Making the grade
As soon as Chicama Dawn made her entrance the judges were impressed. Her long legs and well-built muscular top line accentuated her quality of confirmation. Her strut was strong and proud.
After patiently waiting for an inspector to draw out her markings, Chicama was asked to exhibit her trot and canter. At Pearl Cove Farm, the West Tisbury breeding facility owned and operated by Pia and Richard Leonard, the other horses running in connecting pastures only add to Chicama's excitement. She showed the many spectators on the fence line her extraordinary movement. Her trot displayed wonderful extension with good swing and the canter was uphill and had nice balance. She performed brilliantly.
Photo by Ralph Stewart
Rhineland Pfalz-Saar International (RPSI), which held its inspection at Pearl Cove Farm on August 13, has the highest standards of any of the Warmblood registries. RPSI is a German registry that conducts inspections for the registration of warmblood horses in the US. Their program is designed to promote and maintain quality warmblood bloodlines. The RPSI judges were very impressed, awarding Chicama with a Premium Gold medal and a brand respecting the full crown.
The horses are bred for high-performance equine sports, and are described as elegant, large-framed, correct sport horses with dynamic, spacious, and elastic gaits suitable for dressage, show jumping, eventing, and combined driving. Character, temperament, and rideability are also key components for a successful sport horse to possess.
The horses that pass inspection are branded. RPSI's brand is a bridge with a crown over it, symbolizing the bridge over the Rhine River and the crown of the duke who founded the German breeding program. Foals born to a mare and stallion with four generations of registered bloodline excellence receive a full brand with a crown. Those pedigrees with fewer generations or an unregistered ancestor receive a half brand. All foals are branded with the last two digits of their life number under the RPSI brand, which serves as a lifelong identifying mark and appears in their passport registration papers.
North America produces some of the highest quality equine athletes in the world. The main goal of RPSI is to preserve and expand the quality of sport horses in all disciplines on the continent, using only the most qualified representatives directly from the German association at its North American Inspections. Using the same representatives here and in Germany assures more correct and ethical Keurings. The inspector reviews the horse's pedigree, and then inspects the horse's confirmation and movement, before issuing a comment card and score. Horses that pass the inspection process are then ranked by the scores into categories - gold, silver, and bronze.
The RPSI staff and judges - Ernie and Jo Ann Cohn, Otto Schalter, and Bernhard Tschoephe - travel across North America for two and a half months on an annual inspection tour to see as many breeders and farms as possible. Pearl Cove Farm was honored to have RPSI onsite to inspect their most recent addition, Chicama Dawn.
Pia Centenari-Leonard is the co-owner and operator of Pearl Cove Farm in West Tisbury.