In the 1990’s the reining horse industry in Italy was on the rise. This boom gave birth to Le Colombare Quarter Horses located in Asola in the province of Mantova, Italy. The facility focuses on both the reining horse and cutting horse industries. Giovanni Nodari and Massimiliano Ruggeri decided they would invest in reining horses by visiting the United States and purchasing high caliber foals. Unfortunately, they determined the caliber of foals they wished to purchase were not within their budget. Thus, they decided to invest in good mares which they could breed in Italy to top stallions in the industry.
In 1998 Nodari and Ruggeri were interested in purchasing a mare from Arcese Quarter Horses only to find out she had previously been sold. However, their interest in this mare led them to another mare owned by Arcese, Arc Joy Surprise (Surprise Enterprise x Sophie Oak) who was a Non Pro Futurity Champion with Matteo Arcese in the saddle. After purchasing Arc Joy Surprise they showed her for two additional seasons before retiring her as a broodmare at the age of seven.
Nodari and Ruggeri decided to breed Arc Joy Surprise to the 1993 stallion, Spat Olena (Smart Chic Olena x Steps Little Remedy), owned by Claudio Risso. Their first breeding resulted in Spat A Blue (photo right) who became a NRHA World Champion. Their second foal by Spat Olena resulted in the 2011 IRHA Open Champion of the Year and 2012 NRHA/IRHA Derby Open Level 4 Champion with lifetime earnings of over $40K, Spat Split and White (photo top left).
Over the years they have bred Arc Joy Surprise to many of the top reining sires in the industry which includes Wimpys Little Step. This up and coming young stallion, Step Magic, resulting from these two powerful horses is in training with Corinna Schumacher and is predicted to have a very promising show career (photo, below left). Arc Joy Surprise has proven herself as a great broodmare with 98% of her foals winning in European arenas. She is currently ranked 32nd against all mares, all ages, all divisions. The goal of Le Colombare Quarter Horses is to produce excellent foals from mares chosen for their top quality pedigrees. “The difference is made by the mares", says Nodari.
When searching for a facility to process frozen semen from their stallions and subsequently store and distribute the semen Nodari and Ruggeri didn’t have to look long before making their decision. The choice to use SBS Italia was an easy one. After their numerous trips to the United States they realized 9 of the 10 most popular reining horse stallions were frozen by the Select Breeders Service Network. SBS Italia is considered essential to the realization of the breeding program for Le Colombare as they require freezing, storage and distribution of semen carried out in a professional manner. SBS was a logical choice because it represents a leading organization with a worldwide presence. When asked why Le Colombare uses frozen semen Nodari said,
“I do not understand why veterinarians are still using cooled semen as frozen semen is more convenient. They can receive semen well in advance of a mare's ovulation.”
Frozen semen from Spat Split and White is available from SBS Italia and is qualified for shipment within the European Union and to Israel, Norway and Switzerland.