More than 35 years ago Iron Spring Farm (ISF) began with the goal of helping North American breeders gain access to the best sporthorse bloodlines available without having to travel to Europe. Located in Coatesville, PA, the farm is home to outstanding warmblood stallions, mares and their offspring. Following the belief that producing quality horses requires great bloodlines they choose the best stallions and mares for their program. They focus on finding horses with great temperaments, quality movement and correct conformation.
Their philosophy is, “Riders of every level want a horse that loves to work and is highly trainable. So disposition is extremely important in considering whether to add a horse to the ISF breeding program. Roemer-Preferent, Contango-Preferent, Florianus II, Sir Sinclair-Keur (photo above) Heinse 354-Sport/Preferent, and Teade 392-Sport (photo bottom left) represent the quality of stallion that Iron Spring Farm stands. These stallions possess immense athletic ability, excellent work ethics and proven results in the show ring and consistently pass these sought-after qualities to their offspring.”
However, their dedication to the industry does not end with a breeding contract from one of their stallions or the selling of one of their offspring. They are equally dedicated to helping other breeders produce their own champions. The ISF staff is willing to share advice, plus they have a wide variety of educational material, including articles on equine reproduction, horse management and nutrition, on their website. They believe the more breeders and riders know, the more successful they can become.
Throughout the years, hundreds of offspring sired by ISF stallions have been awarded 1st Premium, Star, Keur and other predicates by international breeding organizations. In the show ring they have had numerous champions, including Grand Champions at Dressage at Devon and horses winning at the FEI level. Their stallions have offspring winning internationally such as Judgement ISF (Crown), UB40, Contango (Preferent) and Sir Sinclair (Keur). Ulbert 390 (Sport) has produced an Approved stallion and several Crown mares. Teade 392 (Sport) has sired an Approved stallion, winners in USDF competition, and world champion show horses. The younger stallions, like Meinse 439 and Tjalbert 460, have already produced numerous keuring champions.
Their primary focus is currently on Dutch Warmblood (KWPN) and Friesian (KFPS) horses from the Netherlands. The Friesian stallions available from ISF in 2015 include Teade 392-Sport (Anton 343, Sport x Irma van ‘t Zuid), Meinse 439 (Heinse 354-Sport, Pref. x Femke fan Nes S), Ulbert 390-Sport (Sierk 326 x Famke D.), Tjalbert 460 (Beart 411-Sport, Pref. x Grevinne fan Lutke Jeinjum), Brend 413-Sport (Brandus 345-Sport, Pref. x Meta Van De Strubbenhof), Maeije 440 (Beart 411-Sport, Pref. x Annegjen, Star), and Uwe 458 (Beart 411-Sport, Pref. x Rimkje B.L.).
The 2015 breeding year includes these warmblood stallions: Florianus II (Westfalen; Florestan I x Die Dame), Sir Sinclair-Keur (KWPN; Lord Sinclair x Krishna), UB40 (Olivi-Keur x Kilucienne, Prestatie-Pref., Sport, Keur), Uno Don Diego (DWB; Dressage Royal x Frederica), Judgement ISF-Crown (KWPN; Consul x Faletta), Contango-Pref. (Oldenburg; Contender x Adisa III), Consul (KWPN; Nimmerdor x Waloniki), and Rampal-Crown (KWPN; G Ramiro Z x Terika).
Iron Spring Farm has a long-standing relationship with Select Breeders Service (SBS) in Chesapeake City, Maryland. When asked why ISF chooses to use the services provided by SBS, Iron Spring responded,
“They have always been a leader in the field of equine reproduction. SBS has the most up-to-date equipment for freezing and analyzing sperm. They stay on top of the newest technology. They are respected worldwide and considered among the best in their field. The management, technicians and staff are all top professionals. We also work with SBS in our embryo transfer (ET) program and utilize their recipient herd. Dr. Scofield of SBS Veterinary Services is a key part of our ET team. It is important for ISF to provide our clients with the best possible breeding experience, and utilizing SBS Services is a vital part of the equation for us. We are very grateful to SBS for their help and support; especially Paul Loomis, Dr. Scofield and Jonathan Clark.”
Rather than employing technicians of their own, ISF uses SBS to collect their stallions and process semen for cooled semen shipments. All of their stallions are also enrolled in the SBS Quality Control/Quality Assurance program (QC/QA program). This program is where SBS monitors the semen from each of the stallions including their sperm production and motility parameters.
There are several advantages to the use of frozen equine semen. Iron Spring Farm uses frozen semen in their breeding program when the stallions are competing, traveling or deceased. Past ISF stallions (Contango, Roemer and Rampal) continue to contribute their genetics to the breeding program through the use of frozen semen. “It is a wonderful tool to have in case a stallion becomes unavailable for breeding for any reason.”
Iron Spring Farm is dedicated to helping amateur and professional horseman succeed in the sport horse industry. They work closely with their breeders to make sure the result is a positive outcome for all involved. Their professional staff is always available when needed.
Photos by Terri Miller