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Cornet’s Air: Special new stallion for New Zealand

Cornet’s Air (Cornet Obolensky - Dark Air x Diarado)

By Sally Reid
Photography: Gerd Küst private collection

‘Very special horses’ is the slogan of New Zealand’s Astek Stud, and there’s no doubt that its new stallion, Cornet’s Air (Cornet Obolensky - Dark Air x Diarado), fits that bill. He’s tall, dark and outstandingly handsome, with a veritable roll-call of legends in his pedigree. The three-year-old Holsteiner is due to arrive at the stud shortly. He will be the first son of his fabulous sire to stand in Australasia.

It’s a major coup for Astek and a big emotional boost for stud owner Sue Fowler, who earlier this year farewelled one of her two foundation sires, the superb Voltaire II (Voltaire - Daydyne ster prest x Nimmerdor).
The sire line of Cornet’s Air needs no introduction. The mighty progenitor Cornet Obolensky/ex Windows van het Costersveld (Clinton x Heartbreaker) is currently number four in the world, represented by an ever-growing host of champion sons, daughters and grandchildren. Four of his offspring were at WEG, making him the third most represented jumping sire of the competition, and one of them (Clooney) took home individual silver.
However, Cornet’s Air’s dam line is also extraordinary and worthy of much attention. The stallion was bred by Gerd Küst in Pinneberg, as was his Bezirksprämie dam, Dark Air, who is a half-sister of the approved stallion Quiwi Dream (Quidam de Revel) through her dam, Panam Air (Contender I - Landadel x Ramiro Z). Quiwi Dream, also bred by Küst, won the Youngster Cup Final at Aachen in 2013 but died from an airway infection last year. Dark Air’s sire, Diarado, was a very empathic winner of the Neumünster licensing in 2007, and her dam, Panam Air, is a really special mare.
Holsteiner Stamm 8888: Merle and Panam Air, Gerd Küst with Lauda Air and Vivien with Flybaboo Air.
A daughter of Contender and the lovely Lauda Air Eins (also known as I-Lauda Air), Panam Air is a full sister of the approved stallions Com Air I and Com Air II, and a double Bundeschampionate winner. She is also the dam of Gestut Bonhomme’s Prämienhengst Westfalian stallion Zinedream (Zinedine), the OS International Champion in 2016.  Through her and her grandson Cornet’s Air, the blood of the mighty Ramiro Z, sire of Astek’s other foundation stallion, Ramirez (Ramiro Z x Roberto), will make a return to Astek Stud. Cornet’s Air has Ramiro Z five times in his breeding line.
Dark Air, Panam Air, Lauda Air, et al, originate from Gerd Küst’s Holsteiner Stamm 8888, which now has four generations of elite mares and 12 licensed stallions. These include the gorgeous sire Akribori (Accord) winner of his stallion performance test at Landgestüt Zweibrücken in 2000. Also from the Stamm are the international show-jumpers Carriere Zwei (Cassini I), Lucentino (Linton) and Co-Pilot (Contender - Lauda Air Zwei x Landadel), a stallion who was exported to Australia in 2012 and has had success there at World Cup level with Robert Goodwin...CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO BREEDING NEWS