Fred Cornege from Seattle Lodge Stud tells us a little about how he came to import the stallion Jaguar into New Zealand.
Jaguar, the imposing 17.2hh black Belgium Warmblood stallion born in 1981 was the first Warmblood stallion that Fred Cornege imported to New Zealand. He spotted him at Uli Klatte’s Belcam Stud in Queensland, Australia whilst visiting a friend from the Manawatu who was working at the stud at the time.
Fred, who was (and still is) known in New Zealand horse circles for not only his keen eye for a horse, but also his shrewd business acumen, spotted not only a Warmblood stallion, but a business opportunity as well. He made an arrangement with Uli Klatte to lease the stallion for three years with a right to purchase which was eventually taken up. At that time in New Zealand the influential Hanoverian sire Witzbold had passed away, and there was a lack of depth in stallion breeding here at the time.
Jaguar had an interesting pedigree – he was on Belgium Warmblood papers but was actually a Selle Francias / Irish Sport Horse cross. Fred reports that New Zealand breeders “went crazy over him in the early 1990’s”, however the New Zealand mare pool at the time was nowhere near the quality that we see today.
Although on paper you would think Jaguar would have left a succession of jumping horses – Fred by his own admission said the horse would “jump a bus if you pointed him at it” but did not have a tonne of technique – it was really only Robert Steele’s Gospel that made major headlines. However, somewhat surprisingly, Jaguar left a huge legacy in the dressage arena. The list of Grand Prix horses this sire left in New Zealand included Julius , Jahnus, Jeneiro whom Kallista Field took to the World Equestrian Games in Rome and Jamahl whom Kallista rode at the WEG in Jerez, Spain in 2002. There were also successful eventers and show horses too.
Fred stepped up his foray into warmblood breeding with the importation of the classy stallion Voltaire II and so ended his tenure with Jaguar – who saw out his days in Napier with breeder Nick White.