Cover Story - Vol.47, No.9, Issue #3
Vitorio TO … The Sire
by THERESA CARDAMONE
Stepping into the stall of Vitorio TO feels like a homecoming. At ease in his surroundings, this five-time National and International Champion turns to greet his visitors as soon as they appear; his large, dark eyes focused on his guests with a happy expression of welcome, his shapely ears pitched forward with interest. Vitorio gives the impression that if he could, he would throw an arm around one’s shoulders like a favorite uncle or an old friend. His near-perfect conformation and exquisite Arabian type enhance his larger than life reputation as one of the premiere show horses and emerging sires of our time.
Vitorio TO was the first American-bred stallion since Monogramm to be leased by the Polish government to stand inside the Polish State Studs, and was a resident of Stadnina Koni Michałów for two breeding seasons. His sire line, which traces back to the original desert stallion Mirage, is a rarity in the Polish gene pool and therefore coveted by breeders. With the purposeful re-introduction of his sire line and the proven quality of his Polish dam line through Daszawa, the Polish breeders made a conscious decision to use Vitorio to bolster elements of their breeding program that needed support. That includes augmenting the “bay on bay” gene pool which carries with it the Kuhailan characteristics that have excited breeders for centuries. Vitorio was bred to over 30 of the world’s finest mares at Michałów as well as to mares at Janów, Białka and through private contract, making for high expectations as these foals are shown and bred in years to come.
After traveling the world, Vitorio TO has resumed life in America, ensconced in his stall at Midwest Training Centre in Scottsdale, Ariz. There, David Boggs and Team Midwest are responsible for managing Vitorio’s burgeoning breeding career and adding to what owner Janey Morse considers to be his most important title, Leading Halter Sire. It is his ability to sire correct, beautiful, and useful offspring with a broad spectrum of broodmares that sets him apart as a stallion that will continue to influence the breed for years to come.
From the day that the first Vitorio TO foal arrived, his progeny have done nothing but add to his acclaim as a breeding phenomenon. With just a small sample of foals from that first crop, Vitorio TO sired Gold, Silver, and Bronze Champion yearlings at the prestigious Arabian Breeders World Cup show in Las Vegas in 2014, causing the world to take notice. That dominant performance as a sire was repeated at the World Cup in 2015, this time with even more champions to show for it. It should have come as no surprise when Vitorio TO emerged from the 2016 Scottsdale All Arabian Show as the Leading Halter Sire in every division…Classic, Sweepstakes, Purebred, Half-Arabian … you name it, Vitorio topped the list. His complete dominance as a sire of champions at the “World’s Largest Arabian Horse Show” will go down in the record books as one of the highlights of Scottsdale’s storied history.
Topping the Scottsdale sire lists is an outstanding achievement that is seldom repeated in consecutive years, but that did not prove to be an impediment for Vitorio. This year, over 2,500 of the finest Arabian horses on Earth competed for various 2017 Scottsdale championships. Nevertheless, when the dust had settled after eleven days of intense competition, one stallion stood alone at the top as the overall Scottsdale Leading Halter Sire of both purebreds and Half-Arabians—Vitorio TO. He handily retained his title from the previous year, with seven different purebred offspring earning Scottsdale championships or reserves.
Halter competition is important to Janey Morse, because it is meant to identify those horses that most closely exemplify the breed standard. More than just a pretty head or a flat topline, the ideal Arabian horse has the body, legs, and movement it needs to be a productive member of the equine world. It is Janey’s belief that correct conformation is necessary for a horse to perform well and she is especially pleased to see Vitorio TO beginning to be represented in the performance division as well as in breeding classes globally. She hopes to encourage breeders to take advantage of the fine minds and attitudes that Vitorio passes on, making his offspring extremely trainable and fun to ride.
After emerging victorious as a leading sire for the past two years, one can only guess how many more honors his offspring will lay at Vitorio’s doorstep in the future. Stay tuned!