Equestrian Life
Christan Trainor builds breeding dream

 Christan Trainor has a passion for breeding quality dressage horses. © ffire Photography

Christan Trainor has a passion for breeding quality dressage horses.

© ffire Photography

 

CHRISTAN TRAINOR BUILDS BREEDING DREAM

By Equestrian Life

It might seem odd to make a covered riding arena one of your leading priorities when setting up an equestrian property focused on breeding. However at Glenhill Sporthorses, being able to ride their star mares is an important part of the equation.


When professional rider Christan Trainor moved to Australia from the United States eleven years ago, she caught the breeding bug. An interest initially sparked by her retired eventing mare who travelled with her to Australia, Christan’s passion for bloodlines grew and expanded from jumping horses into the world of dressage.

Six years ago, it became possible for her and husband Scott to purchase and set up their dream property in the Southern Highlands – and the Glenhill breeding program has evolved rapidly ever since.

IT ALL STARTED WITH A COVERED ARENA


Developing what was essentially a 40-acre blank canvas, Christan drew on her experience gleaned from working in and visiting state-of-the-art equestrian establishments as a professional rider.

“We built it all up from scratch; we built a covered arena with a SOILTEX custom blended surface, a 70m x 65m sand outdoor arena, and a turf outdoor, and we renovated the houses and put in suitable fencing,” says Christan, explaining that the indoor arena was one of the first things built.

 

The property's infrastructure is centred around the covered arena.

The property's infrastructure is centred around the covered arena.



It might seem strange to place so much emphasis on a riding arena when you’re running a breeding business – but Glenhill’s breeding program is a little different. Centred around a string of competition mares that are bred via embryo transfer, having a high quality, all-weather training arena from the beginning was an essential aspect of developing the property.

“The covered arena is just vital for us because our mares are mostly all competition horses, so they have to have a really good arena with good surfaces to work on. They're not just in a paddock,” continues Christan, explaining that the concept for the indoor was created by her husband, Scott, with her input, and brought to life by the team at ABC Sheds. The shed is 66m x 21.6m, with eight bays at 7.5m and 1 bay at 6m; a cantilevered awning extends off the side, with the actual riding arena footprint being 60m x 20m.

 

The ABC Sheds-built covered arena is 66m x 21.6m including the cantilevered awning, with the arena footprint being 60m x 20m.

The ABC Sheds-built covered arena is 66m x 21.6m including the cantilevered awning, with the arena footprint being 60m x 20m.



“We worked with ABC Sheds to design the indoor. It’s enclosed on three sides, and the actual arena is a proper 60m x 20m. We've then got a three-metre overhang that goes down the open side – so there’s good ventilation but the weather never comes in and we don't get shadows. It is quite a clever design. And then we've got Perspex along the top third of the enclosed walls, so it lets in a lot of light.” Christan says ABC Sheds were brilliant to work with throughout the design and building process.

“It was important for us to work with Christan and Scott to provide a bespoke arena cover that suited their property and specific business needs,” says ABC Sheds Director Jonny Hornsey. “They had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve, and it was a pleasure to bring that to fruition.”

Click here to download ABC Sheds' Equestrian Building Solutions brochure.

 

ABC Sheds brochure.

 

Christan Trainor riding Glenhill Silhouette (Sezuan x Ferrero Rocher). © ffire Photography

Christan Trainor making use of the covered arena.

© ffire Photography



To help with the correct training of their mares, a wall of mirrors adorns an entire short side. ABC Sheds’ fully structural arena covers make it simple to install the framing for mirrors right where they are needed, as all UB columns have the ability for railing and framework to be attached at any time.

You can read more about designing your covered riding arena – including the importance of mirrors – in the September issue of Equestrian Life magazine.



 

ABC Sheds - Shed builder

Check out ABC Sheds' Shed Builder App to create your dream arena!

 

THE GLENHILL MARES

Christan is adamant that when breeding future superstars, the mare is just as important as the stallion, which is why many of their mares are in work and competing; they are proven in their own right.

The competition mares, who are trained by professional rider Lisa Janke and from which Christan pulls embryos with the help of her vet Andrew Argyle, are New Star Lp (Negro x DiMaggio), Glenhill Vivid (Vitalis x Zonik), Glenhill Silhouette (Sezuan x Ferrero Rocher), Total Fame (Fürst Heinrich x Whisper V), and the jumping-bred Glenhill Contessa (by Contendro 1) who is out of Christan’s foundation mare Morchant. In addition, Glenhill is also home to mares Tulara Schufretta II (Blue Hors Don Schufro x Vancouver), Glenhill Firefly (Ferrero Rocher x Salute) and New Beginnings (Negro x Worldy x Rotspon).

While Christan acknowledges the proven bloodlines that have produced countless dressage stars over the past decade or more, she is excited about some of the emerging stallions. “I think you have to be a little bit daring as a breeder, to not just use the 20-year-old stallions that other people have all used and are proven. You’ve got to be looking a bit ahead. Breeding jumps ahead rapidly with each generation; the breeders around the world are amazing. And here in Australia, there are amazing breeders too that are doing some super work.”

 

Christan with rider Lisa Janke and New Star Lp (Negro x DiMaggio). © ffire Photogrpahy

Christan with rider Lisa Janke and New Star Lp (Negro x DiMaggio).

© ffire Photogrpahy



PROVEN PERFORMERS

With the competition mares, retained young stock and recipient mares for embryo transfers, Glenhill is home to around 40 horses. Despite leasing 100 acres nearby for the recipient mares in addition to their 40-acre base, Christan explains that they ultimately needed more space – which is why the property is now on the market.

“We've just purchased a 100-acre property two kilometres down the road, because we just needed to expand. So we're actually planning to relocate there and build everything all over again!”

When it comes to the re-build, Christan is keen to stick with the proven performers. ABC Sheds will again build an indoor arena for Glenhill Sporthorses, and Christan says they loved the initial design so much, they will barely change a thing!

 

A 2019 Totilas x New Star (Negro) filly, who Christan has retained.  © ffire Photography

A 2019 Totilas x New Star (Negro) filly, who Christan has retained. 

© ffire Photography



In the November issue of Equestrian Life magazine, we’ll find out more about Christan’s equestrian journey – from training an eventing pony superstar in the States, to breeding sought after dressage horses in Australia – as well as the bloodlines she is excited about for the future (including her thoughts on stallions such as Totilas), and of course the foals she has arriving this season!



This article was written in conjunction with ABC Sheds.

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© copyright. Equestrian Life. Wednesday, 26 January 2022
http://www.equestrianlife.com.au/articles/Christan-Trainor-builds-breeding-dream