Maikel van der Vleuten riding Nijhof stallion, Verdi TN, awarded as KWPN Horse of the Year

by Claartje van Andel
Photography: FEI

At this year’s Stallion Selection show held in its traditional ’s-Hertogenbosch venue, KWPN selected what sport has been asking for: Well developed, athletic, rectangular-lined horses with the ability to increase their canter speed, and to both collect and stretch. Henceforth, a total of 41 showjumpers will now have the chance to prove themselves in the stallion test.

Chair Cor Loeffen explained: “We have two internatinal jumping riders on our selection committee, including Henk van de Broek and Wout-Jan van der Schans. For me it was rather important that they would like to bring stallions themselves to a horse show to jump with. Their practical experiences are important, together with the direction the KWPN board gave us: Find the ones for sport!”
Nowadays showjumping asks for horses which have abilities to both stretch, and are quick and agile in their canter. The breeding council of the KWPN, therefore, reformulated the goal a little towards breeding jumping stallions. And, as time limits are becoming more important in showjumping classes, a more natural and speedy canter is what the jumping riders have been requesting. Of course, quick reactions, sensitivity, willingness to do their utmost, and suppleness in the body are still needed as well.
Loeffen explained with further examples: “We’ve seen some smaller stallions who, nevertheless, showed stretch and scope over the jump, and were able not only to quickly achieve the height, but also to reach forward. This finally earned them the greenlight.”
No fewer than five sons were selected from Cohinoor VDL (Cornet Obolensky x Stakkato, bred by Heinrich Ramsbrock). Loeffen smiles: “These sons are from Cohinoor’s first crop. In breeding you hope sons will be better than, and improve their famous fathers. Cohinoor has been used with many impressive, quality-full mothers, therefore, we were able to invite all five to the stallion test. It seems that they have all inherited the pluses of both Cornet Obolensky and Stakkato, being both athletic and loose.”
Loeffen also cared to mention the second good young stallion with approved progeny and two sons going forward to the stallion test: Grandorado TN (Eldorado van’t Zeshoek x Carolus II x Baloubet de Rouet, bred by M. Rietberg and D.J. Verheven, Holten). Loeffen explained: “He really looks like his famous father and grandfather, Olympian Clinton, mighty horses with size, power and a big heart. This is combined with an athletic mareline, so he really has something to give to our population. This is really what you like to find: A young stallion who has the possibility to surpass his famous father.”
Other sires that had two sons selected for the stallion test include: Diamant de Semilly (1991: Le Tot de Semilly - Venise des Crescles x Elf III); Verdi TN/ex Vanquidam (2002: Quidam de Revel - Clarissa x Landgraf I); Etoulon VDL (2009: Toulon - Utareusa x Calvados); Glenfiddich VDL (2011: Bacardi VDL - Tolivia x Corrado Z); Stakkato Gold (2001: Stakkato - Wertherröschen x Werther); and Kannan (1992: Voltaire - Cemeta x Nimmerdor).

Seven prospective champions

A total of seven stallions were invited into the final selection to become champion of the show, and offered the opportunity for the committee to explain their future vision to the breeders, which was not at all easy to see as the prospective champions had distinctive qualities. Whereas the dressage champion had already been knocking on the door from the moment he was selected to be shown in November, the showjumping choice was more challenging...

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