By Christopher Hector
Circumstances beyond my control prevented my attendance at this year’s championships. Sad since Le Lion is one of my favorite events, double sad since the line-up of horses was so genetically interesting this year… but the opportunity to armchair analyze didn’t escape me!
Christopher Hector analyses the bloodlines at the World Young Eventing Horse Championships at Lion d’Angers
No matter how many times it was repeated, the assertion that you cannot breed horses for eventing was always pretty daft since you only had to look at the success of the tiny group of pioneer breeders who set out to do just that – often with limited resources and making do with whatever horse-flesh they could lay their hands on.
Looking at the 2023 start list it is quite clear that eventing breeding is coming of age as more and more of the entries were obviously bred with an eventing career in mind.
The Dutch breeders have always been in the forefront when it comes to spotting the next lucrative market. They were the first to split their breeding program into jumping and dressage streams and are now reaping the rewards. Now it would seem they have discovered the eventing market. Two years ago the KWPN were sixth on the WBFSH eventing studbook rankings, but in 2023 they are third, with eventers bearing the KWPN brand starring all over the world.
Who would have thought that two of the Irish seven-year-old contingent, while branded ISH, would be by stallions from Holland’s mighty VDL stud? One, MGH Zabione was bred by Padraig McCarthy, but the horse is by VDL Zavall (Casall x Emilion) out of Viancara VDL (Nimmerdor). Also representing Ireland is Danos Lola, out of an Irish mare by the renowned Irish showjumper, Cruising, but by Carrara VDL who is well represented on the start list with three of his progeny.
Carrara is by Cardento out of a Baloubet de Rouet mare. Carrara is just 49.2% blood when the accepted wisdom is that somewhere round 75% is the ideal for an eventing sire. He was a moderately successful showjumper with Jur Vrieling, his last win being a 1m45 Grand Prix at Vestfold in 2017... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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