a stallion to breed to Carmina, her showjumper Danish warmblood mare, who is more on the spicy side. She needed fresh semen to get her mare in foal and Dr. Canales steered her to Jaguar as a perfect cross for her mare. Even when she asked him about another stallion, Dr. Canales said she needed to breed to Jaguar, owned by Geri Bidwell. Prestin says Dr. Canales is a magician and is amazing at getting her mares in foal. He has handled her breeding program for nearly a decade. Prestin is thrilled with her youngster so far. She has spread the word to many of her fellow mare owners and plans to breed to Jaguar again in the future. Prestin hopes to bring A Pulitzer Prize along starting him in dressage when he is ready to go under saddle, and then work towards making it to the grand prix level of show jumping is her ultimate goal.

Jaguar’s fan club continues to grow every year with every new foal. Follow him on his Facebook Page and his Instagram. Photo: Wojtek Kwiatkowski
Alien is Zack Hardin’s colt out of Eminent by Jaguar Van Paemel. Zack says, “Eminent is the mare that showed me the true meaning of heart. Eminent, aka Luna, loves being a mom and Alien has her disposition and heart already I can tell! And with Jaguar’s power, he’s just got to be out of this world.” Photo: Wojtek Kwiatkowski
Alien is Zack Hardin’s colt out of Eminent by Jaguar Van Paemel. Zack says, “Eminent is the mare that showed me the true meaning of heart. Eminent, aka Luna, loves being a mom and Alien has her disposition and heart already I can tell! And with Jaguar’s power, he’s just got to be out of this world.”

Hunter Jumper trainer Kristin Hardin and her son Zacko also have foals by Jaguar. Kristin said this about Jaguar, “He’s very correct he has a really good mind and a very powerful hind end so he has a good cross for anyone looking for a high-level show jumper. I bred him to mares that had a lot of blood and were very sharp in front but needed some more power from behind. For that desired power, I chose Jaguar.”

Hunter/Jumper trainer Russell Morgan has two 4-year-old Jaguar colts at his training barn in Somis. He sat on Jaguar when Geri first brought him to California and was very impressed with the stallion’s athleticism. Jaguar gives the foals very good hind ends for jumping and Russell says, “All of the Jaguar offspring jump great.” Russell’s youngsters, USA Jaguar and Ukai are both very sensible and kind young horses. Russell loves their curiosity and says, “If you allow them to be curious they become very brave.”

Prestin Persson’s sweet Jaguar colt, A Pulitzer Prize, calmly walked up to Prestin in the field he was born in when he was only hours old. Photo: Wojtek Kwiatkowski
A Pulitzer Prize owned by Prestin Perrson has been a joy to work with so far and is more like a puppy than a high-powered Belgian warmblood colt. Photo: Wojtek Kwiatkowski

He says his athletic colts are great to work with and they look forward to their training sessions and will have no problem going to their first shows. He plans to begin their under-saddle work this year and they should be seen at their inaugural shows very soon. He is taking the time he needs to bring the young horses along. Allowing them to grow up together and not force their training is super important to help them stay flexible, strong, and happy to do the job that lies ahead for them. Young horses are much calmer when they are happy and relaxed. Being scared or in pain makes them anxious according to Russell. He says his youngsters look forward to him getting them out and they want to stay with him when he puts them back. Taking all of this time as they are growing up to put a good foundation on these future stars will go a long way once they go under-saddle. Russell also puts in time riding bareback on his young horses as that tells him if their bodies and backs are relaxed and emotionally ready to learn to carry their rider.

GIRLS WILL BE GIRLS! California photographer Ron Williams happened to capture this moment with the Shotwell sisters who were preparing to launch themselves onto the nose of 2-year-old Viva Jaguar, the smokey bay colt of Jaguar Van Paemel, while the old chestnut gelding named Nimbus stood by to talk sense into them!

Marta Long shared this about her Jaguar offspring:

“I am a 22-year Army veteran who came to America in 2000 with nothing but a sack of clothes at 16 years of age. I am now a realtor, an army officer, a horse breeder, a rider, and a trainer who has built my facility – Essayons Equestrian LLC in Wheatland, CA.

“I bought Lady Elegance as a yearling for a discount price to raise and sell. She has bloomed from an ugly duckling into a gorgeous mare who was awarded a Championship two years in a row for the Western Region of USA Future Event Horse.

