Analysis by Christopher Hector: If there were an award – and no doubt there should be – for the leading breeder of show jumpers at the European championships, there is no doubt that the award would go to the Belgian breeder, Herman de Brabander. Last year at Aachen, it was Herman’s cousin, Joris, who had four horses he bred in the Nations’ Cup. This year it was Herman, with two of his breeding in the limelight: Flora de Mariposa who finished fourth with Penelope Leprevost and Cantinero who finished 19th with Henrik von Eckermann.
Flora is by For Pleasure, out of Adeline, who is by the Pilot son, Power Light, out of Quirinal by Quito de Baussy, out of Herman’s foundation mare, Londy. Cantinero who should rightly be called Chopin de Mariposa, is by Cento, out of Trezebees (by the Cor de la Bryère son, Cash) out of Quirinal.
Herman is a modest man, and it takes quite some persuasion from Belgian breeding enthusiast and bloodlines authority, Huub van Aert, to get him to come down from his seat in the Aachen stand for this little interview:
How did you start breeding horses, was it in your family?
My family bred horses before me. My grandfather had horses, Thoroughbreds, ours is a horse family. I started with a daughter of Primo de Bruyéres, and then I built up my mares from this one foundation mare. (Note: That mare was the French-bred Londy. Primo de Bruyéres is by the French Thoroughbred, Night and Day xx, his dam Gazelle d’Aubry, carries the blood of two of the great French sport horse Thoroughbreds, Fra Diavolo and Furioso. Londy’s dam, Ededee, carries the blood of three influential Hanoverians: Lugano van la Roche a grandson of the great Thoroughbred Der Löwe; Flügel van la Roche; and Senator, through his son, Sturmwind van la Roche.) I have used Holstein and Hanoverian stallions, but the base is French.
What stallions do you use now?
All origins, but they must jump, that is the final point. Every couple of years I have a stallion at the licensing. Last year, my stallion Matisse de Mariposa, was the reserve champion stallion. Matisse is from the same mother line as Flora and Cantinero. He is by Diamant de Sémilly out of Inabelle de Mariposa, by Stakkato, and out of Adeline, the mother of Flora...