|Some Observations on the World Show Jumping Championships of 2006
The quality of the showjumping performances at the World Equestrian Games 2006 at Aachen was unprecedented. In the four-horse finals with change of riders only one horse had one fence down, leaving the medals to be decided by a jump-off. By comparison, at the 2002 World Championship ten fences were down in the finals, and there is no question that the Aachen course was difficult by any standard.
Also unprecedented was that three of the four finalists were women, namely Beezie Madden (USA) with the Dutch gelding Authentic, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Germany) with the Hanoverian gelding Shutterfly, and Edwina Alexander (Australia) with the Westphalian mare Pialotta, but the 2006 World Championship was won by Jos Lansink (Belgium) with the Holsteiner stallion Cumano, who made it through ten tough rounds with only one fence down. All four finalists were already winners of major competitions, namely Cumano of the Calgary Grand Prix in 2004, Authentic a team Gold medal at the 2004 Olympics, Shutterfly the World Cup in 2005, and Pialotta the Bronze medal at the 2005 European Championship (under Rolf Goeran Bengtsson of Sweden).
116 horses took part in the competition, with an average age of 11.3 years, 66 being geldings, 34 entires and 16 mares. The Holstein studbook was represented by 25 horses (22%), there were 20 Dutch Warmbloods (17%), 15 Selle Français (13%), 11 Belgian Warmbloods (9%), 8 Hanoverians (7%), 7 Oldenburger (6%), 6 Westphalians (5%) and 5 Irish Sport Horses (4%), with 13 other studbooks supplying the remaining 19 (16%) of the competitors.
The high concentration of specialist showjumping blood is demonstrated by 42 (36%) of the horses having been sired by Holsteiner stallions and 26 (22%) by Selle Français stallions, these two being the studbooks with the longest specific focus on showjumper breeding. At least 56% of the participating horses descend from the French-based thoroughbred Furioso in one form or another, 48% from the Holstein-based thoroughbred Cottage Son, 47% from the French-based thoroughbred Rantzau and 43% from the Anglo-Norman Ibrahim. Of the 13 medalists, 9 descend from Cottage Son, though more often than not in the fifth remove. The most important more recent progenitor is the Holstein-based Selle Français stallion Cor de la Bryère, who died as recently as 2000, and from whom 40% of the participating horses descend. One of the most telling signs of Holstein's influence is that Chippison, the best Irish Sport Horse in the competition, and two of the Irish Sport Horse eventing medalists were sired by Cavalier Royale, a Holsteiner son of Cor de la Bryère.
The most direct influence had the Selle Français Quidam de Revel, who sired six of the competitors and who appears in a further six pedigrees, in three instances through his Dutch-based son Guidam, of whom more later. Other star sires are the Holsteiners Cassini I (4 offspring, including Cumano), Burggraaf (3) and Cantus (3), and the Belgian Warmblood Darco (3). Incidentally, Quidam de Revel came 4th at the 1992 Olympics, when Darco came 7th. Other prolific sires with first-rate competition credentials, each with two offspring at the 2006 World Championship, are the Holsteiner Carthago (European Championship Team Bronze in 1999), the Irish Sport Horse Cruising (2nd in the 1999 World Cup), the Belgian Warmblood Jus de Pomme (Olympic Gold 1996) and the Holsteiner Libero H (1994 World Cup winner).
While specialist jumping blood has become crucial to even compete at this high level, the results of the 2006 World Championship indicate that one certainly cannot succeed without it. Of the 25 horses who made it to the individual finals, only the Brazilian-bred Dover has an unusual pedigree, and he finished in 23rd place. Of the remaining 24 horses, 9 were inbred to well-known jumping progenitors, 8 were linebred, and the remaining 7 a combination of established jumping lines.
Nevertheless, one should not assume that this makes thoroughbreds redundant as far as the production of top class showjumpers is concerned, because three of the four finalists are out of daughters of thoroughbreds:
Authentic is out of Gerlinda by Irish-bred Katell (by Gillaume Tell out of Ikatina, by Tower Walk), who won 23, and was placed in 21, of the 55 races which he contested mostly in Italy. Moreover, Authentic's second dam Zinda is by the well-known Dutch line founder Lucky Boy. In all, Gerlinda is 81.25% thoroughbred, and she is linebred 5 x 5 x 4 to Nearco. Authentic's French sire Guidam is a son of Quidam de Revel, and combines the blood of the thoroughbreds Furioso (to whom Authentic is linebred 5 x 6), Orange Peel, Rantzau, Ultimate and Fra Diavolo ( a who's who of Selle Français thoroughbred progenitors. There also is Red Rum's maternal grandsire Magic Red in the sixth remove of Authentic's pedigree.