Viva Jaguar – he got elite as a 2 year old. Photo: Wojtek Kwiatkowski

“She is a brilliant jumper and has taken me over the biggest jump I ever taken. I trained the mare myself. Before she was bred, Lady Elegance had been getting a show mileage at local shows. She is a slow late bloomer and I am a busy mom with three jobs, so I cannot train and show horses as fast as others can. Lady E is a careful mare and takes a while to get into the jumping routine, but when she does, she is fun and a power jumping machine. We went to see an Olympian over two years ago for a week-long clinic in LA, and Lady E performed there with the greatest work ethic and that’s where she took me over a 4’ oxer to show me what it’s like jumping over the big ones. The next day she came out of the barn fresh ready to work again. It was amazing!

Geri’s husband Jerry made her buy Jaguar and now the rest is history. Photo: Wojtek Kwiatkowski
The enthusiasm for Jaguar’s offspring continues to grow, as breeder after breeder is thrilled with their foal! The young horses that are in the show ring have owners and riders who continue to rave about their athleticism, trainability, and wonderful temperaments. Photo: Wojtek Kwiatkowski

“I bred her to Jaguar to help her mature mentally and to be a better horse overall. Her colt Avalon Night, is a lofty slow large counter stride kind of a guy. He is sweet, sensitive, and kind with large joints in the hind legs. He earned an Elite with a score of 82 at the BWP Keuring. I can’t wait to see what he turns into.

“Lima Charlie was my first horse that I produced as a foal from her dam that was pregnant when I bought her. Lima has also grown from an ugly duckling into a gorgeous mare with a thick body, strong legs, and a kind heart. I trust her with my kids when they come around to pet the horses. I have started her under saddle and after only a couple of months, she is showing the greatest potential as a jumping horse. She was the easiest horse I have started so far. Of course, I start training from the time horses are born to ensure I get the safest and best results for the rest of their lives. Lima hops over ground poles out of stride under saddle and I think she has a great Hunter Derby potential. Also has a great work ethic and is very resilient.

Viva Jaguar winning his 2-year-old Elite prize from the BWP/NAD. Photo: Wojtek Kwiatkowski
Linda Hickey’s 2-year-old colt Whistle for Freedom and his dam Gisele an OTTB both earned Elite in 2023 from the BWP. Photo: Patty Wilding

“Arios Caledonia is a dream filly and she earned Elite with a score of 84 from the BWP. Her neck is like the neck of a stallion. Her body is perfect as well as her movement and mind. She is kind and sweet. She has a steady rhythm and beautiful movement. She tries to jump anything that seems jumpable. Lima Charlie also has jumped effortlessly in the round pen from trot without hesitation.

“These foals have been the easiest to wean as well. I don’t know, maybe it is my experience and training, but I think genetics also have a lot to do with good minds.”

Jaguar’s groom Beto and Master Farrier Tyler Talbert.
Master Farrier Tyler Talbert working on Jaguar says, “Jaguar is built very even on the front end almost picture-perfect.”
Brianna McGovern’s colt, Another Round of Jaguar, was born last June and is out of her Dutch warmblood mare Bonita with whom she competed in the 1.20m ring.

Brianna McGovern’s colt, Another Round of Jaguar, was born last June and is out of her Dutch warmblood mare Bonita with whom she competed in the 1.20m ring. She either needed to step down in the show ring with her mare or consider breeding her mare. Brianna keeps her mare at the Marshall’s farm and is familiar with the foals their mares had by Jaguar and thought it might be a good idea to breed her mare to the same sire. This is the first foal she has ever bred and when she began her research it turned out her mare Bonita had a foal when she was a four-year-old out of Jaguar’s sire, Cicero Z Van Paemel, before she imported her.

Jaguar living large in California with his owner Geri Bidwell who keeps in contact with all of the mare owners and checks in regularly to see how their babies are coming along. Many breeders love the athleticism and the level-headedness Jaguar brings to their foals.

Another Round of Jaguar is according to Brianna a very level-headed baby so far. She has experience with 3-year-olds and older, and this is her first experience with a foal and is very pleased with her colt. Halter breaking wasn’t hard and the other day when she got him out after three weeks of not working him, he easily walked out of his pen and had an expression of, “Hey what are we doing?” When she asked to step on a white saddle pad he easily did the task. Brianna says, “The Jaguar babies want to trust you.” She is enjoying the groundwork and young horse training, but when he is ready, she will have someone else start him out for the under-saddle work.

Breeding to Geri Bidwell’s stallion has been a great experience for Brianna. Geri is always following up with Brianna, checking in to see how her colt is doing and always posting on social media how her growing tribe of Jaguar youngsters are doing. Brianna says her colt may end up being a bay as he hasn’t shown any sign of turning grey like many of the other Jaguar foals. The experience has been wonderful and breeding to Jaguar could be a possibility.

