12 months ago today, we moved into the magnificent Ellanbrae Park And what a busy year it has been! We immediately began restoring this magnificent property to its former glory, as it had been allowed to become quite run down since Mary and Rob Hanna moved in 2005, and then was vacant for 12 months before we took possession. We began by cutting vast quantities of hay from the overgrown paddocks, and getting rid of the extraordinary spider infestation that had moved in. Painting and re-oiling the barn and indoor arena soon followed, repairs to fencing, replacing gates, creating a new float parking area and day yards, and fixing all the watering systems and tanks so they worked. The once beautiful gardens and hedges have been brought back to life and are once again stunning. And cleaning…did I mention the cleaning?! We then discovered just how bad the beautiful outdoor arena was and major works to completely rebuild it began. The outdoor arena is now sensational, with views of the barn and down the valley over beautiful hedges. And I won’t even begin on the work needed on the house, and plumbing… Throughout the year, we have held some fabulous clinics and Macedon Ranges Rally days here, which have been a lot of fun. We have hosted David Shoobridge, Gary Lung, Adam Reiss, Chris Sievers, Jason Dins, Judy Peel, and Lou D’Elia,. In January, Mary Hanna is coming for a 2 day clinic for MRDC, and we hope she will be pleased to see her beautiful old home restored and being used again for what it was created for. In January, our search for future breeding mares began with a trip to Hollands Bend Warmbloods who had a filly foal I was a little bit keen on…and after seeing her, we decided that she would be the perfect addition to our future breeding plans. In February, our lovely Hollands Bend Dancing Queen was assessed in the top ten of foals in Australia in the Hannoverian assessment tour. We had begun by choosing well! In April, we headed off to The Netherlands to stay with the amazing Emmy De Jeu in search of two broodmares to begin our breeding program. By the end of our trip, we had acquired three beautiful broodmares (one who foaled very shortly after purchase), one FEI mare, and three yearling fillies. In June, Emmy De Jeu came out to Australia and we had our first open day. We wanted to begin to gather together details of people interested in breeding and riding KWPN horses, as we hope in the near future to arrange KWPN assessors to come to Australia to assess our foals, similar to the assessment tours conducted by the Hannoverian, Oldenburg, Trakehner and other breed societies. Sometime around October, David and Emmy concocted to buy an interest in two rather fancy 2yo colts from Isabel and Will van Gisbergen (the breeders of 007 and Voice, amongst other rather nice horses). And so it would seem that we also have an interest in two colts in The Netherlands who have so far been selected in the first round viewings to proceed to the second round viewings in February on the path to licensing. In a short space of time, the four horses who moved with us to Ellanbrae last December has expanded somewhat… From the Netherlands: W.Esther De Jeu (Imp) (Rousseau x Jazz x Ult x Amor) – our gorgeous huge bay FEI mare, owned in partnership with Emmy De Jeu, who we are also breeding via embryo transfer. Ridden sensationally for her first Australian competitions by Maree Tomkinson, now ridden by Carolyn as Maree is heading off overseas soon. We hope to have her back out competing in the near future. Zonkara De Jeu (Imp) (Rousseau x Jetset D x Rubinstein x Weltmeister) – a beautiful dark brown broodmare who arrived at Ellanbrae in November in foal to Charmeur (Florencio x Jazz) (due March 2014) Emma (Rohdiamant x Diamond Hit x Ex Libris x Grundstein II) – due to arrive at Ellanbrae Park in February in foal to Sezuan (Blu Hors Zack x Don Schufro) (due August 2014), we hope to put this beautiful liver chestnut mare back under saddle once her foal is weaned and breed from her via embryo transfer. Zhefony SMH (Prestige VDL x Zeoliet x Vindicator x Pericles) – a pretty chestnut mare who will remain in The Netherlands, currently in foal to Chagall D&R (due April 2014) Ifony EB (Blu Hors Zack x Prestige VDL x Zeoliet x Vindicator) – Zhefony foaled a very leggy and flashy chestnut Blu Hors Zack filly for us in April. Ifony will also remain in the Netherlands for now to grow up. Horizonte De Jeu (Voice x Don Romantic x Contango x Rubinstein) – a very tall and promising dark brown filly who will remain in The Netherlands to grow up before heading to Australia. Heaven De Jeu (Chagall D&R x Serano Gold x Brentano II x Laurie’s Crusador xx) – a flashy chestnut filly who will also remain in The Netherlands to grow up before heading to Australia. H.Fidele De Jeu (Bretton Woods x Depardieau x Sandro Hit x Classiker) – a pretty bay filly who will also remain in The Netherlands to grow up before heading to Australia. Goliath’s Bria (Voice x Osmium x Doruto x Amor) – a very fancy black colt co-owned by Isabel and Will van Gisbergen, Emmy De Jeu and Ellanbrae Park. He remains in The Netherlands, and we have hopes he will make it through the licensing process. Goliath’s Bria first round viewing Galileo’s Bria (Fidertanz x Rohdiamant x Doruto v Amor) – a stunning brown colt out of the same dam as Voice, co-owned by Isabel and Will van Gisbergen, Van Olst Horses, Emmy De Jeu and Ellanbrae Park. He remains in The Netherlands, and we have hopes he will make it through the licensing process. Gallileo’s Bria first round viewing From Australia: Larapinta Johanna (Johnson x Metall x Concorde) – a modern and refined triple frozen KWPN semen young black mare. She already has a 007 embryo on the way (due Sept 2014), with more planned. She will be back out competing once her ET breeding duties are complete for the season. Hollands Bend Dancing Queen (De Niro x Sunny Boy x Rubinstein x Tin Rocco) – our very cheeky chestnut yearling filly out of Jane and Peter Bartram’s imported mare, Hirtenqueen. Portland Gleam (Portland Pirate x Ima Red Man x New Creed) – a lovely medium sized bay ASB mare due any day to Lord Deniro (Lord Fantastic x De Niro). We hope her foals will make lovely juniors horses. Clyro Rilka (River Dance x Silky Baby x Wolfsburg x Absatz) – a lovely petite dark brown mare who recently began her competition career with Ellanbrae’s wonderful groom, Kate Russell. Evergreen Jamima (Snowview Jamieson x Snowview Thorman x Rimex xx) – Charlie’s lovely bay Holsteiner mare who is teaching her how to ride really nicelyJ Jessica – who could forget Jess, Charlie’s retired first horse who I am told likes to roam the paddocks fat and feral now she’s retired! This gentle dark bay mare was a wonderful confidence booster for Charlie and will be treasured for the rest of her days, occasionally being brought in for rides with beginners and less confident riders. Bass – and last but not least, our recently arrived bright bay first recipient mare carrying the much awaited 007 x Johnson x Metall x Concorde embryo. I think that means our 4 horses last December has expanded to 9 horses in Australia (with 3 foals on the way so far this season) and 8 horses in The Netherlands (with 2 foals on the way and 1 of those in foal shortly to begin her journey to Australia). Did I mention that plans with David always seem to move rather quickly?! We are so excited by what the future holds and can’t wait for the day the first Ellanbrae bred horse steps out in competition.