By Christopher Hector
Photography: FEI and FEI/Liz Gregg
This year the WBFSH number one dressage breeder is the German, Silke Druckenmüller who replaces another German – lady – breeder, Inge Bastion, who drops to fourth after heading the rankings for the past couple of years, thanks to the star mare, Weihegold (Don Schufro x Sandro Hit).
Ms Druckenmüller has risen to the top, thanks to another mare, the Trakehner, TSF Dalera BB, ridden with great success by Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl.
The dressage breeders
Dalera is by Easy Game, a Dutch-bred Trakehner by that hugely influential import to the Netherlands, Gribaldi (Kostolany - Gondola II x Ibikus). Easy Game had a reputation for a somewhat dubious temperament, and at one stage was withdrawn from breeding and sent off to become a Grand Prix dressage horse, without success, before returning to the farm of Joop van Uytert.
The only other Easy Game progeny I can find, that has competed Grand Prix, is another of the van Uytert stallions – Hermès (out of a Flemmingh x Jazz mare). Like Dalera, Hermès is rather successful, winning the recent CDIO5* Grand Prix of Aachen with a score of 78.022%.
At the age of 18, Easy Game was honored as Stallion of the Year 2021 at the Trakehner stallion inspection in Neumünster. He was declared an ‘elite’ stallion in 2014. Easy Game was bred by Flip Willemsen and Jikkie den Bieman-Willemsen from Bergharen (the Netherlands) out of the super mare Evita by Schwadroneur out of Elica (Cannon Row xx).
Evita, bred in Denmark, won her Stutenleistungs-prüfung with an average of 8.46 and was the most expensive mare sold at the auction of the Trakehner stallion selection 2001 in Neumünster (DM110,000 – just under US$65,000).
Silke Druckenmüller bred her Handryk mare, Dark Magic to Easy Game, in 2006, the first foal – Dalera. Dark Magic went back to the competition arena and six years later, when Easy Game was not available, when bred to Millennium, produced Dallenia, who has competed Advanced/Medium. In 2015 she had another by Millennium, before she produced Dalera’s full-brother, Dalerion in 2018. The young colt was wildly hyped on the basis of his sister’s success, but seems to have disappeared without trace (after being consigned to the 2018 Neumünster Hengstmarkt, during the Trakehner stallion licensing).
Dark Magic is by Handryk out of a mare by Hohenstein, who himself competed small tour. Handryk is by Van Deyk by the Thoroughbred Patricus xx, Van Deyk was bred by Hans Eduard Schneider, whose daughter Dorothée started her career with the stallion. Van Deyk never won a Grand Prix, but was runner-up on several occasions, even at international shows.
Jan Tönjes, editor of St Georg and a Trakehner expert, has this to say about Van Deyk’s legacy: “Character is one thing, but if you want to point out an outstanding feature to be found with all of Van Deyk’s progeny, it is the canter. In opposition to most of the Trakehner horses with their flat front leg canter that looks more like skating than like cantering, Van Deyk’s offspring are always round.”
The second highest ranked dressage breeder Heinrich Langewellpott is from Westfalia, although in keeping with the times, you would not necessarily know that from looking at the pedigree of his front-liner, Bohemian. The gelding is by Bordeaux, who is by the Krack C son, United, out of the Gribaldi daughter, Venna, who is branded KWPN but who descends from Westfalian dressage aristocracy. Her dam, Leandra M (Donnerhall), is out of Roussina by Rousseau by the stallion who first put Westfalian dressage breeding in the limelight, Romadeur II. Roussina is a daughter of the famous Adone – dam of three Grand Prix competitors, including double Olympic individual and team gold medallist, Rembrandt (Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992)... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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