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Berlin: A special stallion and a wonderful sporting career

Berlin under the saddle of Gerco Schröder (NED)

By Adriana van Tilburg
Photography: Peter Llewellyn, private collection, and courtesy Yeguada Campos

Berlin/ex Caspar was a very special stallion. Following a wonderful competition career with Dutch brothers Wim and Gerco Schröder, he proved himself to be an exceptional sire. He passed away in September 2020, at the age of 26 at the Stud ‘de Radstake’ of Johan Venderbosch.

When all the Eurocommerce horses were necessarily sent to auction, the Netherlands almost lost Berlin. Luckily Stoeterij Duyselshof stepped in to buy him to ensure he would remain in the country. Wiebe van der Kleij recalls: “Berlin not only had a lot of success in sport, he also showed himself to be a great sire. It is not without reason that he became ‘preferent’ in 2018 with KWPN. I told Wim van der Leegte (owner from Stoeterij Duyselshof) that a stallion with such a performance record should stay in the Netherlands. We were very lucky that we could buy him.”
Winning team gold at the Aachen 2006 World Equesterian Games under the saddle of Gerco Schröder was one of Berlin’s career highlights, when they also finished sixth individually. They were also members of the gold medal team in Mannheim 2007 at the European championships.
His offspring have since shown that they have inherited his quality for showjumping. His son, Zerlin M out of Tatjana Bo (Concorde) jumped at 1m60 under the saddle of Michel Hughes. Others who are competing at the highest level: Caspar 232 out of Pagrada (Padarco van’t Hertsveld) is jumping at 1m60 with Emanuele Gaudiano; Basic out of Janien (Dutchboy) 1m60 with Guy William; Vip du Forezan out of Queen Girl Kervec (Diamant de Semilly) 1m60 with Spain’s Paola Amilibia.... and the list ghoes on.

Superstars of Aachen 2006 WEG – Team gold for Berlin and Gerco Schröder (NED)

Solid Holstein roots

Berlin descends from a very strong Holsteiner mare line: Stamm 890, which has split into several branches – aside from the one that produced Berlin, we have another that produced the world famous Casall Ask (Caretino - Kyra XVII x Landgaf I), and also produced yet another 1m60 horse, Capone I (Contender - Winja x Ladalco).
Already in the late 1930s early 1940s the good reputation of this motherline was known in Germany. Aloysius Pollmann-Schweckhorst received advice about this damline from Major von Jenen, who said: “Buy a filly from Stamm 890 if you want to build up a good damline.” So let’s take a closer look at the line from Berlin descends.
Berlin’s success story starts with the mare Bizarre (Cromwell - Kamille x Maki I) born in 1965, bred by Wilken Boje from Trennewurth, who then sold her to the Jahr family who live in Hodorf.
Isabel, the daughter of Alexander Jahr who purchased Bizarre, recalls: “My father bought Bizarre on the advice of our farm manager Friedrich von Soosten and breeding advisor Gerd Prien around 1967. Bizarre was two years old when we bought her, and it’s interesting to mention that Gerd Prien bred Bizarre’s sire, Cromwell (Cottage Son xx - Fera x Heidelberg). We later used Maximus ( Manometer xx - Stoer x Heilbutt) with her, who was bred by Friedrich von Soosten, so they not only advised us but were also actively involved in the breeding that shaped Berlin’s motherline.
“Bizarre had a super character. Her type could handle Thoroughbred really well and that is why we used Freeman xx (Hard Sauce xx - Ruffino xx x Como xx), who was imported to Holstein by my grandfather. My first competition horse was Nelke (Freeman xx) out of Bizarre, that is why Nelke stayed at the Constanzehof to become a broodmare. Sadly my father Alexander Jahr has passed away, so my husband and I now run the farm.”
Nelke is through Fabella (Corrado I) grandmother to four 1m40 and higher jumpers: Kabella (Rebel Z II) 1m45 with Frank Plock; Cando 2 (Candillo) 1m60 with Omer Karaevli; Caliku (Candillo) 1m40 with Niklas Engemann; Romantika S (Candillo) 1m45 with Josta van Straaten; and Calgary (Concerto II) 1m50 with Francisco Fleming de Oliveira.
Bizarre is also grandmother to Feodora (Farnese - Historie x Marlon xx). Elmar Pollmann-Schweckhorst recalls: “Bizarre’s granddaughter Feodora had already won three 1m40 classes with me as a seven-year-old, then I sold her to Fritz Fervers. He rode her to become German champion, and won team gold and individual bronze at the European championship for juniors in Bourg-en-Bresse, France, in 1991.” Both Historie and Feodora were bred by Alexander Jahr... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber