A world-class horse hungry for more
|Kapparah Ia is shown here with Brooke Milbocker, daughter of world-class breeder Theresa Milbocker. (click for larger version)|
June 30, 2010 | 02:48 PMLyons — When motorists drive to Lake Geneva heading north on Highway 120, they may not notice the attractions along the highway.
But if they look closely, there is a farm that has one of the most accomplished horses in the world.
Her name is Kapparah IA, and she is an American-bred Spanish Pure Raza Espana (PRE) who has won multiple United State championships and been certified in Spain as one of the top 20 horses in the world. There are only about 25,000 PREs.
For owner Theresa Milbocker, breeding these horses is a way of life.
"It's a personal passion and love of mine," she said. "I just want to be a good breeder and keep Kapparah competitive."
Milbocker is truly dedicated to her craft.
In May, she returned from Wellington, Fla., where she spent four months training Kapparah with Gary Rockwell, who judged horses in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"I met Gary at a clinic he was doing in Illinois," Milbocker said. "I rode with him and Kapparah for about 20 minutes and he fell in love with her. Wellington is where master breeders come from all over the world. It was so exciting."
Kapparah competed in a horse sport called dresage, a discipline focused on movement, riding and temperament.
Although Kapparah still is in Florida, she takes the horse to competitions in Las Vegas. All of the travel can get expensive, as Milbocker spent $3,000 a month in Florida just for training.
"I left a mare there in Florida so they can breed her and do an embryo transfer," she said. "That's where they flush the baby and put it in another mare of lesser quality. It's like a surrogate mother so we can have four or five babies a year from one mare. The qualified mares can do that."
Perhaps the highest honor for Kapparah was in 2007, when she became the first American-bred Spanish horse in the world to qualify for the Spanish Qualified Tribunal, which is the highest honor a breeder can receive.
Only six other horses in the U.S., three mares and two stallions have received such an honor, but they were all imported, making Kapparah's story that much more impressive.
"Horse breeding is much bigger in Spain than the U.S.," Milbocker said. "It is a very high honor. It put the U.S. on the map according to Spain. Now they know Spanish breds can be bred in the U.S."
The next year, Spain chose Kapparah as one of the top 20 horses in the world and published a book which was distributed to breeders across the world.
Milbocker gives breeding lessons and works with Kapparah an hour a day five days a week.
She also owns a computer company, but she is closing up shop to focus on breeding full-time.
Her love of horses started early.
She has had horses in her family her entire life.
A Michigan native, Milbocker has been in Lyons for about 20 years.
She bought Kapparah's mother when she was 3 years old from New York in 1985.
Milbocker breeds several other horses, including two stallions, Deseado Por Dios and Indiano XVIII X Deseada XCVI.
Milbocker offers training for outside horses starting from youngsters to USDF FEI level. Also, some horses are for sale.