Shutterfly's maternal grandsire is the German-bred Forrest (by Gernegross out of Flut, by Yoggi), who stood at the Hanoverian state stud in Celle. In addition, Shutterfly's sire Silvio I is a grandson of the English thoroughbred Sacramento Song (by Sicambre out of Easter Gala, by Sayajirao), who stood as a private stallion in Holstein from 1973 to 1979. Being given only limited opportunities as a non-Association stallion, Sacramento Song only had four sons who were licensed as sires, each qualifying on account of his success in showjumping competitions, rather than the traditional conformation inspection and general performance test. Shutterfly's grandsire Sandro was particularly good, being used regularly by World Champion Franke Sloothaak, although undoubtedly his ability was also derived from his dam, whose full brother Wabbs was a long-standing German puissance champion. In addition to all this, Shutterfly is inbred 4 x 4 to the well known Hanoverian jumping progenitor Gotthard.
Pialotta is out of Akazie by the well-bred French-born Akitos (by Green Dancer out of Akita, by Pantheon), who stood at the Westphalian state stud Warendorf. The rest of Pialotta's pedigree is top-class Westphalian, with her sire being Pilot, and linebreeding to Goldfisch II, Ramzes and the Trakehner Keith.
In contrast, Cumano's pedigree is as typically top quality Holsteiner as is imaginable, with his sire Cassini I by Capitol I and his dam Chanel II by Landgraf I, and 3 x 3 inbreeding to Cor de la Bryère's son Caletto II, with further linebreeding to Cottage Son, Ramzes and the thoroughbred Marlon. Interestingly, while there is only one thoroughbred ancestor in the first three removes of Cumano's pedigree, in the sixth remove 45% of his ancestry is thoroughbred.
Cassini I also sired the team Gold medal winner Berlin (out of Estia, by Caretino), who is also inbred 3 x 3 to Caletto II and linebred to Cottage Son and Ramzes. Curtis (by Coriano out of Zalouba, by Aloube Z), another team Gold medal winner, is inbred 3 x 4 to Capitol I, and in addition to the typically Holsteiner ancestors Cor de la Bryère and Ladykiller also descends from Almé. Capitol I is the grandsire of team Bronze medalist Cöster (by Calato Z out of Dispache, by Constant), who is linebred to Cor de la Bryère and to Cottage Son. The Holstein influence is also strong in the pedigree of team Bronze medalist Küchengirl (by Lord Z out of Classics, by Cambridge Cole), who was bred in Bavaria from a grandson of Ladykiller, but whose dam was by a Dutch Hackney.
The Dutch warmblood Miss Independent (by Kingston out of Jakretia, by Nimmerdor), winner of a team Silver medal, is inbred 4 x 3 to the Holsteiner Farn, and descends in the male line from the Trakehner Marco Polo, the reputed grandsire of Milton. Miss Independent also descends in the 3rd remove from Ramiro, who also is the grandsire of team Gold medal winner Oki Doki (by Jodokus out of Kentucky, by Topas), who is inbred 4 x 4 Farn and who also descends from Marco Polo.
The Belgian Warmblood team Gold medalist Up And Down (by Ohio van de Padenborre out of Pin Chin, by Chin Chin) has a Selle Français sire and granddam, while his maternal Holsteiner grandsire descends from the Selle Français Cor de la Bryère. Therefore, 5 x 4 x 4 inbreeding to Ibrahim is not surprising. 3 x 3 inbreeding to the Selle Français mare Draisenne, by Noe TB, appears to be a specific experiment of Up And Down's breeders, which seems to work based on the stallion's performance. The team Silver medal winner Quervo Gold (by Jus de Pomme out of Nura, by Codexco) also has strong French influences, since his Olympic Gold medal winning sire, although registered in Belgium, was bred on Selle Français lines, while Quervo Gold's maternal grandsire had a Selle Français dam, resulting in 5 x 6 x 5 linebreeding to Furioso and further linebreeding to Ibrahim and Ultimate. The other Belgian-bred team Silver medal winner Sapphire (by Darco out of Idjaz-c, by Hedjaz) is a mixture of Hanoverian, Holsteiner and French blood.
Lastly, the Zangersheide gelding L'Espoir (by Landwind II out of Fleche du Mury-Marais, by Feinschnitt I), who won a team Bronze medal and came fifth individually, is by a Holsteiner son of Landgraf I out of a 3/4 Hanoverian and 1/4 Selle Français granddaughter of Wendekreis and Almé.
THOROUGHBRED ROOTS OF MODERN SHOW JUMPERS