Whoa Jumanji Jaguar (Jaguar van Paemel x Sir Caletto) was the highest-scoring BWP colt in America 2022. Photo: Wojtek Kwiatkowski

Linda Hickey from Washington State has been good friends with Geri for over 20 years. After asking all her breeding expert connections who to breed to, all roads led back to Jaguar. She bred Gisele, a beautiful OTTB mare she rescued from a kill pen. Her foal by Jaguar is Whistle for Freedom and is a two-year-old growing up at Buffy and Rick Oas’ PollyRich Farms in Buellton. He earned an Elite from the BWP with great praise from the judges for his beautiful light trot and received an 80 score. The mare also earned her Elite status. With Jaguar’s power, agility, and how he floats across the ground combined with Gisele’s speed, Linda has high hopes for her 14-year-old daughter Iris when she shows Freedom in the jumpers. Linda is so pleased with Freedom, that they plan to breed Gisele to Jaguar again this year.

Master Farrier Tyler Talbert shares:

“Over the years, I have worked on Jaguar, Jadore, Nevada, and most recently the three-year-olds Viva and JJ. They all have their unique personality but I have found overall the line is very sweet and kind.

“I am the only Farrier that has ever trimmed Viva and JJ. I have been working on them since day one. I have always believed in consistency with young horses. The work has always been done in the stall with a holder for the first two years. In the last year, we have graduated them to the cross ties, and at three years old, both horses stand like gentlemen for me with Beto the groom still standing at the head just for comfort reasons. They are both turning into very well-mannered young horses. Very kind and quick to learn. They are big guys with big feet, and I have tried to keep them that way. I have had no problems with growth and they are both still barefoot. As with all horses feet sizes and shapes will always vary and in my experience, the Van Paemel line is overall very healthy as far as having solid hooves and proportional sizing to the body. Jaguar is built very even on the front end almost picture-perfect. They don’t all get as nice as that but at least you can rest assured that you’re giving yourself a good chance of getting a horse with solid feet out of this one.

Alphabet Soup is out of Ship to Shore owned by Kristn Hardin. Another stunning foal by Jaguar Van Paemel. Photo: Wojtek Kwiatkowski
Marta Long’s filly Arios Caledonia pictured here at three months earned her Elite from the BWP with a score of 84. Geri Bidwell says she has the neck of Jaguar.

“As far as working on Jaguar goes, he has a lot of personality, and he pays attention to everything.. for safety reasons, I generally work on him once all of the horses have been removed from the barn and are out in the pastures. He does best in a quiet and peaceful environment with the least amount going on as possible. No matter how good the horse may act. you always have to remember that you are working on a stallion. And at Geri‘s request, we play music for him while we shoe him – he seems to like it.”

Jaguar’s son Otis Blue competing at the Grand Prix level in Europe.

Geri reports:

“Jaguar’s very successful son Otis Blue, was purchased by an American back east and he is competing in Florida right now with Shane Sweetham in the irons. They expect to do their first Grand Prix in a few weeks in Wellington. Otis Blue was successful at the 1.55 level in Europe. His full brother Querido Blue is also by Jaguar and he has won the seven-year-old division in Belgium.

“Jaguar van Paemel now has over 20 babies showing with success between 1.30 and 1.55 meters and we expect that number to double this year. He has more than 100 foals now which live all over the world. He has four approved stallion sons and many AHS Gold Medal foal winners, Westfalen premium foals, and BWP elite prospects coming. His foals have also been registered with Zangershied and AES. There isn’t a registry that wants to exclude Jaguar! It’s just hard to keep track of all these details to keep up with his kids!

Otis Blue, the son of Jaguar van Paemel, who is now being ridden in the USA by Shane Sweetnam. Photo: Moura Tours

California Riding Magazine is pleased to continue to help make Jaguar’s excellence and convenience known to more owners of our local West Coast mares. The enthusiasm for his offspring continues to grow, as breeder after breeder is thrilled with their foal! The young horses that are in the show ring have owners and riders who continue to rave about their athleticism, trainability, and wonderful temperaments.

If you want to learn more about Jaguar you can visit or follow him on his Jaguar Van Paemel Facebook or his Instagram: @jaguarvanpaemel. Details about how European customers can still buy his frozen semen from Kim Borloo in Belgium, while breeders in North America can have his fresh or frozen semen Fed Ex’d to their door. And as Geri would say, “It is all the better to share the love of Jaguar!”

