He has great bone, an athletic frame, as well as movement and paces that have the dressage judges impressed.
Copabella Visage (aka Visage van de Olmenhoeve)
Visage was an immediate sensation when he arrived here in Australia as a 5-year-old: Champion Five-Year-Old as well as Champion of Champions at the DSJWTS 2003; then Champion Young Event Horse at Sydney Royal 2004. He moved from D Grade into C Grade in just a few months of competition, and continued to make jumping look effortless at A & B Grade.
Visage was fully approved by the AWHA in 2007, the first coloured warmblood stallion to receive this compliment. And in 2008, he was also approved by the highly selective Selle Francais Studbook in France.
Christopher Burton took over the training ride on Visage while Julia was away on a prolonged show run in 2008, and the pair got on so well that we decided to see what they could produce in the competition arena.
The 2008 National Championships provided them with a challenging debut, and they won the Mini Prix in an outstanding display of style and control. They soon followed this up with a 2nd placing in the Sale World Cup class, Chris's first time out at this level of showjumping.
Julia's earlier successes included a win at their first Grand Prix outing together at Camden Show in March 2008. And this was shortly followed by a successful run in Part 2 at Sydney Royal.
In 2007, he notched up regular wins and places with Julia in the Young Rider classes across the country. In 2006 he won the Mini Prix at Tempo and followed that up with wins in the A & B Grade as well as the Grand Prix at Maitland Show.
He also held his top position in the leaderboard for the Tri-Series Grand Prix, until changed circumstances meant he did not compete in the final round at Tempo. He still had sufficient points, however, to finish 2nd overall.
Visage's performances have been consistently outstanding, including a breathtaking clear round in his first ever World Cup, at Sydney Royal 2005. He won or placed in every class in Part 2 as well, then went on to make us proud at the Copabella Classic a few weeks later. He also placed 7th in his second World Cup in Queensland in 2006.
Vicki Roycroft found Visage in France in 2003. Born in 1998 and standing at almost 16.2hh, Visage is a wonderful example of the modern sporthorse: great bone, athletic frame, movement and paces that dressage judges are seriously impressed by. He is calm, intelligent, friendly and trainable. And he loves his work.
He is a licensed stallion, with an illustrious pedigree, and very impressive babies already on the ground, both in Europe and Australia. By popular demand, we are now sending his frozen semen back to the land of world champions, as well as to breeders in New Zealand.
After campaigning in Europe for two years, Visage was released from quarantine in Sydney on 24th October 2010, in time for the breeding season. Unfortunately he had sustained a potentially catastrophic injury during the flight home from Europe, so the breeding season was severely curtailed. One of his hocks was literally the size of a soccer ball, and vets were doubtful he would ever be sound again.
But we persevered, using any likely therapy and supplement, including shock-wave treatments and Game Ready cold-compression therapy, and finally we started to see results. There were set-backs as well, but Visage seemed as determined as we were to get his life back, and he did. Finally Brooke Campbell started to ride and campaign him, and against all odds, the pair had their first World Cup start at Sydney Royal in 2013, where they finished 8th. They finished the year with a 5th placing in the World Cup class at Wodonga.
Retired from showjumping in 2015, Visage and Brooke have now taken up dressage, starting out at Elementary level with a flourish and immediate success.
Our breeding vets at Agnes Banks give Visage a rave review. Not only are his manners impeccable, but his frozen semen is of excellent quality. His strike rate has been well over 80%. For those interested in colour, the statistics to date seem to be levelling out at about 70% coloured offspring.