Valhallas Zorro - Press Release
PRESS RELEASE - March 2016
The 7 year old Welsh Cob stallion "Valhallas Zorro" has been sold to the UK!
Valhallas Zorro, one of the best young dressage ponies in Europe, who has been very successfully competing with Anne-Mette Lyager for almost 2 years, has been sold to the Kerslake family in Devon.
Zorro will after his move to the UK be ridden by the 12-year-old international GB rider Holly Kerslake, who is trained by World Champion Charlotte Dujardin.
Valhallas Zorro was bred by Karen B. Olsen and Carl Trock in Denmark; they will keep a share of the stallion, who will also continue his career as a successful sire of champion stock.
The purebred Welsh Cob stallion Valhallas Zorro is in many ways unique: He is not only a very successful dressage pony - he is also a licensed stallion (with the Welsh Pony & Cob Society in Wales), he is a many times Champion in-hand, and he is the sire of champion stock.
Zorro was born in May 2009 at the Valhalla Stud, the leading Welsh Cob stud in Denmark for decades. In his pedigree he combines some of the best bloodlines from the UK, as 3 grandparents were imported from the Menai- and Rotherdale studs in Wales, and from Trevallion in England.
Valhallas Zorro started winning championships already as a foal. As a colt he continued his wins in the showring with many championships, sashes and titles. As a 3 year old he covered just two mares, which made him the sire of two very promising fillies - one of them being Su.Ch. Valhallas Vanessa, who has been very successful in the show ring. She has also won numerous titles, crowning it with a championship at the International Welsh Show, that was held in Denmark in Aug. 2015.
Valhallas Zorro started his ridden career as a 4 year old, and when he teamed up with the highly talented and ambitious young rider, Anne-Mette Lyager, his career was taken to a new level. Their 2014 results included wins in numerous, medium level classes scoring 71-78 %. Also in 2014 Zorro & Anne-Mette participated in the Danish National Pony Dressage Team competitions - and won a gold medal as Danish National Team Champions. They also participated in the DSP National Dressage Pony Finals - and won the competition for 5 year old ponies with record high point scores: 78,9 % in the finals and 87,6 % for riding potential and qualities.
In 2015 Zorro & Anne-Mette were ready for the P-classes, as Zorro turned 6. Their early 2015 results were wins in their very first P-Team and P-Individual classes with scores above 70 %. In April 2015 Zorro had qualified for the national level competitions, and they now competed against the much older, top dressage ponies in the country. But he continued to do well; in their first event at this level they ended up in Top 4 in P Team and P-Ind. with more than 70 %. These results gave Zorro access to an International career.
In April Valhallas Zorro and his team travelled to the CDIO in Saumur in France to have his international debut - against European top ponies. Again they managed to produce top results - even if Zorro was the youngest pony in the whole event (just 6; the second-youngest was 9). He finished 10th (of 23) in P Team with 66,8 %, 5th (of 23) in P-Ind. with 69,4 % and 7th (of 15) in the final Kür (P FS) with 70,8 %, scoring as much as 75 % with one of the judges.
The results in Saumur in France means that Zorro is ranked on FEI’s international list of the World's best top dressage ponies, in spite of his very young age.
Later in the summer Zorro and Anne-Mette participated in the unofficial World Championships in Verden, Germany where they ended up in Top 10 among the very best dressage ponies in Germany, that had been carefully selected for the event.
Again in 2015 Valhallas Zorro and Anne-Mette Lyager qualified for the DSP National Dressage Pony competitions for 6 year old ponies with the highest point scores, and they repeated their win with the highest point scores of the whole event: 72 % for the programme - 84 % for gaits, ‘ride-ability’ and capacity incl. the incredible score 9,8 for trot!
And now Valhallas Zorro will continue his dressage career with a new, highly talented rider: Holly Kerslake.
She first caught the dressage bug at the tender age of 6, when she rode her first affiliated dressage test on her little Dartmoor hill pony, finishing second in a very strong class against some very experienced combinations.
She then partnered a Welsh riding pony, where she competed successfully within BYRDS ( British Young Riders Dressage Scheme) and was in the SW team at the interregional and Home internationals from the age of 7. Holly also took the SW fledgling champion title for 3 consecutive years.
In 2014 at the age of 10, Holly was invited to the GB pony viewing day where she was then selected for the pony progress squad, the youngest member to do so partnering the German riding pony, Doctor Little.
They started their FEI career in March 2015 with a win in the team test at Keysoe High Profile show and went on to have several top 3 placings at Premier League level and had their first International call up at Hickstead CDI in July 2015.
1. Holly Kerslake is very excited about Valhallas Zorro coming to the UK and literally can't wait to start forming a partnership with the hugely talented young stallion. " He's had such a good start with the incredibly talented Anne-Mette, and I can't wait to start campaigning him at the Premier League shows", says Holly.
2. Kirsty & Simon Kerslakestates that: "After travelling thousands of miles and trying what seemed a similar number of ponies, we really couldn't believe our luck when we came to Denmark to see Zorro.
We knew straight away that he was the one and the fact that he is a purebred Welsh Cob makes the story even more special - now that he has come to the UK.
We feel incredibly privileged to be able to have a partnership with Carl and his wife Karen and are very excited for the future to see Holly and Zorro's journey unfold".
3. Carl Trock & Karen Olsen are proud to have bred a young Welsh Cob stallion in Denmark, that is of such quality that it is imported back to the home country of the breed.
"We look so much forward to the partnership with the Kerslake family, and we have very high hopes for Holly. We have seen her ride Zorro during the test rides, and we are confident that she is the perfect new match for him - and that she can fully realise his full potential. We will follow their progress with great interest!"
UK & international: Kirsty Kerslake
Mobile: +44 7989 972025
DK & international: Carl Trock
Mobile: +45 2012 6692