By Adriana van Tilburg
Photography: Janne Bugtrup, FEI
The level of young showjumping horses in all the classes was extremely high. There was a new class for showjumping horses of eight years and older. These horses had to have been at the Bundeschampionat in previous years.
Besides the talent of the horses, I would like to congratulate the riders Richard Vogel and his partner Sophie Hinners and their team for the success they enjoyed at this event. As you will learn by reading, they won many medals and ribbons and their success will be hard to match.
From the first qualification on it was very exciting sport. There were 93 combinations with top riders such as Sophie Hinners, Patrick Stühlmeyer, Eiken Sato, Richard Vogel, Katrin Eckermann, Takashi Shibayama Haase, and Philip Rüping. The Diamant de Semilly (Le Tot de Semilly - Venise des Cresles x Elf III, breeder: Jules Mesnildrey) line was the most represented sire line, through himself as well as his sons, Diamant de Plaisir I, Diarado, Dominator Z, Emerald van’t Ruytershof, plus his grandsons Dinken and Diacontinus.
The second sire line was the one from Cornet Obolensky (Clinton - Rabanna van Costersveld x Heartbreaker, breeder: Thierry Degraeve) directly and through his sons Comme il faut, Colestus, Come and Fly, and Cornet du Lys.
The third most represented bloodline was from Chacco-Blue (Chambertin - Contara x Contender, breeder: K.H. Koepp) directly and via his son Chacoon Blue. Finally, the stallion United Touch S (Untouched - Touch of Class S x Lux Z, breeder: Julius Peter Sinnack) had six direct offspring in this class and five of them exceptionally made it to the final.
The first qualifier was won by the Westfalian-bred stallion Dracon (Dominator Z - Ballerina x Balou du Rouet, breeder: ZG Junker) under the saddle of Hendrik Dowe. His breeder gave me some insights into this family earlier this year: “We live in Westfalia and are also quite loyal to the Westfalian Studbook. However, good horses have no brand or color and that’s why we don’t look at studbooks when we choose a stallion. In recent years, for example, we’ve used Dominator Z who is Zangersheide registered, but his sire, Diamant de Semilly is Selle Français and his mother by Cassini I is Holsteiner. Nowadays you can get good genetics from everywhere in fresh and/or frozen semen.
“Ballerina’s dam, Cracker Jane, is again in foal by Dominator Z. In our breeding program we have Ballerina, Cracker Jane, and her full sister. Cracker Jane’s first foal was the mare Enja J (Ehrentusch), who was placed in over 130 classes at 1m30 and 1m40 level.”
Friederike Junker explained how these horses feel to their rider: “They give a very good feeling, certainty that they can do everything. I rode several horses up to 1m40 level. Like Cornflakes J (Cristallo I - Louise J), Enja J, and Eminem J (Ehrentusch - Cracker Jane).” Martina Junker, Friederike’s mother adds: “Just like Cracker Jane, Cornflakes J has an outstanding hind end containing a top engine. You don’t need a whip or spurs to keep her going. She had an injury so we took her out of sport. The most interesting overall quality of this line is that all the horses have an outstanding work ethic. They have willingness, scope and are noble.”
The Holsteiner-bred mare Kalifa 9 (Million Dollar van het Schaeck - Salytino HH x Caretino, Stamm 4294, breeder: Natalie Kock) under the saddle of Sophie Hinners finished second on the first day, but won her second class, then also won the final over two rounds. Kalifa’s breeder, Natalie Kock, was groom to Margit Otto Crepin for more than 35 years, so has travelled the world and seen many horses. In Margit’s final years her horses stood in Elmshorn where the Holsteiner Verband stallions are standing. It was here that Natalie got a good feeling for the Holsteiner stallions and fell in love with Million Dollar van het Schaeck. Before the final on Sunday I had a moment with her. “I started breeding with the mother of Kalifa 9 in 2011. I purchased her from Peter Huisman from the Netherlands. He crossed Salytino HH with Contender, who became the AES-approved stallion MFS Cayden HH. This stallion is competing in England at PSG – Inter I level and is owned by MFS Studfarm. I discovered Salytino HH through an online advertisement. Peter purchased her as a foal from her breeder Gesche Krey. Salytino HH also had a foal with me by LB Crumble who is now owned by Christina Liebherr and who jumped at 1m35... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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A Million Dollar match
“I saw Million Dollar for the first time when I went to work and he passed me with his handler. I immediately thought he was an interesting stallion, and if he had a good character could be a perfect match for my Caretino mare. He did have an outstanding character, but then had to be approved for breeding before I was going to use him. I was on a holiday during his approval and when I came back I asked Uwe Benzin (who works for the Holsteiner Verband) when I needed to apply to use him. He replied, ‘yesterday’. Luckily it worked out that I could use him for Salytino HH.
