Redheart Appaloosa Stud is enhancing the Foundation Appaloosa Blood line with every generation born. With a view to improving it, it is essential we introduce higher Foundation Blood to move forward.
Concentrated on the mating of DREA Bluhawks Pataha (90.625% FAHR) and DREA Fire Frangelica (95.3125% FAHR) at the Double Forest Ranch (DFR) in Switzerland owned by Dr Franz & Daniela Renggli. Both are 100% FPD giving rise to a GAP 5 foal over 90% FAHR. These horses were imported by DFR from the well-known American Foundation Breeder Milton Decker at Decker’s Red Eagle Appaloosas. These horses have some serious old Foundation blood lines and I quote “This is some of the very best Foundation blood we have been fortunate enough to collect and breed on from” Milton Decker.
Frangelica delivered a healthy black snow cap colt, now named DFR Patahas Redheart, aka Blu. Needles to say we did not hesitate to secure a sale for this new born….and later we found out he is homozygous for PATN1, BONUS!
Photographs courtesy of Daniela Renggli
It’s been a crazy 10 months at Redheart’s, despite the show season, despite the foaling season and then organising our trip to collect Blu,ensuring all fell into place has been a headache worth having.
Our family adventure was organised, departing Friday 23rd October to collect Blu. Travelling from Dover to Calais then heading for Reims, Nancy and the Swiss / French border at Basel. The trip coincided with my 40th birthday, one birthday venture I will never forget. My mother and her husband Kevin drove their own car and their gift for my birthday was to book some kind of accommodation near DFR.
We set of during the evening to Dover, ensuring we missed the heavy burden of M25 traffic, not only a Friday but the start of the School Holidays. This was perfect, I drove and despite my fear of six lanes, I owned the motorway and our journey was unbelievably uncomplicated.
The crossing from Dover to Calais was very smooth and my children were so excited on top deck, too much Titanic viewing I guess? Departing from the docks at Calais we slept in the lorry at the first service station to catch up on some sleep, continuing our journey at sun rise.
Not realising our Sat Nav did not update to drive in the EU, relying on the map, our route was changed when we realised we had missed an exit at Nancy and we found ourselves not too far from Strasbourg, not Epinal. This was my error as Antony was driving and taking full directions from me….Oops!
Although, this meant a wonderful scenic route via the tunnels through the mountains heading towards Colmar via another Sunset…. None the less we eventually found our way to Sissach when Mum and Kevin took the lead to the Hotel they had booked.
A few pictures en route…
The route to the Bad Ramsach Hotel was through some very narrow lanes that were nearly vertical, in the dark the approach was lit by small road side lamps which gave the “WOW” factor when the hotel came in to view. An amazing birthday treat…..I really do have the best mum! It was too dark to capture an image but this photo was taken the following evening.
The food was just divine, the accommodation was excellent and the swimming pool was the ideal way to relax. The night was cut short after dinner as not one of us could keep our eyes open except the children of course who had slept pretty much the whole journey and at this point were on a high….
The views from and around the hotel were breath taking….
After an early breakfast, we walked the hotel grounds before heading off to Double Forest Ranch, only 20 minutes away!!!
Again, relying on the good old map…..DFR was literally over the other side of the Mountain…ok large Hill, but it was like a mountain. Do you think we could get there? With very little reception it was difficult to stay in contact with Franz. We managed to bypass DFR on several occasions, over two hours later we arrived with the aid of Franz waving in the distant field……. It is so funny now but at the time I can tell you the pressure was rising in the lorry..…with sheer frustration we kept by passing villages that were not on the map?
Our eventual arrival at DFR was met with open arms from Franz and Daniella, they made us feel so welcome and our time at their ranch was just awesome. We met all the horses, enjoyed the gorgeous views, made a big fuss of Blu and his parents. Enjoyed lunch and a good old chin wag about Foundation Appaloosa……
We left the lorry at the Ranch as Franz very kindly offered to drive us back to the hotel and collect us in the morning. This really exceeding our expectations of hospitality but given our current record of getting lost I think he was so right to do so.
Back at the hotel we made the most of the spa facilities, enjoyed the evening meal and planned in detail our route home (the original planned route) ensuring NO missed exits, although expensive the most direct routes were using the toll roads or “vignette” to ensure Blu’s first journey in a horse box was as pleasant as possible given the fact we were travelling across country, up and down dale…..
Up early, Franz was there to collect us….we had breakfast at DFR and sorted paper work. The lorry was in position and Daniella and Franz went to get Blu, straight up the ramp, no hesitation, no panicking, no neighing for his friends as he just munched away at his hay and we all said our goodbyes.
Pataha and Frangelica both came to the fence as we started the lorry……a little surreal….of all the horses it was Blu’s parents that came to say goodbye to their little lad, off to another country!
“Be a good boy and you will always be well looked after” …………….“Go and sow your Swiss oats my son”
The journey back to Calais was as planned, schedule stops were made for rest and to check Blu. With adlib hay, water and the whole box to him self he travelled loose in comfort. Here’s a few more pictures of route out of Switzerland and across France.
There were some moments I will treasure…
The relief that our old lorry made the 2,325KM round trip with no problems. Driving on the “wrong” or “right” side of the road, depending on how you view this subject but for me although totally wrong felt right. The moment I saw the hotel….I was prepared to sleep in the lorry but knew mum was sorting a bed and breakfast out or similar, a fantastic memory of my 40th. The long pause from Pataha when he wanted to meet me….a stranger in his paddock of girls where stallions are in charge and protective, a pure gentleman. Driving through the sun rises and sunsets and the most important the moment when Blu walked down the ramp into a Redheart Appaloosa stable…..we did it!
This picture was taken from that car that continued to follow us!
A sense of reassurance and support as always
Courtesy of my mother.
The future is Blu with Redheart…….