Welsh Cob Gallod Ffantastic Achieves WDAA Supreme Champion

The WDAA Horse Lifetime Points & Awards Program (known as WHLPAP) was initiated just under 4 years ago, right after the 2015 WDAA World Show.  In this program, horses are competing at WDAA recognized shows, which are adjudicated by USEF-licensed western dressage judges and occasionally by USEF-licensed dressage judges, assuring that the tests are evaluated by knowledgeable, trained individuals. The recognized shows also require that tests are those produced by WDAA. The program is growing and so are the horses and riders. The first horse to reach the highest award level was a lovely Paint mare Truly Unsurpassed, owned and ridden by Nancy Conley from Georgia. And now, just under one year later, Gallod Ffantastic, a Welsh Cob, owned and ridden by Joann Williams has become the second worthy recipient of the Supreme Champion title. Joann shares the story below about her journey with Gallod Ffantastic:

I can honestly say that I’ve been practicing Western Dressage for much longer than Western Dressage has been recognized as a distinct discipline. Even though I have specialized in Dressage (in all forms) for the last 20 years, my background has always been very diverse. English, Western, Hunters, all within the Classical Dressage principles that I have been taught since I was a teenager (a very long time ago). I’ve always tried to let the horse choose his job, and  G.  Ffantastic truly enjoys his Western Dressage work.

He is a Section D Welsh Cob,  bred by Susan and Adi Stepney of Gallod Welsh in Manitoba,  Canada, foaled in 2006, and imported as a weanling.

His barn name is “Worf”, named for the Klingon character in Star Trek Next Generation, because they both have a lot of hair and are quite opinionated.

Gallod Welsh is well known for producing athletic Welsh Ponies and Cobs that can excel in many disciplines as well as winning in-hand Championships in the Breed arena. Worf’s grand sire is Nebo Calonog, one of the most popular and prolific Welsh Cob stallions in Canada and in the States. The Nebo stud farm in Wales is well known for their athletic animals. His sire is Quillaine Pryderi. After producing just a few foals, Deri was gelded and competed successfully in traditional Dressage. Worf’s dam, Gallod Ffansi, was sired by Nebo Joules, another great Welsh Cob stallion imported from Wales. In 2008 G. Ffantastic was National Champion 2 year old and under Welsh Cob Gelding.

My  involvement with Welsh started as a young professional training hunter ponies for the A circuit. Many of them were Welsh, so my Husband and I started a small breeding operation in 1995. One of our broodmares came from Gallod Welsh, and her imported in utero foal born in 2004 is my Carriage Driving pony. But in the early 2000’s, I was encouraged by many in the Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America to become a recognized judge. In The WPCSA shows all disciplines are offered, from in-Hand conformation, Trail, Hunters,  Pleasure divisions, Carriage Driving and a variety of Children’s classes.

When G. Ffantastic was offered to me  as a weanling, I had to have him. Our  original goal was to reach Grand Prix in traditional Dressage, and we were very successful all the way to Prix St George, winning USDF All-Breed championships at every level. But as Western Dressage was becoming more and more popular, the softness and harmony became a more important goal. WDAA has blended the Classical principles that I practice and teach with the Western Traditions and teachings that I study, practice and admire.

At shows, Worf gets to be a pampered show horse, at home, he gets to be a horse, enjoying his 10 acre pasture with his best friend, and spending his nights in his private dry lot and run-in shed. He had the entire winter off this year, I think he was confused at first, but our first ride this spring was just the same as our last ride last fall.

Training him has been an incredible journey, sometimes confusing, frustrating but always extremely rewarding. It’s fair to say we are both opinionated!!  We have learned much from each other, and since he’s only 13, we have many more miles to travel together.

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