Johann and Margrit Muller-Burli with Tashina CH – a daughter of A Quelle Heure who died in January Photo: Sonja Grob

SWITZERLAND (by Sonja Grob) During the CSI Basel earlier this year, a special tribute was paid to Cardano CH (Chameur - A Quelle Heure x Apartigene von Schlosslihof), a 10-year-old gelding as the best Swiss Sport Horse 2017. It was a great honour for the breeders Johann and Margrit Muller-Burli from Menznau in the Lucerne canton, who shared how they achieved their success as breeders in Switzerland.

The Muller-Burli couple were awarded alongside Cardano CH’s owner, Trudy Graf, and his rider, Niklaus Rutschi. According to Jo- hann Muller, “We were just thrilled. It was such a great honour and a compliment for our work as breeders. There you stand in front of such a great audience that can see: these are the breed- ers of a world-class horse. Something Cardano proved the next day in the jump-off in the Grand Prix”, finishing ninth with Rutschi.

Q How was Cardano as a foal?

Like all foals out of A Quelle Heure (out of Swiss sport horse Graziella x Galant [SWB]), he was a very amiable little guy. From the day of their birth we have a strong bond to all our horses. We only have two or three foals and, therefore, you have enough time for everyone. This is hardly possible when you have big lots of 20 or more fillies.

Q When and why did you sell him?

After his birth on April 17, 2008 it was planned that he would go to the foal auction. Niklaus Rutschi, who was riding his mother, was invited to our home when we gave Cardano his name. This is always a little ceremony in our family, sometimes with guests. Therefore, Niklaus knew Cardano and his good pedigree. Because besides a good mare and a good breeder, there are a few other important facts. Firstly, owners, that have the financial back- ground and are willing to invest in the education and promotion of a horse. Then a rider who trains the horse in a correct way and introduces it into sport. And the luck to find all these matches. And this happened with Cardano.

Q Why did you choose Chameur as sire?

At first, we tried with frozen semen with another sire, but A Quelle Heure didn’t mate. So, we started to look for a sire with live covering and this was Chameur. After her sporting career we visited Chameur, and it was perfect the first time. Of course, we had our thoughts about the sire. In our breeding we con- sider those Dutch breeders that say, one must stimulate the positive things of the mare and not try to make the negative aspects better. That’s why we always look for lively sires, since our mares are the same. You can only breed with mares that are willing and healthy.