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From youngster to international Grand Prix horse: Creedance

Thursday, 23 March 2017
From youngster to international Grand Prix horse

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Kent Farrington with Creedance. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

The success story of the lovely gelding Creedance started in the north of the Netherlands, back in 2007. Farrier Antonio Hassing bought Creedance’ dam Camantha in 2006 and the next year, the Lord Z-son Creedance was born at his farm in Steggerda. “Camantha was already 22-years-old when I bought her, but I liked her pedigree of Notaris x Nimmerdor. In addition, she was awarded ‘Prestatie’ by the KWPN, which means her offspring were doing well in sport. I hoped for a filly to continue this breeding line, but Camantha gave birth to a colt,” Antonio Hassing says looking back. Hassing called the chestnut colt Creedance. “Well, my wife Natasja probably came up with that name. Most of the times, she gives the names to our foals and she named him after the American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival.”

He is one of world’s best showjumpers at the moment, but Creedance did not look very promising as a foal. “He was a tiny foal. I mean, really tiny. People kept on asking me: ‘Since when are you breeding ponies instead of horses?’” Hassing laughs. “Ok, he had a good body but he was truly a pony foal.”

Only three months after his birth, a disaster struck for Creedance and his breeder. “One day when I arrived home after work, Creedance was laying in the field. I obviously thought he was sleeping, but after an hour or so he was still laying. We checked him out and noticed he was sick, so we called the veterinarian. The vet examined him and concluded that he had a scrotal hernia. He said we had to do surgery, so I asked: ‘What will that cost?’ And the vet said: ‘Probably three to five thousand euros.’ It is maybe weird to say now, but back then it did not look like the pony foal Creedance would ever be worth that money,”Hassing tells. “In the end, we decided to take him to the nearest vet clinic in Wolvega and asked for a second opinion. They said the same as our vet, but when we asked for an alternative they suggested to castrate him the next day. However, he had to survive through the night first and the chances did not look too good for him. Probably, Creedance was already a fighter back then because he survived through the night and fully recovered from the scrotal hernia after the castration.”

Since Creedance’ dam Camantha did not get in foal anymore at the age of 23 and Creedance was a pretty, but tiny foal, Antonio Hassing decided to sell both of them to Wiebe Yde van de Lageweg of VDL Stud. “Wiebe Yde later on sold Creedance to the horse dealer Mense Toering, who again sold him to Erwin Barendrecht. And the latter sold him to Niels Mulder and Roel Koopmans, and I think they brought Creedance to France to produce him as a showjumper,” the breeder tells about Creedance – that obviously had quite some different owners before ending up at Kent Farrington’s stable. “From what I have heard, he was quite a hot and special horse as a youngster, but he always had the quality. For me as a breeder, it is fantastic that he ended up with a rider as Kent. He suits him perfectly,” Antonio Hassing concludes.

From France, Creedance’s journey went on to Stephex Stables in Belgium. When he was brought there to be tried, it was Petronella Andersson that would be the first one to sit on him. The Swedish rider confirms that Creedance was quite wild: “I remember very well when Creedance came to be tried. It was a stressful day because I was off to a show in Bonheiden, and I was asked to get on him before I was leaving. He was quite wild, and was flying around all over the place. To be honest I thought he was a 4-year-old, then it turned out he was 7,” Petronella laughs. “So, I kept on jumping as the fences were put up and he did it easy although he was running a lot being quite a handful to ride.”

“Stephan ended up buying him, and Creedance stayed at home while I went to the show. When I came back, I was just wondering where to even start with him – but he learned quite quickly. In the ring he was always straight-forward, and he had a kind personality although he was a bit all-over-the-place. He definitely had his own opinion and will,” Petronella smiles. “It was a bit hard to tell how good he would become I have to say, because whatever he jumped it always felt the same. But, it never felt as he had a limit. In the end I think his mentality has taken him far, he is a real fighter.”

“After four-five months, Kent came to try him. I was actually a bit embarrassed, because Creedance was far from rideable and was still running around throwing in bucks here and there. I remember trying to explain myself to Kent that I did not have him for that long,” Andersson says laughing. “But, Creedance jumped great. I suspected that Kent had a pretty good feeling on him, and also that Creedance was just his type of horse.”

“It is amazing to see all the work Kent has put into Creedance, and how he has developed. I think they were a perfect match, and Creedance just suited Kent so well. I believe that combined with Creedance’s strong will has made him one of the world’s best horses,” Petronella closes off. 

 


Text © World of Showjumping by Peter van der Waaij and Jannicke Naustdal // Picture © Jenny Abrahamsson

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