Steve Guerdat has made a habit of producing horses out of nowhere and winning big classes, and this year in Gothenburg, he did it again. His World Cup winner, Corbinian, was a genuine dark horse. Looking back over the past two seasons with Guerdat, there is not a single victory to be found, a couple of thirds, one second at a smaller show, that’s it. At their last show prior to the final, the pair were 13th and 14th at den Bosch – but the signs were there that they were coming into top form.
Certainly one person who believed in Corbinian from the start is his breeder, Ralf Blüggel from Hamm. He is described by Westfalian breeding manager, Wilken Treu as a “very enthusiastic and friendly breeder who tries to orientate himself at high performance show jumping. He is a ‘full Westfalian’ breeder but also tries to find good broodmares in other breeding areas. He breeds with about 10 mares, which were successful in sport (at least in young-horse classes) or who have already produced successful foals.”
Mr. Blüggel told me that his passion for jumping began when he was a rider: “I started out as a rider, and from there, I thought I would like to start breeding my first mare. That was 30 years ago and during that time I have built a small breeding station. It’s my passion, my hobby, I want to see how it builds from that one mare – Corbinian was the third generation of my breeding progamme. That is what I like to do, building dam lines and to see the family growing. I bought the mare Dina, and that was the beginning of the family of Corbinian.”
Dina was a Westfalian State premium mare, by the Hanoverian stallion, Der Clou – from the old Hanoverian jumping line of Domspatz, with a cross of another influential Hanoverian jumping line, the S line, which begins with the Trakehner, Semper Idem, through Senator. “From Dina, I had two daughters of Pilot, one, Primavera, the other, Panama. These two mares have been very important for my breeding, the really good horses have come from these two. From Primavera, with Cornet, I had Corbinian...