“Kalifa 9 was very easy and well-mannered as a foal. She always did everything right. I kept her until she was three years old and took her to the mare performance test which she passed with a 9.5 from the guest rider. I put her back on the field for a long time and, at the moment I wanted to sell her I called Jan Meves and he started competing with her. Richard Vogel discovered her when he was trying horses at Jan Meves’ place. He later rang Jan and said that he couldn’t stop thinking about the mare, so Jan told him he should buy her. It’s so special to see her competing in top form under the saddle of Sophie Hinners. It’s confirmation that I am on the right track. Also that I used Million Dollar when a lot of people were negative about him, but I believed in this stallion.”
Cornet Obolensky most represented among 6yo
There were 121 combinations in the six-year-old class where Cornet Obolensky was the most represented line. Last year’s five-year-old champion, Corolando 3 (Cornet Obolensky - Curioza van den Bosrand x Orlando van de Heffinck, breeder: Zhashkiv Equestrian Sport School) won both qualifiers under the saddle of Eiken Sato, but had one down in the final to finish 17th. Cornet XL (Cornet Obolensky - La Baule x Lex Lugar, breeder: Dr. Rowold) finished second in the final under the saddle of Richard Vogel.
It was interesting to see so many horse with Balou du Rouet (Baloubet du Rouet - Georgia x Continue, breeder: Gestüt Lewitz) blood, also through Blockbuster and Balous Bellini. I asked Florian Meyer zu Hartum for some background information regarding Balou du Rouet. Since 2011 Florian has worked for Paul Schockemöhle and is responsible for the training of his horses and riders in Mühlen. About Balou du Rouet he said; “The success confirms our philosophy that we are on the right track with our foundation lines since Paul purchased the fifth mare in his damline. It confirms that a breeder needs well-bred damlines that are cared for.
“I should also say that Balou du Rouet has already made a name for himself at our studfarm as a damsire. We have a lot of Balou du Rouet mares because they have a lot of quality so we keep them for breeding and so we can share our good experiences with him. His offspring are very careful in jumping, which is a very good quality. This is in his damline and he passes it on to his offspring. When we need our mares to have a bit more energy and carefulness we will use Balou du Rouet.”
The line of Diamant de Semilly was ranked third for the most offspring, while one of the 121 horses was by the Holsteiner-bred stallion Dinken (Diarado - Inken I x Cassini I, Stamm 2294, breeder: Theo Molenaers) – a grandson of Diamant via Diarado. Dinken became premium stallion at his approvals in 2012 and won the Landeschampionat in 2016 as a six year old, after which an injury ended his sport career.
This single son of Dinken was Dax 68 (out of Olympia J x Corrado I, Stamm 8793, breeder: Dirk Georg Jessen), who kept improving in each round under the saddle of Richard Vogel. His breeder Dirk Georg Jessen said; “Dinken’s pedigree is outstanding. I have competed at advanced level so I could see he would be a good match with my mare. Dinken needs tall and long-lined mares, so Olympia was a good match. Dax 68 was normal as a foal, but did have a lot of presence. Several people wanted to buy him, so I posted an online advertisement. Then David Will’s mother showed interest and I thought it would be interesting to sell him to a stable where he would be offered every possibility. For me that was more important than the money and, in the end, I can say that we did everything right, so far. We were already very pleased when he qualified for the Bundeschampionat, and although my mother was there with me the first day, she couldn’t come at the weekend, but she cried her eyes out, she was so happy. I cried also. I am really happy for Dax 68 and everybody round him.”
