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Are mare families the secret to breeding jumpers

Aachen Rolex Grand Prix winner Prêt A Tout (Hiram Chambertin - Gare a Elle Deux x Stew Boy [Jalisco B]) ridden by Marcus Ehning (GER)

By Christopher Hector and Gemma Alexander
Photography: FEI

Recently we looked at the question of whether the star showjumpers were more likely to be out of mares that were themselves stars in the competition arena, or were non-competing mares more likely to produce the goods? We saw that even two top breeders had diametrically opposing views....


Jan Greve feels that mares can't successfully hold down two jobs, while Joris de Brabander argues that the best jumping competition mares will produce the best jumpers. In the end we found that the figures did not 'prove' one way or the other - there are great jumpers out of mares that have never competed, and there are also great jumpers out of competition stars, although it should be noted that some of the greatest competition mares never produced anything of note in their second career. There did seem to be a slight tendency of recent times for more competitors out of competitors, which may say something about the switch in Warmblood breeding over the past 30 years, a switch that sees greater emphasis placed on competition results for both sire and dam...

Back in 2008, Sporthorse Breeding Magazine compiled a list of what they saw as the top mare families.

• #1: Holsteiner stamm 776 and the families of Ramiro, Locarno, Promised Land, Acorado, Landos, plus Calvados I and II contributed to this #1 ranking.
• #2: KWPN stamm 020 (Emmerton, Mac Kinley, Modesto and Cavalier)
• #3: KWPN stamm 114 (Looping, Okidoki and Vancouver d'Auvray)
• #4: Holsteiner stamm 18b1 (Common Sense, Lapacco, Farn, Quantum, Lagos, Constant, Roman and Ronald)
• #5: KWPN stamm 006 (Cycarlos LZ, Nairobi and Mr Blue)
• #6: Holsteiner stamm 162 (Coster, Carthago, Non Stop, Feinschnitt I, Cascavelle, Lacros and Stanley)
• #7: Holsteiner stamm 18a2 (Calle Cool, Castella, Chambertin, Calvadur, Chamonix, Komeet and Marmor)
• #8: KWPN 093 (Kalusha, Oranta and Renville)
• #9: Holsteiner stamm 741 (Calira , Olli-Pop and Leandro)
• #10: SF stamm 42 (Ideo du Thot, Kingly du Reverdy and Elf d'Or)
• #11: Holsteiner stamm 1298 (Chupa Chup, Emilion and Lord )
• #12: KWPN stamm 002 (Darco and Arko III)
• #13: Holsteiner stamm 5401 (Leconte, Prima Vera and Fernando)
• #14: Holsteiner stamm 104a (Corradina, Corland, Celano , Landetto and Carneval)
• #15=: is BWP stamm 42 (Utopia and Vigo d'Arsouilles)
• #15=: Hannoverian stamm 763 (Sham and Tresor)
• #15=: Holsteiner stamm 6372 (Concept and Lambrasco)
• #15=: Holsteiner stamm 890 (Casall and Conally)
• #15=: KWPN stamm 022 (Casadora and Paloma)
• #15=: KWPN stamm 106 (Authentic and Olinda)
• #15=: KWPN stamm 203 (Ever Mury Marais Z and Sherry Mury Marais Z)
• #22: Holsteiner stamm 6893 (Cash 51 and Concerto II)
• #23: SF stamm 7 (Quidam de Revel and Uriel)
• #24: SF stamm 2 (Koro d'Or and Papillon Rouge)
• #25: Holsteiner stamm 7299 (Lord Louis and Indoctro)

Now I realise full well that serious commentators, such as Tom Reed of Morningside, question the methodology of this selection, pointing out that there is no control for the number of progeny and, therefore, the proportional success rate, but there can be no question that these are influential mare families. The 'best'? Well that might be a little like the search for the Holy Grail, but they will do as a starting point...