John Whitaker has a new horse in the eight year old Abdul Aziz (Diamant de Semilly x Vert Et Rouge). Two years ago Horse and Hound wrote an article claiming that Abdul Aziz bred by Old Lodge stud in the UK was a ‘horse to follow for the future’. This week Abdul Aziz has moved yards to John Whitaker to start his International career. Bred by Old Lodge stud he has been produced by Steven Franks including qualifying for The Horse of the Year Show in 2011 and representing British breeding at the World Breeding Championships.
A big black horse by Diamant de Semilly he is the first foal out of Old Lodge homebred mare Twilight and is out of Moonlight by a dual Olympic Gold Medalist. Moonlight has already produced International show jumpers, eventers and approved stallions. Abdul Aziz is a British Equine Federations ‘pathway’ horse which identifies horses with Nations Cup potential.
Old Lodge have supported Steven Franks since he first set up his own yard after leaving William Funnell’s. ‘He is really brilliant with the young horses as he is such a quiet rider’ comments Corrina Duncan for Old Lodge, ‘He has does a great job producing him ‘.
John is very pleased with his new horse and will be able to run him along side his other Old Lodge ride – Lord of Arabia who he was placed in the Young Horse Classes in CSIO 5* show at Rotterdam last year. Abdul Aziz and Lord of Arabia both have the scope, temperament and pedigree make them hopeful contenders for the 2016 Olympics.