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Future So Bright: Dominator Z

Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Future So Bright

Photo (c) Sportfotos Stefan Lafrentz / Dominator Z with Judy-Ann Melchior in the saddle. Photo (c) Sportfotos Stefan Lafrentz /

Some horses just stand out. Dominator Z is definitely one of them. Turning eight this year, the pitch black Zangersheide stallion by Diamant de Semilly x Cassini I has maybe been the most talked about young horse over the past years.

In our new series Future So Bright, we catch up with the world’s best riders on some of their most exciting talents – that might develop into becoming the next big thing in the international ring. We sat down with Judy-Ann Melchior to learn more about Dominator Z.

“Dominator’s breeders, the Foriens-family, live half an hour from us and I saw a video of Dominator free jumping as a 2-year-old,” Judy-Ann tells us about how she discovered the stallion. “Already then he jumped like something I had never seen before. As a 4-year-old he had a girl riding him, and always had such a spectacular way of jumping. He did a few classes here in our area. Also, his breeding was really interesting; he was just the perfect stallion for our stud, but I actually thought I would not be able to ride him myself, because of his size and power,” Judy-Ann explains. “He came to our stables when he was 4-years-old, and we are now half-owners together with the breeders.”

If you have seen Dominator in action, you know what the talk is about. And the feeling on top? “Unbelievable,” Judy-Ann laughs. “The way he jumps is from a different planet. He is actually really easy to ride, even if he is such a big horse. I have been riding him since he was 6-years-old, and just with a normal snaffle on him. Sometimes at the end of the course, he still gets tired and then he gets a bit heavy. But he has such a good mouth that I always have a simple bit on him, because he is so soft. Despite his size and the fact that he has been breeding a lot, it worked so well between us – I was a bit surprised by that.”

To put into words what is the difference with this stallion, is a challenge. “He is not really comparable to another horse,” Judy-Ann smiles. “He has everything a sport horse needs. Even though he can be a bit playful and un-concentrated at times, now when he comes into the arena – it doesn’t matter what arena it is – he is so focused. He jumps so high. When I watch the videos, I am always surprised to see how high he jumps because when you are in the saddle you never feel that he unbalances you. He jumps in such an easy and elastic way, that you as a rider don’t really feel how high you are.”

Despite his young age Dominator Z has already done a huge amount of breeding. But this year, when he turns eight, the focus will be shifted. “He has been breeding a lot, and for 2018 he will only be available for two months,”, Judy-Ann tells us. “For the rest of the year I want to start his sports career. I hope he is going to be my next top star! He has everything to achieve, and I have been riding him now through his youngster career and I hope we can keep building this up. We have a really good relationship and I do believe that he really has all it takes – I can’t think of anything he is missing. Of course, he needs more routine, he needs to do more shows and breed less to be able to get to the top. For the past years everything has been planned around breeding season. This season the breeding will be planned around the sport. He has developed fully now, now it is time to get the routine.”


Text © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen // Picture © Sportfotos Stefan Lafrentz /

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