Jaguar Van Paemel is a stunning Belgian Warmblood sire imported by Geri Bidwell. Photo: Wojtek Kwiatkowski

This is an excellent excerpt about Jaguar from World Breeding News last August by Jo de Roo:

“In 2018 Luc declared about this stallion, who was approved by Studbook Zangersheide in 2012: ‘He has incredible scope and a very good use of his back. He opens the hind legs very well. In addition, he is chic. When Dirk participates with Jaguar in a showjumping class, people follow Jaguar from the paddock to the arena.’

“In 2015 Dirk Demeersman, a top European Olympic and World Cup Rider, rode Jaguar to the win in an international showjumping class for young horses and, in the same year the duo achieved several top 10 places in Lummen and the Stephex Masters. Two years later, at the age of eight, Jaguar performed during international three- and four-star competitions, at 1m45 to even 1m50 level. Luc adds: ‘I’m going to tell you honestly: Dirk is a rider who respects the horses. If you see Jaguar jumping, it is pure, natural. Jaguar has a very good canter, incredible scope, and a very good hind-leg technique. As a riding horse he has been given a certain chic’ and, predictably, ‘In two years he will be successful in the sport.’ In 2018 and 2019 Jaguar performed under the saddle of Aldrick Cheronnet.

“According to Dirk Demeersman: ‘Jaguar was careful, had a lot of scope and a lot of blood. He was super cool. A top character. He could trot like a dressage horse. He had a good canter, a good mouth. He was a very sensitive horse. Maybe he’s the reason why I am still riding today.

‘At the beginning of 2015, I became national coach of the Belgian showjumping team’s senior riders. The then owner of Jaguar, Luc Van Eeckhoudt, said ‘Do what you want, but Jaguar stays with you, ride him during the week and find someone to take him out in competition. I hadn’t ridden for a while then. At the beginning of January, I rode again and then said ‘I’m not going to hand over that horse. I will ride Jaguar myself.’ I then rode him as a six- and subsequently as a seven-year-old. I was the national coach at the same time, in 2015 and 2016. I had a lot of fun with that horse; a very good horse. In hindsight, I have to admit it wasn’t smart of me. At the end of 2016, I stopped being the national coach. Maybe I didn’t really give Jaguar the chance he deserved. I may have gone a little too fast when he was eight years old. I can’t say a single bad word about Jaguar. I’ve always been a fan of this stallion. He has always done well. For the sport, he has already produced many good offspring. They seem to be slightly cooler than him. And also important: they cooperate. Jaguar did that too, sometimes even a little too much. He wanted to try too hard.

“‘He is a very sensitive horse. We had to handle him wisely. He sometimes had some inner stress. He is a beautiful appearance, long-legged, a blood horse, very modern. We used him ourselves in our breeding and have good offspring, especially Jewel ASK Z. This shows that I believed in Jaguar.’ Was he different in training than in the arena? ‘Yes. He always jumped well, but at home, he jumped more calmly and we thought ‘We can ride the Olympics with him.’ Again, in hindsight, I should have given him a little more time as he was a blissful horse.”

Alphabet Soup owned by Kristin Hardin who bred two mares to Jaguar says, “He’s very correct he has a really good mind and a very powerful hind end so he has a good cross for anyone looking for a high-level show jumper. I bred him to mares that had a lot of blood and were very sharp in front but needed some more power from behind. For that desired power, I chose Jaguar.” Photo: Wojtek Kwiatkowski

2023 BWP Keuring results

• Avalon – 82 elite – he got the 4th highest score
• A Magnum of Jaguar – owned by Marshall Family / MarFarm – 82 elite
• Avalon Night – Marta Long – 82 elite
• Another Round of Jaguar – Brianna McGovern – 80 elite
• Alphabet Soup – Kristin Hardin – 79 – first premium
• Alien – Zack Hardin – 78 – first premium
Registered but not Judged:
• A Pulitzer Prize – registered – too young to get judged

• Arlos Caledonia -Marta Long – 84 elite
• Atticus JVP – Jennifer Holman – 81 elite
Registered but not Judged:
• Atigresse Blanche De Jaguar – Matt Bergeron – registered
Yearling Futurity
• Whistle for Freedom – Linda Rae Hickey – 80 elite – Belgian Warmblood – judges
• When a Jaguar Makes a Jeroboam – Marshall – 76
• Viva Jaguar – Elite – 82 – 3rd in the country

Showjumper rider and trainer of Somis, CA, Russell Morgan owns USA Jaguar now four, and soon to be headed to the show ring. Photo: Wojtek Kwiatkowski