Olympic Games. Atlanta, August 1996, Lars Nieberg (GER) riding For Pleasure

By Umberto Martuscelli
Photography: Peter Llewellyn

In top-level competitive showjumping it occasionally happens that one rider records excellent results over a long period with just one horse, and vice versa. Of course, many top riders enjoy an exceptional career with a number of different horses over a long period. And by ‘excellent’ results, we are talking about international success and podiums at major championships.

It is, however, substantially more difficult to identify one particular horse who enjoyed huge success, including major competition results over many years, under the saddle of two different riders.
One name that might instantly come to mind is Ratina Z – the most successful mare in showjumping history, to date, with a European team medal in 1991 (4th individually), as well as individual silver and team gold at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games in the hands of Dutchman Piet Raymakers. Ratina then recorded a series of great triumphs when her career was relaunched with Ludger Beerbaum.
There is another name, a stallion, who produced extraordinary results for Germany – For Pleasure – whose career can be almost equally divided between two great riders and team companions: Lars Nieberg (1994 to 1998), then Marcus Ehning from 1999 until the talented chestnut retired from competition at the end of 2005. Two riders who owe him their thanks for catapulting their careers into the international spotlight.

Olympic Games, Sydney 2000, Markus Ehning (GER) riding For Pleasure

An extraordinary career in sport, but what about his qualities as a well-known sire? For Pleasure has brought an impressive number of offspring into the world, distributed among all the main studbooks, of which many have reached the highest levels of international competiton. As always with such well-known stallions it’s impossible to provide a complete list, but the following are especially noteworthy: Fit For Fun/Luciana Diniz (POR); Flora de Mariposa/ Penelope Leprevost (FRA); Octave Wonder of Ca’San Giorgio/Paolo Paini (ITA); Ornellaia/John Whitaker (GBR); Funky Fred/Marcus Ehning (GER); Eplease van het Heike/Christian Ahlmann (GER); Beauty/Leopold van Asten (NED); Barron/Lucy Davis (USA); My Forever/ Giacomo Casadei (ITA); Rigoletto of Florida/Massimiliano Ferrario (ITA); For Passion/Daniele Da Rios (Italy)… To name just a few from an endless list... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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