By Jo de Roo
Photography: Wojtek Kwiatkowski
Bred by Luc and Karin Van Eeckhoudt-Verdeyen, approved stallion Jaguar Van Paemel jumped successfully on the international showjumping circuit before being sold to Geri Bidwell in the United States, where he has more than made his mark as a supplier of excellent showjumpers.
To which dam line does Jaguar Van Paemel belong? Who is his breeder? What were Jaguar’s showjumping qualities according to his then rider Dirk Demeersman? You will learn about this and many more things in this article.
Film buffs are undoubtedly familiar with the film trilogy Sissi, based on the life of the Empress of Austria. And, by the way, did you know that this particular Sissi was a horseback rider? BWP honorary president Luc Van Eeckhoudt is also familiar with Sissi, not the empress but with a Sandro daughter of the same name from an Argentan dam, whom he bought in 1992. She was only a few days old at the time and, on the basis of her offspring, she should be elevated to the title of ‘Empress’. However, although this title doesn’t exist within BWP, that of ‘foundation’ dam does. And she has earned this title, more specifically from BWP dam line 95, based on her four approved sons, five international showjumpers, and a BWP elite dam.
Luc Van Eeckhoudt has been active as a breeder of showjumpers for several decades. I asked him about his great success as a breeder, to date: “I remember that a colleague of yours once asked me the question ‘what would you prefer? An approved stallion or a horse that competes in Aachen?’ I then replied, ‘I’ve had it both ways with Cicero.’ I have a photo showing Cicero jumping in Aachen. That does something to a person. There was even a baron who insisted on buying Cicero and said ‘your price is my price. Just fill in the check.’ It’s not about that. I’ve been lucky enough not to have to sell certain horses I care about. Horses like Cicero and Rendez-Vous are once in a lifetime.”
Sissi, an empress who looked and moved like a young princess. “Sissi was born on March 16, 1992 to her breeder Heinz Rehbock. Three days later I happened to be near Rehbock’s residence and paid a visit. It was very cold. It can be cold for a long time in Hanover. I then saw in one of the stables a three-day-old filly in the company of her dam. It was love at first sight. Several things appealed to me: the look of the foal, the head, the neck. I also care about the dams. The dam of the foal seemed to be good enough. Fifty years ago, my grandfather said, ‘if you want to see your wife will look like in a few years, look at your mother-in-law’. The truths remain the same through the years. ‘That’s not a dime a dozen’, I thought to myself when I saw the foal. I was there with Stefan Van Ingelgem and a riding school owner from Tubize. I didn’t dare say much because I thought they would want to buy the foal, but they simply walked past. I then bought the foal and later learned that Sheila, a full sister to Sissi, did very well in showjumping under the saddle of Franke Sloothaak. Incidentally, Sheila was once named the best performance mare in Hanover, purely on the basis of her sport results.”
Sheila, aka Sheila 73 in sport, performed not only in partnership with Sloothaak, but also under the saddle of Daniel Deusser. She won for instance the Vienna Grand Prix (CSI4*, 1m60, 2003). And in combination with Fabriano, Sheila produced the international showjumper Fair Play (CSI5*, Giovanni Magaton). Silvia (by Silvio I), a half-sister to Sissi, was responsible for producing Smint 2, who was active on the three- and four-star circuit in partnership with Noemie Goergen and was subsequently very successful at 1m40 to 1m50 level under the saddle of Tina Deuerer, including second place in the German Masters in Stuttgart... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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