By Christopher Hector
Photography: FEI/Liz Gregg; FEI/Leanjo de Koster
The story of Krack C is important because he marked the real beginning of dressage specialised breeding in the Netherlands, but also because it highlights the role Holsteiner stallions played in the development of the modern Dutch dressage horse.
Krack C was presented to the KWPN stallion committee in 1996, one of the panel at the time, Cor Loeffen remembered him well; “He was a fancy and long-legged stallion from the start. On the hard surface he showed a sufficient walk and a very good trot. At liberty in the ring he demonstrated strong movement with lots of leg action and suppleness. In jumping, however, he showed little technique, push or scope. Although Krack C comes from jumper bloodlines, the committee was convinced that he could benefit dressage breeding, and it turns out we were right. And that’s how specialization got started.” (I am indebted to Dutch journalist Gemma Jansen who profiled Krack C in an article in the KWPN publication Idsi back in 2012)
Originally christened Kevin, Krack C was foaled in April 1992 at Stoeteri ’t Centrum, the home of breeder Fred Vlaar. Fred’s daughter, Petra, recalls that he was something of an ugly duckling, with a thick baby coat because he was born so early in the year, but he soon shed that coat, and was very definitely a swan.
Petra Vlaar told Gemma Jansen that Krack C’s dam “Gicara II is now 20 years old and in great health. Her dam Baccara (Ulrich) is also keur preferent prestatie and competed in the national championships for broodmares. Giacara II’s granddam Lady Cara (Uppercut xx) is keur preferent. Her dam, Gicara (Eratosthenes xx) is kroon preferent and dam of the KWPN approved stallions Kalief (Uppercut xx) and Monaco (Le Faquin xx). Another three generations of predicate mares follow Gicara.”
It is interesting that with a horseman’s eye Mr. Vlaar could see a young jumping-bred stallion’s talent for dressage. Again thanks Gemma: “Krack C’s sire is Flemmingh keur, who was not well known at the time of his breeding to Gicara II. Petra Vlaar recalls ‘My father followed the stallion competition and saw Flemmingh jump in Veendam. What stood out, in particular, was the way he moved between the jumps. My father thought he’d be a good match with Gicara II, and he was right. Krack C means a lot to our family. Of course, it was very special that he competed in the World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera . My parents were there and greatly enjoyed watching Krack C.”
Chance again plays its part, there was another astute spectator in the stand: “In 1994, Ad Valk, who operates a horse sales business in Gorinchem, coincidentally sat next to Fred Vlaar in the stands at Indoor Brabant. The two struck up a conversation about Flemmingh, and Vlaar mentioned that he owned one of his sons. Valk’s curiosity was piqued, so one day he took a drive to Midden-Beemster. Valk recalls the first time he saw Krack C: “I saw him in a herd and his conformation and movement stood out head and shoulders above the rest. It didn’t take long to make a decision. I bought a 50% share in him. He came to my place as a two-year-old. The initial plan was to present him at the stallion selection as a three-year-old, but he wasn’t mature enough, so we waited another year. A working student started him under saddle, which wasn’t any trouble at all because he was so easy. Before we took him to Ermelo the well-known German horseman Maas Hell came by to look at him. He offered a lot of money for the stallion, but we didn’t take it. I’ve never regretted my decision, although Krack C is the first and last horse that I’ve kept.”.. To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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