By Christopher Hector
Photography: GCT/Stefano Grasso
It is interesting that of the list of the top 40 jumping stallions, recently released by the German FN, there is no entry for the letter 'A', surprising perhaps that the influence of the enormously popular Argentinus seems to have faded completely – but perhaps, just perhaps, that may be about to change as the most successful son of Argentinus of recent times, All Star, leaves the competition arena to take his place in the ranks of Paul Schockemöhle's mighty stallion band.
Argentinus (Argentan x Duden II) was one of an earlier generation of Hanoverian stallions where the aim was the all-round horse, and sure enough, while he produced star jumpers, Argentinus also produced horses that shone in the dressage arena.
All Star's dam combines two of the most famous names in jumping breeding, April Love is by the great French sire, Almé out of Rinnetou by the Holsteiner, Ramiro, out of a Hanoverian mare by Winnetou, who goes back to the Foundation sire, Ferdinand. Rinnetou was a star in her own right with Piet Raymakers, a winner of the World Cup in Amsterdam in 1992, and second in the World Cup in Helsinki in 1993.
Bred by Horst Zöllmer, the 17-year-old All Star’s career started at the Verden foal auction in 2003 where he was one of the top foals, and sold to an international show stable. He matured into a powerful jumper and was started under saddle by Florian Meyer zu Hartum. He became Hanoverian vice champion of five-year-old jumpers in 2008 before he competed at the Federal Championships in Warendorf one year later. He celebrated his first international advanced-level placing in 2010 and moved in the same year to the stable of Denis Lynch.
Denis Lynch piloted All Star to his first successes in the International Youngster Tour, followed by victories at major competitions in Cannes, France; Gothenburg, Sweden; Barcelona, Spain; and Valkenswaard, the Netherlands. All Star took part in four World Cup finals and made his championship debut at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Caen, France with a place in the top ten in the individual ranking... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO BREEDING NEWS
SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE BY LOGGING IN AND RETURNING TO THIS PAGE
In 2015, he reached the individual final at the European Championships in Aachen. In 2017, after winning team gold at the European Championships in Gothenburg, he took 10th place in the individual ranking. He was retired from competition in January 2019 with winnings of €1,160,810.
Denis Lynch paid tribute to his partner in the an interview with the Irish Times: “All Star has been an incredibly loyal and consistent producer of results over the years. He has such a lovely temperament and was always level-headed for the big events. He will be a big loss to my stable but he has more than paid his dues over the years.
“"Beautiful big jumpers like 'Simba' don't come along very often and I am so grateful to have had the chance to ride him. I'm delighted that he has retired at the top which is no less than he deserved.”
I asked Paul Schockemöhle, is it important to keep the line of Argentinus going? “All Star was probably one of the best stallions by Argentinus, Arko was a good horse as well. Argentinus made good jumpers, and as well, some dressage horses. All Star was a good mover, even being a big horse, and solid, and that's why I tried to get him on my station after he was finished and retired.”
Have you looked at the foals that All Star is producing?
“Not yet. I think there are quite a few mares in foal but I haven't seen foals by him.”
What kind of mares will he suit? “He for sure, needs blood horses. He’s quite a big horse, he has no Thoroughbred in the front lines, so he would need blood.” (In fact, All Star is only 22.27% 'blood’.)
Perhaps in the next decade we will see the letter 'A' return to the jumping sires honour roll.
All Star with Dennis Lynch in the 2017 World Cup final: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85lwWF2t1e0