Almé Z and Johan Heins – Hamburg 1977

INTERNATIONAL (by Adriana van Tilburg) One stallion stood out thanks to his offspring during the jumping at the 2015 European Championships in Aachen; Almé (Ibrahim - Girondine x Ultimate xx). His sire line was represented by a remarkable number of 21 horses, with 19 came from the Cor de la Bryère (Rantzau xx - Quenotte x Lurioso) line. So the Selle Français played quite a dominant role during the championships through their sire lines.

The DBFS (the Dutch Breeders’ Foundation of S h o w j ump i n g Horses) organized a symposium to celebrate their 10- year anniversary based on Almé, who has been so influential in the successful Warmblood breeding for international showjumping. The reason they chose Almé is, according to DBFS president Sannah Angenent: “Almé was one of the first stallions that had influence in European breeding and he was not restricted to one breeding area.” There were three guest speakers: Henk Dikkers, because he worked for several years at Zangerheide and is an authority for his knowledge on Warmblood breeding. Bernard le Courtois, without whom Almé would never had returned to France where he stood at Haras Brullemail. And Jan Breukink, who started 40 years ago as a vet and who specialized in reproduction and working for many years at Team Nijhof, responsible for mare attendance. He also bred, for example, the 1m60 showjumper Mac Kinley (Goodwill - Irisinaa x Nimmerdor), who competed with Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Mario Stevens. However, this article is not only about the symposium. It is a tribute to a stallion that raised the bar where breeding showjumpers is concerned to a much higher level.

Almé was born in 1966, bred by Alphonse Chauvin from Montviron in the department of the Manche (Basse Normandie, France). His sire, Ibrahim (The Last Orange - Vaillante x Porte Bonheur), is a real ‘chef de race’, a leading sire of the Selle Français studbook. Narcos II (Fair Play III - Gemini x Tanaël), for example, has a double cross to Ibrahim and competed at 1m60 with Olympian and world championship gold medallist Eric Navet. Both Ibrahim and Almé were purchased as foals by Monsieur Lefevre...

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