The Selle Francais is a naturally athletic horse with a willing attitude and a "people" personality. Generally of a strong but elegant type, the "ideal" Selle Francais conformation is that of a large-boned Thoroughbred with a strong back, a long neck, an expressive head, and sturdy legs with good bone and joints. Normally in the 16.0 h - 17.0 h size range, Selle Francais horses are seen in many colors, but bays and chestnuts are the most predominant. The Selle Francais excels in show jumping, but they also can be found competing successfully in dressage and eventing. The 2000, 1999 and 1998 winner of the World Cup of Show Jumping (an unprecedented "three-peat") and winner of Individual Gold Medal at the Athens Olympics (2004) is the Selle Francais stallion, BALOUBET DU ROUET [Galoubet A x Mesange du Rouet (Starter)]. In 2006, the Selle Francais GALAN DE SAUVAGERE [Joly Jumper x Douce Julia (Julius Caesar)] with rider Nicolas Touzaint won the FEI Eventing World Cup Final. In 2004, the French Team won the Team Gold Medal in Eventing at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Also in 2004, the French Anglo-Arab DILEME DE CEPHY [Starky d'Anchin x Cephile (Et Hop)] won the World Cup of Show Jumping in Italy. In 2002, at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, the French Equestrian Team won the Team Gold Medal in Show Jumping (with all members mounted on Selle Francais stallions!) and the Selle Francais stallion, DOLLAR DU MURIER [Jalisco B x Karielle (Uriel)] was the Individual Silver Medalist. The Individual Gold Medalist in Eventing was ESPOIR DE LA MARE [What a Joy x Touraine du Fresne (Ukase)] and the French Team won the Team Silver Medal in Eventing. Also in 2002, GALOUBET A [Alme x Viti (Nystag)] won the South Pacific Memorial Award for being the leading American-based jumper sire (based on money won in USAEq competitions.) In 2001, the French Thoroughbred stallion, LAUDANUM [Boran x Montabella (Montaval)] was named USAEq's Leading Jumper Sire. Thus, the Selle Francais is well-established as a consistent winner at the highest levels of show jumping and also eventing. Due to their kind and forgiving dispositions combined with their extraordinary athletic talent, the Selle Francais often is seen in the amateur and junior rings winning many blue ribbons and championships for their owners. In France, the concept of "rider hunter"showjumping-rider,classes is fairly new, but many Selle Francais horses have come to the United States and performed extremely well in the hunter ring - their elegance, fluid movement, and consistent jumping style make them well-suited to this discipline. Perhaps the most important attribute of the Selle Francais rider, and something we at the registry hear about often, is their outstanding temperament. In most instances (every barrel has its bad apple!), these are fun horses to be around. They are very people-oriented (sometimes almost dog-like), willing, desirous to please, but not without that little "spark" that distinguishes the super stars from the rest of the class. Many Selle Francais stallions have been exported from France to become foundation sires rider in other breeds. Notably, FURIOSO II, ZEUS and INSCHALLAH (AA) were very important in the Oldenburg breed, COR DE LA BRYERE is often seen in Holsteiner pedigrees, LE MEXICO made a contribution for the Dutch, and ALME can be found in pedigrees of most European sport horse breeds. Within Selle Francais pedigrees, one will find showjumping-rider,a strong influence of Thoroughbred blood: FURIOSO, FRA DIAVOLO, ULTIMATE, RANTZAU, LE MIOCHE, and POPOF are often found in the blood of the best of the Selle Francais breed. The French also use Anglo-Arab and Arab blood. NITHARD was an especially important Anglo-Arab stallion; for instance, he was the father of STELLA, who is the mother of both OLISCO and QUICK STAR. Also in the backgrounds of some French horses is the French Trotter. VITI, the dam of GALOUBET A, was a French Trotter. The sire of JAPPELOUP, individual gold medalist in show jumping at the Seoul Olympics, was a French Trotter. We find it difficult to sum up such a wonderful and extraordinary breed of horse in only a few words! If you own a Selle Francais, or have the pleasure to be associated with you, we're sure you will agree.
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