Cover Story – Vol. 47, No. 4A
Featuring Delacroixx—The Heir Apparent
by THERESA CARDAMONE
As the yearling colts entered the ring, it was clear that the field was stacked with talent. Even so, Delacroixx stood out as if in a class of his own. A burnished bay son of RD Dynamo and *HED Caramba, he seemed to elevate and gain stature with every step he took into the arena—almost as if he were expanding within his own skin. This was the finals of the 2016 Canadian National Championships, and Delacroixx appeared to be well aware. He kept his exuberant spirit contained, floating across the footing in a cadenced trot, then walking alertly on a loose lead, relaxed yet ready to spring into action at any second. As always, his tail was flying high over his back. Andy Sellman did a magnificent job, showcasing the colt’s qualities from the end of the lead line and giving the panel of judges every opportunity to scrutinize him from every angle. It was a masterful performance that was justly rewarded when Delacroixx was selected the 2016 Canadian National Champion Yearling Colt.
Delacroixx had done it … he had completed the triad begun when his sire and dam earned their own Canadian National Champion titles. *HED Caramba was named the 2006 Canadian National Champion 2-Year-Old Filly before embarking on her superlative career as a broodmare. In addition to Delacroixx, she has produced many other foals including 2010 New Zealand National Champion Colt Capone SSR, by DA Valentino, and his full sister, 2009 Scottsdale Signature Champion Yearling Filly AOTH, DM Valencea. Caramba also produced 2015 Canadian National Champion Yearling and 2016 Canadian National Champion 2-Year-Old Colt, Hey Man Al Shahania, by Marwan Al Shaqab, and many regional winners and top tens to the cover of a diverse variety of stallions. This maternal line is so strong it almost guarantees national honors, making it a strong predictor of an excellent outcome for Delacroixx as a sire.
*HED Caramba returned to the show ring as a mature mare, earning the 2012 Scottsdale Classic 8 & Over Mare Championship among her many other titles. Her dam, HED Cajun Queen, won a national title in Argentina and was a double granddaughter of 1988 U.S. National Champion Stallion Almaden, one of the best examples of the Aladdinn/Bask cross which provides a backbone of Kuhailan strength. Andy Sellman knew firsthand what a dynamic mare she is. “I used to show *HED Caramba,” he offered. “She’s a Magnum Psyche daughter who is renowned for being one of the best breeding horses in our industry. She’s had several extremely successful offspring and she herself is just a beautiful, amazing individual. When Laura Koch and Bert Sanders purchased RD Dynamo, the strategy we decided on was to locate three or four of the best mares we could and buy embryo rights to them. Number one on my list was *HED Caramba. So they bought an embryo right to Caramba and bred her to RD Dynamo. Delacroixx was born on our farm and I immediately knew that he was phenomenal.”
RD Dynamo was the 2013 Canadian National Champion Futurity Colt in addition to earning the 2014 U.S. National Champion Stallion AAOTH, 2013 Scottsdale International Champion 3-4 Year Old Stallion, and 2012 U.S. National Reserve Champion 2-Year-Old Colt titles. Dynamo’s own sire, the highly decorated Bey Ambition, was the 2009 U.S. National Champion Futurity Colt, 2011 Canadian National Champion Stallion, 2011 U.S. Reserve National Champion 4-5 Year Old Stallion, and was also the 2009 Arabian Horse Times Readers’ Choice Halter Horse of the Year. The cross with *HED Caramba was such a stunning success, that Laura and Bert have repeated it and are looking forward to a full sibling to Delacroixx.
Fellow Argent Farms client Barb Sink-Krusenstjerna saw an amateur snapshot of Delacroixx posted online. Barb recalled the moment, “It was one of those immediate, ‘Oh, my, this is something special’ moments,” she remembered. “I always like to walk through Andy’s barn to see what’s new, but this time I had this picture in hand and I was on a mission to see that baby. It was just a snapshot through the bars of the stall, with the recipient mare’s big head in the foreground. Even from that picture, I knew that he had ‘it,’ and he was uniquely special, just as the picture portrayed him. Even so young, he had irresistible charisma. He has that degree of extra that makes him over-the-top special. It really started with that little snapshot.”
“We negotiated a deal, Barb bought him from Bert and Laura, and we’ve had nothing but success with him,” Andy said, his voice warm with emotion. “We’ve shown him three times and he’s won three times. He was 2016 Scottsdale Champion Auction Yearling Colt, Region 10 Champion Yearling Colt, and Canadian National Champion Yearling Colt. Now, we’ll take him to the U.S. Nationals. He’s absolutely incredible. And I can’t think of a better party to own him. I’m so happy for Barb and Jay. They are down to earth, wonderful people and wonderful friends. They work hard to earn their living. With Delacroixx, they have an amazing horse that is going to bring them tremendous success and tremendous enjoyment through the process.”
“I look after many, many horses,” Andy reminds us. “And Delacroixx is really unique in almost every area … physically, mentally, emotionally. His father was always a really optimistic horse, very charismatic, a smart, kind horse, and his mother is one of the most kind-hearted, loving horses that I’ve ever been around. With Delacroixx, you can start at the nose and go to the tail … his face is absolutely amazing and gorgeous; his brain is so good. He’s a perfect-minded Arabian horse. A decent trainer could teach him to do anything they asked of him. Usually a yearling colt is difficult to get along with. This guy is not that way. He understands, he’s willing, and he’s just amazing to be around. He walks out of his stall ready to go to work every day, with his perfect, plumed tail up over his back. It’s such a wonderful combination of things that make him what he is; his beauty, his willingness, and his effervescence.”
“I have been very successful with Half-Arabians, but I had never had a really high level purebred,” Barb related. “Then this guy presented himself, and at a price point that was within reach. It’s always a gamble when they’re that young, but he has grown into a horse that would be untouchable for me if I were trying to buy him now. I knew really early on how good he was; it was just obvious. It was enough for me to take the leap. I appreciate Andy’s guidance, he is so experienced in managing stallions and there is so much interest in Delacroixx. We are carefully planning a limited, introductory 2017 breeding season. There will be a special presentation at the Minnesota Fall Festival to let people see him up close. He will be a Minnesota Medallion Stallion and a Scottsdale Signature Stallion in 2017, and he will also be a Breeders Sweepstakes nominated sire.”
“There’s something different about him,” Andy expounds. “It’s that way when you pass by his stall, when he walks through the showgrounds, when he takes his bath… all the time. He’s a very unique and special individual.” Barb couldn’t agree more. “He has such presence and beauty and a perfect tail carriage and amazing, tight, fine ears. His breed type is so strong. Delacroixx has had ‘it’ from the beginning, but as he gets older, ‘it’ gets better and better!”