Fourth was the Holsteiner-bred stallion Coquetto del Pierre (Cornet Obolensky - Ellen III x Casquetto, Stamm 2067, breeder: Witt Pferdezucht GbR) under the saddle of Hannes Ahlmann. According to his happy owner, Dr. Peter Schütte; “We built him up carefully for the Bundeschampionat. He didn’t go to many shows, but he was always placed, including at 1m35. His mentality is very good and he is very strong physically.
A chance encounter with Coquetto
“He was two years old when I purchased him at the Holsteiner stallion approvals during the auction, but I hadn’t seen him free jumping. I actually wanted to buy a different stallion but when I was outside I saw another trotting in hand who immediately caught my eye. I saw his breeder and asked if it was possible to see him without a blanket. Coquetto looked at me with big dark eyes and I loved that. Tjark Witt suggested trotting him outside in hand and, at that moment, I knew I had to have him. During the auction it got very exciting. At one point I stopped bidding, but Japanese international showjumping rider Takashi Haase was sitting with us and thought he was an outstanding horse. When I started bidding again I was against somebody else, but really thought I was going to win. That’s how I bought him.
“The plan was to send Coquetto to Stud Hell and Takashi would ride him at international level when the stallion got older. He always showed excellence in jumping. As a four-year-old he stood with Franz-Josef Dahlmann, who really loved him but couldn’t use him for breeding. He really loved Coquetto but there he could not be a breeding stallion. I’d noticed Hannes Ahlmann a few times and thought he was (is) a good rider, so I called Dirk, his father, and asked if they would look at Coquetto. They did, took him, and since then there has been only progress. I’m not interested in selling him because I’m enjoying his journey with Dirk and Hannes. For this year we had three goals: Competing him at the Holsteiner Landeschampionat, the Bundeschampionat, and the World Breeding Championships for Young Horses.
“Coquetto never loses strength, and is actually getting strong. It’s the truly special horses who are able to do that. His scope and rideability are outstanding, and he received a 9.5 from the guest rider at his last sport performance test, an average of close to 9.0. He also comes out of an outstanding damline, the same one as Conrad de Hus. The few foals that Coquetto has are doing very well.”
Holsteiners complete the hattrick
The seven-year-old class of 47 horses preceded the five- and six-year-old classes and, at that moment, no one imagined that the Holsteiner Verband would take home all the medals – dominating the whole podium. Interestingly, this Warendorf success may in part be attributed to Norbert Boley – who retired earlier this year from his position as director of the Holsteiner Verband – and his team who identified and brought in both foals and older stallions. Boley said; “This success was very good for the Holsteiner Verband. Casall’s success has been no surprise for us, and it was also good that Dinken could show his value as a stallion. It was an amazing start for Million Dollar’s first foal crop in sport, and no better way than winning the five-year-old championship. You can’t win the Bundeschampionat without a good rider or without a good horse, so everything was done very well. It was especially good for the Holsteiner Verband to silence the criticism about the studbook’s lack of recent success. Through the years I had a lot of good people around me for finding stallions like Million Dollar, so it for sure makes me happy to see when it works out so well. It brings joy to see that the younger stallions are able to be so successful in breeding.”
Actually five out of the top 10 horses were Holsteiner bred. The championship was won by the gelding Caillan (Casall - Perle XX x Carry, Stamm 18A2, breeder: Gerd Ohlsen) under the saddle of Rolf Göran Bengtsson. This amazing combination also won the seven-year-old championship at the Holsteiner Horse days, and later claiming the triple crown by winning the showjumping WBCYH in Lanaken. Caillan is half brother to the 1m65 jumping horse Pikeur Dylon (Diamant de Semilly) under the saddle of Markus Brinkmann. Grandmother Zurich IV (Landgraf I - Marotte x Sacramento Song xx, breeder: Klaus Wilhelm Gehrts) is mother to two-time Hamburg Derby winner Calle Cool under the saddle of Nisse Lüneburg. Already in 2008 he finished second in the Hamburg Derby under the saddle of Carsten Otto Nagel. This line is one of the oldest performance lines of the Holsteiner Studbook.
