Volver de la Vigne, Vertigo du Deser, Valmy de la Lande, Venise du Reverdy – all born in 2009, and representing the highest quality of Selle Français horses, whose studbook saw the most entries at the 2019 European showjumping championship in Rotterdam – 13 out of 70 (18.5%). However, breeding is a constant process of fluctuation, especially where rankings are concerned.
When a certain studbook loses ground in the WBFSH rankings (based on FEI results from October 1 to September 30 each year for each discipline), it doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality of their horses has dropped, but rather that the quality of horses from other studbooks has improved. This is an ongoing process of fluctuation, but it should be noted that the French are coming with some very interesting horses from the ‘V’ generation, born in 2010. While it would be impossible to provide an analysis of every horse from this generation, this article highlights a few names that have already impressed with their performances.
Volver de la Vigne: The EC discovery of 2019
One such horse had gone relatively unnoticed until Rotterdam 2019; the Selle Français bred Volver de la Vigne (Diamant de Semilly - Nymphe de la Vallee x Cumano, bred by Lucien Vilotte).
His highly decorated and popular sire Diamant de Semilly (Le Tot de Semilly - Venise des Cresles x Elf III, bred by Jules Mesnildrey) was ridden by Eric Levallois at the 2002 World Equestrian Games of Jerez de la Frontera where they were members of the unique gold medal winning team of four SF stallions. Also, Volver’s damsire, Cumano won individual gold with Jos Lansink (BEL), at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen. It seems to have become a classic cross: Diamant de Semilly with a son of Capitol I (Capitano - Folia x Maximus, Stamm 173, bred by Harm Thormählen), as it’s produced two 1m60 and one 1m50 horses.
Similarly, in com-bination with Cassini I and II, Diamant de Semilly has produced three 1m60 showjumping horses (in-cluding Dominator Z), and seven 1m45-1m50 horses. In combination with Carthago, five 1m60 horses (including Emerald van’t Ruytershof) and four 1m45-1m50 horses. With Clearway, one 1.45m horse. Finally, one with Cento as the damsire.
Volver’s dam, Nymphe de la Vallee, was born in the year that the Holsteiner Cumano (Cassini I - Chanel II x Landgraf I, Stamm 318D1, bred by Willi Lührs) maybe produced his best crop of foals. At the time, he was standing in Normandy, France, and produced an incredible number of 1m60 jumping horses in the space of two years. Nymphe de la Vallee herself jumped at 1m60 under the saddle of Patrice Delaveau. Volver’s granddam, Varsovie (Lieu de Rampan) also competed in sport. She also grandmothered the 1m60 showjumper Symphonie des Biches (Kannan - Melodie de la Vallee x Damiro B, bred by Mylene Martin) under the saddle of Reynald Angot
When I investigated Volver de la Vigne’s damline on the website of IFCE (the French institute for horses and equitation), I noticed that his index is currently not that high, so I also checked his FEI results and discovered that his first 1m60 class was only in June 2019 during the Longines Global Champions Tour in Estoril, under the saddle of Antonio Matos Almeida (POR). Their second 1m60 class was one month later, representing Portugal during the Nations’ Cup in Athens, and then at the European Championships in Rotterdam at the end of August. What an achievement to finish 11th individually out of 70 starters. In the WBFSH year-end ranking, Volver is 253rd in the list for breeders of jumping horses.
I wasn’t the only one who noticed this particular horse as, following the European Championship, a press release announced that he had been purchased by none other than Ludger Beerbaum, who has now entrusted the gelding to German international Phillipp Weishaupt. This pair made their inauspicious debut in two classes during the two-star CSI in Riesenbeck in early October...To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber