Eros is the god of love. Eros, the Belgian Warmblood stallion, certainly lives up to his name.
"Many of the people who call to breed their mares to him say that they fell in love with his picture," says Eros' part-owner Trina Bellak of Bethesda of the beguiling stallion with the expressive face.
A former show-jumper, Eros is competing in dressage for Bellak and her partners Dee Dee and Peter Bierbrauer. The dark bay stallion stands at the Bierbrauer's Wind Crest Farm in Clarksburg.
Eros is one of two stallions approved at the recent Belgian Warmblood Keuring (approval), which Wind Crest played host to for the North American District of the Belgian Warmblood Breeding Association.
Twenty-one horses -- two stallions, five foals and 14 mares -- were presented and approved by two Belgian jurors, Daniel Van de Sompele and Etienne Van Muylem, and Tom Blumberg of Michigan, who is president of the North American District of the Belgian Warmblood Breeding Association.
"This year there were approvals in Vermont, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois," Bellak said. "Our approval drew horses from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and West Virginia. We had lots of spectators from all over, too, which was very encouraging."
In a conformation clinic in the morning, the jurors examined two horses of different types and discussed their relative merits. Then the mares, stallions and foals were presented for approval.
The mares were judged on conformation (the way they are built) and on the quality of their movement as they walked and trotted a triangular pattern in hand. There was an optional ridden class for the mares.
"They are judged on their potential for bearing sport horses," said Bellak, who added that mares of any breed are eligible for approval if they have their registration papers with four generations of pedigree.
"This gives American mare owners a fabulous opportunity for being included in a European registry and breeding a registered sport horse."
The 14 mares approved at Wind Crest included an Appendix Quarter Horse, Thoroughbreds, Dutch Warmbloods, Hanoverians and Trakehners. At other sites in the country approved mares included Quarter Horses, Anglo-Arabs, Morgans, Holsteiners, Swedish Warmbloods, Pintos and Appaloosas.
The weanling foals were judged on conformation and movement. Approved foals are branded, if their owners wish, with the distinctive Belgian Warmblood brand. To be registered as breeding stock, these babies must come back as 3-year-olds for final approval.
Stallions, who have to be warmbloods from a recognized European registry, are shown in hand on the triangle, are ridden on the flat at the jury's command and then must jump a course of jumps.
The other stallion approved at Wind Crest, in addition to Eros, was Cor d'Alme, a 6-year-old dark bay owned by Olympic dressage rider Robert Dover and ridden by Olympic jumper rider Joe Fargis.
"He lives in New Jersey, but will be going to Florida for the winter for the jumper competitions," said Bellak. "Then he will stand a season at stud."
Eros, too, will stand the 1993 season at stud. He has taken up permanent residence at Wind Crest, and Bellak expects a full book this year.
"We started getting phone calls in August for people to breed their mares to him," she said. "It really helped that he was third at
Dressage at Devon out of 18 stallions. His old
est crop of babies is now 5 years old, and people really like what he is producing."
For more information on Belgian Warmbloods or on Eros, contact Trina Bellak at (301) 530-6812 or Wind Crest Farm at (301) 428-0376.
Clinic with an Olympian
Has everyone reserved the weekend of Nov. 28 and 29 for attending the clinic given by Olympian Anne Kursinski at Shadow Brook Farm?
No matter what your riding level or what you do with your horse, you and your horse will benefit from this clinic. The auditing fee is $25 per day.
Three groups will ride each day (riding fee is $250 for the weekend). Work will be on the flat and over jumps, but you do not have to be jumping with your horse to learn a lot. Call Joyce McDonald at (410) 796-4947 for more information.
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Nov. 10 -- Carroll County Equestrian Council meeting. East Middle School, Longwell Avenue, Westminster, (410) 833-4593.
Nov. 18 -- Free educational seminar on equine general nutrition sponsored by the Carroll County Equestrian Council. 7:30 p.m. at 700 Agriculture Center, Extension Office meeting room, Westminster, (410) 833-4593.
Nov. 20 -- Flat work and jumping clinic with Olympic three-day rider David O'Connor at Maple Spring Farm, Glenwood. One-hour sessions, $37 per person.
Nov. 20 -- Deadline for registration for 1992 Maryland Pleasure Horse Seminar, South Carroll High School, Winfield, (410) 848-4611.
Nov. 20 -- Deadline for Maryland Combined Training Association volunteer awards nominations, Linda Reynolds, (410) 239-8831.
Nov. 21 -- Seminar on business management for the horse owner, Hilltop Farm, Colora, (410) 658-9898.
Nov. 27-30 -- Dressage clinic with Erik Herberman, Equilibrium Farm, Gambrills, (410) 721-0885.
Nov. 27 to Jan. 1 -- Carriage rides in Frederick. Sundance and Victorian carriage companies. (410) 489-7863 or (301) 694-7433.
Nov. 28-29 -- Jumping clinic with Anne Kursinski, Shadow Brook Farm, Elkridge, (410) 796-4947.
Nov. 28-29 -- All-day clinics with David O'Connor. Maple Spring Farm, Glenwood, (410) 442-2295.