By Christopher Hector
At times sport horse breeding seems a bit like alphabet soup, as the cognoscenti air their knowledge, tossing of the various stallion lines identified by their letter. Thus for some years, the emerging dressage horse breeding industry was dominated by the big three - D(onnerhall), R(ubinstein) and W(eltmeyer).
Nowadays, the D line continues to dominate while R and W have faded, but D has been joined by the very successful F line (through Florestan) and now a line that had almost disappeared entirely, E, has taken its place in the limelight.
This was dramatically underlined at the September trials of candidates for the German squad to contest the World Young Dressage Horse championships in Verden in December.
Two five-year-old horses passed the initial examination, one of them the Rhinelander stallion, Escamillo is by the brightest star of the new E line, Escolar out of a mare by Rohdiamant. In the six year old, half the six successful candidates were by Escolar: Elitist (De Niro), Espe (Dimaggio) and Eternity (Sir Donnerhall).
My friend and colleague, Thomas Hartwig, tells the story of the rescue of the E line by a master breeder, Norbert Borgmann: “We have seen in the last two or three years a very interesting comeback of the famous E line. The founder of the E line in Westfalia was Ehrenschild (Eindruck II x Adlerschild), a stallion from the Hanoverian State Stud in Celle, who came in 1960 to the town of Melle which is right on the border of Westfalia and Hanover, and the Westfalian breeders used him. He was a big, heavy horse, but typical of his time, remember he was born in 1956 and came to Melle in 1960 – for this time he was a typical horse.
“He sired the Westfalian stallion, Ehrensold (Fronvogt), whose son was the very famous Ehrentusch (Rheingold). We saw a lot of very good children of Ehrentusch, and a lot of them have the same characteristics, they all want to work, they had all very good hind legs. They were not beauty queens – or kings – but perfectly useable, and not only dressage horses but also showjumpers. You might remember El Paso from Paul Schockemöhle and later Eddie Macken. In the eighties and early nineties, Ehrentusch was very favoured, but then a lot of people said, ‘oh Ehrentusch’s children, they are not beautiful enough’, and his popularity slipped down.
“Then one of the most famous breeders, Norbert Borgmann, the father of Stephan who runs the stud today, used Ehrentusch with his very perfect mare, Florence (Ferragamo x Florestan), and produced Estobar, later Estobar NRW. He sold at the auction is 2006 for the unbelievable price of over half a million euros... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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