By Jean-Marc Lefévre
Photography: Courtesy Syndicat Linaro/Poney As
A little over 20 years ago, we spotted the Dutch stallion Kanshebber. What regrets at the time – and still today – not to have bought him! However, with the entry into the Syndicat Linaro catalogue of his son, Ken van Orchid, crowned vice-champion of Europe in CSO last year, we can say that history has a way of finally doing things well...
It was during the 2006 All Saints day when we were in the Netherlands with Guillaume Levesque and Jean-Baptiste Guérin and visited the studfarm of veterinarian Jan Greve, passionate about the breeding of jumping horses (but also a serious breeder of dressage horses...), who at the time was standing the well-known Voltaire. In his ‘De Watermolen’ (‘watermill’) equestrian clinic, a very friendly gentleman who was there asked us if we were from France and we all started talking together. “Would you like to have dinner next door? We could continue the discussion,” he told us. It was when paying the bill that we realized that we were guests of the master of the house, veterinary clinic, studfarm, and inn. We therefore shared an excellent meal, convivial and enriching, accompanied by good French wines.
Jan Greve then told us a host of pony stories, including that of the father and mother of a very young Dutch saddle pony stallion: Kanshebber, a name which in French means “to be lucky”. Daisy Brown, his mother, a daughter of the Arabian Kebir II, was a great champion of the international pony circuit. She had been a multi medal winner in show- jumping and in particular individual European champion in 1986. Wim Versteeg (president of the Stud-Book NRPS) had bought her and sent her, in 1993, to the Arab stallion Krimh. The latter was a 1m50 sire competing in the three disciplines, and in particular in CSO at 1m35 events. We were truly taken aback by his origins full of references.
However, to tell you the truth, he did not convince us 100%, as we found him a little insufficient, and he had never been the number one preference of his Dutch rider Liseth Vetker who had a pony (Mississippi, a son of our former stallion Zodiak) who was more talented to be selected for the European Championships. This slowed us down and we decided not buy him, but simply noted Kanshebber in the list of stallions to enter the Syndicat Linaro catalog. This demonstrated our strict requirements regarding the entry of stallions into our catalogue.
I would like to be specific here as we have never deviated from this way of selecting our stallions, and I can say, 20 years later, that our draconian selection criteria have borne fruit. At that time, the Syndicat Linaro breathed a real driving force into French breeding: the production of SL stallions suddenly dominated breeding competitions, young pony events, as well as stallion qualifications. Our actions have produced an impetus that delights everyone, and the breeding of French sport ponies is now among the leaders in Europe... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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