By Adriana van Tilburg Photography: FEI
The Holsteiner bred Cardento (Capitol - B-Estelle x Lord, Stamm 741, bred by Reimer Witt) had a remarkable career in sport and in breeding. Reimer Witt managed his own stallion station at home in Wellingusen, and Cardento is descended from stallions that stood with him, such as Sacramento Song xx, Lord, and Capitol I. His motherline 741 has been in the family for many generations.
Cardento’s mother, B-Estelle, became a very valuable mare as her direct branch produced in total four approved stallions. One half-brother to Cardento is the approved VDL Cartello (Cartani) who jumped at 1m65 under the saddle of Cormac Hanley. From this branch comes also the approved stallion Quintender 2 (Quinar) who jumped at 1m60 in the hands of Ludo Philippaerts. The Witt family recalled Cardento: “We are proud of every horse that we bred who is succesful in sport and, of course, every good horse is making a very good advertisement for us as breeders. This all comes together with Cardento. He did a lot of good things for many European studbooks who are breeding jumping horses. We see this regularly on television when they broadcast showjumping. Cardento has made us very proud.”
However, Cardento’s start in breeding was not so easy. VDL Stud wanted to buy him as a two-year-old, but the owner wanted to present him at the Holsteiner stallion approvals where he was rejected. So, it was agreed that VDL could buy him, but he then faced another obstacle when Cardento was also not approved by KWPN. He was presented a second time, but once again KWPN didn’t want him either. So, he moved to Sweden and was approved by Swedish Warmblood as a five-year-old, and his jumping career began under the saddle of Peter Eriksson. This story clearly demonstrates two things: How difficult it is to judge young stallions, and what a loss it would have been if Cardento had never been approved for breeding. Finally, he returned to VDL Stud when he was 14.
Cardento’s results in sport speak for themselves: Runner-up at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, European championship runner up in Arnhem 2002, team silver medal with Sweden at the 2002 championships in Jerez de la Frontera – all in the skilfull hands of Peter Eriksson.
Besides being an excellent sport horse, he was also an outstanding breeding stallion and, according to many riders, he might have been the best son of Capitol I for producing sport horses. In total he has sired 106 jumping horses who have competed at 1m55 and higher...
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