Gerd Ohlsen writes on his Instagram page: “Caillan and Rolf Göran Bengtsson did it, they got all the titles there were to get. September 25 is and remains a very special day for us. Each of us had the feeling even before we started that we would also become world champions today – and so it was! We always knew that Caillan could stand up to all the challenges and would always prevail in the end. The horse from the small island of Föhr is breaking all records. We, with our comparatively small breeding, are all the more proud to own such an amazing horse and I now also know that it does not matter how many horses you own, but which horses are at home with you, how they grow up, and how they live.”
Second was the Holsteiner gelding Munin (Mylord Carthago - De La ChinChin x Chin Chin, breeder: Michael Eitel) under the saddle of Richard Vogel. His damline is French via his third mother Fana de la Loge (Tenor de la Cour - Rebecca du Hequet x Jalisco B, breeder: Elevage de la Loge) who produced the 1m60 jumping horse and approved stallion Qoud’Cour de la Loge (Ideal de la Loge) under the saddle of Roger Yves Bost.
Third was Honey Bunny 2 (Livello - Beatrix I x Cento, Stamm 238, breeder: Otto Boje Schoof) under the saddle of Sophie Hinners. This mare’s fourth mother, Ovia (Sacramento Song xx - Copeka x Cromwell, breeder: Ernst Möhring) also gave the 1m60 jumping mare Tovia (Lord) under the saddle of Katie Monahan-Prudent (USA).
This was a class with quite a few different bloodlines, but dividing them into foundation sires: 19 came from the Cor de la Bryère line. Cornet Obolensky had the biggest influence of this line with three direct offspring, two by his son Comme il faut and one by his son Congress. The Capitol I line was represented by six horses; Furioso II with five horses – three out of the five being by Kannan; Almé was represented by four; as was the Ladykiller xx line. Father Limbus and son Livello both had one offspring in this class, while Diamant de Semilly had three.
Gerd Ohlsen: Holsteiner breeding on the right track
Holsteiner have been having a very good year in young horse classes, with one being the seven-year-old gelding Caillan (Casall - Perle XX x Carry, Stamm 18A2, breeder: Gerd Ohlsen) who has won every important championship in his age-group under the saddle of Rolf Göran Bengtsson: the Holsteiner State Championship, the Bundeschampionat, and the seven-year-old WBCYH final in Lanaken. It’s an unprecedented situation, and quite unique. So, who is the breeder of this showjumping phenom?
Gerd Ohlsen is based on Föhr, a North Frisian island off Germany’s North Sea coast. It forms part of the Nordfriesland district in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, and has a tradition for producing well-bred Holsteiner horses. The winner of the WBFSH eventing breeding ranking in 2021, London 52 (Landos - Vernante x Quinar, Stamm 3200), bred by Ocke Riewerts, was also born at this Island.
Q When did you start breeding?
Sixty-five years ago my father won DM18,5000 (around €10,000) on the Lotto, and from this money he purchased his first mare. My sister and I both received horses as gifts at our confirmations, so the love for horses started early. I started with my own breeding about 35 years ago.
I purchased Caillan’s dam from her breeder, Klaus Wilhelm Gehrts, who lived in the Dithmarschen district of Schleswig-Holstein. He had eight yearlings in a big stable and I picked Perle XX from the herd. She had a modern build and I liked her. When she was three we tried right away with Casall. This foal was a colt who was selected for the Holsteiner stallion licensing but was not approved. We have three daughters out of Perle XX by Cassini I, Corrado I, and Casquetto, and keep them as broodmares.
Q What is the story behind Caillan?
After a while it was more difficult to get Perle XX in foal, so we went to the Vetclinic Buchenhof that specializes in embryo transfer. We tried there again with Casall and from this first embryo transfer Caillan was born. As a two-year-old I took Caillan to Hauke Jäger to train him for the stallion approvals, although he wasn’t the classic stallion type. He was light and noble in his body, and you could already notice his quality by his way of going over poles that were on the ground. Hauke was very impressed, but the day before the first selection he suffered a minor injury, so came home and spent three or four months in the field before we decided to geld him. He was quite a handful as a stallion and on our farm are only mares, so I believe he would have made his own life complicated.
