By Adriana van Tilburg
Photography: FEI; Peter Llewellyn
The journey of the Westfalian-bred stallion Comme il faut (Cornet Obolensky - Ratina Z x Ramiro, bred by Lugder Beerbaum Stables GmbH) was not easy. In Ludger Beerbaum’s own words, success came “against all the odds”. Even from the day he was born, to when he was approved by his birth studbook and, despite Comme il faut’s interesting pedigree, was mockingly nicknamed a ‘Mickey Mouse’ who would never have sufficient scope to be successful in sport, or make a significant impact in breeding.
His small size, at 164 centimetres, was seen as significent. However his heart and willingness to be competitive are the key factors that we are looking for in breeding. So, what makes Comme il faut and his motherline so special?
Heureka Z: A broodmare par excellence
The international sport results of Holsteiner Stamm 8145 began in 1960 when the mare Heureka (Ganeff -Nobida x Falerner, bred by Hermann Heins) was born. Under the saddle of Germany’s Hermann Schridde she was one of the most successful international jumpers in the period 1969 to 1971. The pair recorded a great many wins in Hamburg, Aachen, Brussels, Vienna, Berlin and Nörten-Hardenberg. After winning the Aachen Grand Prix in 1970, she was sold to Leon Melchior, with whom she won the Berlin Grand Prix before starting her life as a foundation mare at Studfarm Zangersheide. Her special qualities as a broodmare would become as impactful as her results in the competition arena.
Heureka Z produced six offspring with three different stallions: Almé (Ibrahim - Girondine x Ultimate xx, bred by Alphonse Chauvin); Graf Gotthard (Gotthard - Adlergoettin x Abglanz, bred by Willi Baars); and Ramiro (Raimond - Valine x Cottage Son xx, Stamm 776, bred by Paul Bahlmann).
Her first foal was the approved stallion Goliath Z (Graf Gotthard) who fathered Grosso Z – the sire of Ludger Beerbaum’s top horse Goldfever. And so the Beerbaum connection with this bloodline begins.
Goliath Z is also damsire of Ta Belle van Sombeke (Chin Chin) who jumped at 1m60 under the saddle of Jos Lansink and produced several 1m60 horses, including London (Nabab de Reve) under the saddle of Gerco Schröder. Goliath Z himself had an international career under the saddle of Willy van der Ham.
Reurika Z (Ramiro), one of Heureka’s daughters, produced the approved stallion Faust Z (Furioso II) who jumped at 1m60 under the saddle of Henk van de Pol. She also produced the approved stallion Lauriston Z/Leon 131 (Leuthen I) who jumped at 1m60 under the saddle of Uwe Volmer. From her branch are also came the 1m60 jumping horses Pepper Z (Pilot Z) ridden by Ezequiel Daponte, and Crepe Z (Crown Z) under the saddle of Lihuel Gonzalez.
Romanze Z is a full sister to Reurika Z, whose daughter Cobra (Calypso I) produced several sport horses including the Olympian Roble Z (Rex Z) who competed in Athens 2004 with Danae Tsatsou. With this cross Roble Z has three crosses tp Heureka Z, because Rex Z is the result of an inbreeding between the full brother and sister Rebel I Z and Ratina Z.
Heureka’s best-known son is Ahorn Z (Almé) who was purchased from Leon Melchior together with some other young colts as a yearling by Maas J. Hell. Although he never competed, Ahorn Z created a very impessive sire line in Holstein through his sons Acord I/II/III. Acord I himself jumped at 1m60 under the saddle of Jos Lansink and Hap Hansen, while Acord III was a breeding stallion in Brazil. Acord II followed in the footsteps of Ahorn Z, becoming a very important stallion for Maas J. Hell in producing stallions such as Acorado I, Atlantic VDL, Askari and Ars Vivendi. In particular, Askari put his mark on sport horse breeding in 2018 when Simone Blum’s top horse, DSP Alice (Askari - Landblume x Landrebell) won individual gold at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon. Likewise, Ingrid Klimke’s talented mare Asha P (Askari - Hera x Heraldik xx) won last year’s seven-year-old final at the eventing World Breeding Championship for Young Horses in Le Lion d’Angers.
Ahorn Z was also a very good damsire, with Concerto II (Contender - Bagina x Ahorn Z); Livello also a very good dam sire like with Concerto II, Livello (Limbus - Zocka x Ahorn Z), Lux Z (Lord Calando - Apocalypte Z x Ahorn Z), who all have jumped at 1m60. Similarly, the interesting Holsteiner stallion Lordanos (Landos - W-Ashley) has Ahorn Z as his damsire.
However, in the pedigree of the 1m60 jumping horse Che Guevera 17 (Concept 2 - Zomaga x Rebel Z I, bred by Frank von der Haar) we find something very interesting. The sire of Concept is Concerto II (whose damsire is Ahorn Z), Rebel Z I is a son of Ahorn Z’s full sister Argentina Z.
We also find Ahorn Z in the third generation of KWPN-bred stallion Romanov (Heartbreaker - Narzisse x Fedor, Stamm 2027, bred by Gebr. Bosch) who jumped at 1m60 under the saddle of Bertram Allen...