“He had more time in the field, before my daughter picked up the riding, and then went to Antonio Brinkop for the next step in his career. They were a very good match, winning quite a few classes together. Since the beginning of his career under saddle he has shown progress and, as a six-year-old was reserve champion at the Landeschampionat in Elmshorn with Antonia. The stallion, Crack, won the championship, and these two were very close in terms of quality and dominating in Holstein.
“Eventually, we had to decide what to do as the next step, and I thought that Rolf Göran Bengtsson could be a good match. We always had a good feeling with Antonia, but wanted to see where this journey was heading. I missed the first championship they won this year because we had an event on the island, but I was at all the other championships. To become World Champion is unbelievable. We all know that Caillan is a good horse, but you have to be very special to do that, and it’s very special for us as breeders.
Q Tell us about your Holsteiner marelines?
I am breeding mainly with Stamm 18A2, Caillan’s mare line. We also breed with Stamm 8790, my father’s line so we continue as a tradition. However there are quite a few really good horses from this line in the USA, and Cool Water EB (Canstakko - Di’Leila x Cartani, breeder: Michaela Grosse-Brömer) is a good advertisement. He is only seven and I bred his grandmother, Zara III (Lavall I).
We also breed with Stamm 2666, the Kahlke Stamm, and still have a mare from Stamm 318D2. We breed with Stamm 95, from which Jennifer Fogh Pedersen is riding the stallion Catdaddy (Cascadello I - Withney I x Quidam de Revel) at 1m45. The last lines are Stamm 242 and Stamm 104A. It is nice that we have different mare lines, because I can use the stallions that I bred to see their offspring.
Q What for you is most important in the crossing of a mare and stallion?
A lot of feeling comes into play. I watch the horses at approvals and horse shows to observe the rideability and if they are tall enough. Very important is if they have blood, which is something we sometimes still miss in Holstein. We like French blood and have used a lot of Quidam de Revel and Diamant de Semilly. You have to look through the generations to find the blood and to make the combination. Quidam de Revel did a very good job here in Holstein and is still doing a good job. I only need to mention the name Quel Homme de Hus to show how he matched with our mares in Holstein.
I am not really keen on mare performance tests as I think it’s a bit too earlyh for some mares. It can be interesting, but it depends on the mare. Also with sport. I recognize that it’s important to have horses from our lines in sport. We had one mare as a five- and six-year-old competing, we got a foal from her, but she has now been sold for sport. The mare Deleyn (Larimar - U2 II x Cento) won a the youngster tour in Hamburg a few years ago. She has already jumped 1m60 with Shane Sweetnam and is half sister to the Holsteiner champion stallion Quvee Prestige (Quidam de Revel) whom I bred.
Q What is your opinion about the current state of breeding in Schleswig-Holstein and outside Schleswig-Holstein?
I think the Holsteiner horse breeders are on the right track and we should continue to breed like we are doing now. We saw the results of our breeding at the Bundeschampionat in Warendorf and also at the World Championships in Lanaken. What our small studbook did at the Bundes-championat is insane. But we should also be careful with modern breeding techniques. There are stallions with many siblings, but where are all these siblings? I believe there is a place in breeding for embryo transfer but I think that the trend with ICSI will become less so. With ICSI we forget the most important aspect in breeding horses – that their raising is the crucial factor. I think we’re doing a good job at the moment in Holstein and believe we’ll see more success if we continue like this.
Q What would be your advice for young and/or new breeders?
Take a close look at the mare lines. Try to find out how healthy the lines are and if they can hold together in sport and breeding. For example the line of Caillan produced also Calle Cool who twice won the Hamburg Derby, and was one time second. These horses are strong and sound. You also should not forget you need luck and a lot of feeling for breeding. The stallion is not the most important, the mares play a very important role and you should take notice of this. [/s2If]