By Claartje van Andel and Adriana van Tilburg
Photography: Rolex, CHIO Aachen/Strauch and Bronkhorst
It’s the Wimbledon of equestrian sport, and there is no other show in the world where all the disciplines are appreciated by so many people – no fewer than 362,000 spectators passed through the gates at the CHIO Aachen. This year provided a feast of spectacular showumping, the excitement of eventing, and Germany’s dressage queen, Isabel Werth, beaten on home turf. But, even she has her off days.
Higher and wider! There is no doubt that the massive Aachen arena needs a special kind of horse with a lot of scope and a very good canter. The Rolex Grand Prix included fences measuring a rarely seen 1m70, and attracted horses with fantastic bloodlines. And, although the jumping began on day one, the following day featured a memorial service to honor the recently departed Hans Günter Winkler. Although his competitive era might not have focused much on the breeding of sport horses, his success as a rider undoubtedly provided a stimulus and, therefore, an indirect impact on breeding showjumpers. He was and will remain an icon for the development of German showjumping, whose bloodlines have filtered into virtually every Warmblood breed.
In analyzing 224 horses (before the entry list changed once again!), I recorded a total of 18 stallion lines, with Ibrahim (The Last Orange - Vaillante x Porte Bonheur)/Almé (Ibrahim - Girondine x Ultimate xx, bred by Alphonse Chauvin) being the most represented.
The Qerly Chin line included three representatives: maternal great-grandson J’Adore van het Schaeck (Vagabond de la Pomme - Carrera de Muze x Darco); and two maternal great-granddaughters – Iphigeneia de Muze (Erco van’t Roosakker - Excellentia de Muze x For Pleasure, bred by Barbara van Vossel) and Killer Queen VDM (Eldorado van de Zeshoek – Derly Chin de Muze x For Pleasure, bred by Dirk and Ann Bruggeman-Carpenter).
There were several breeders with more than one horse: including Belgian Perry de Winter. He bred the BWP-bred mare Gancia de Muze (Malito de Reves - Barones x Nimmerdor) and the aforementioned J’Adore van het Schaeck. He was delighted by this achievement, saying; “I am very happy and proud to have two horses in Aachen. Nicola Philippaerts hasn’t had J’Adore van het Schaeck under his saddle for too long and is doing an excellent job. I chose Malito de Reve (Cumano - Dira Courcelle x Muguet de Manoir, bred by Antoine Huyskens) and Vagabond de la Pomme (Vigo d’Arsouilles - Sauterelle de la Pomme x For Pleasure, bred by Haras de la Pomme) because even when they were young horses I used them as they came from very good motherlines. It is very important to me to use stallions that are coming from good motherlines.”
Dutch breeder Floris van Leuken was also represented by two of his own-bred products: the KWPN-bred Dassler (VDL Douglas - Cleopatra Gold x Cassini II, Stamm 18B1) and the Holsteiner bred Gotcha (Stakkato – Zicchini x Cassini I, Stamm 776, bred by Floris van Leuken). Speaking about his accomplishents as a breeder, he said; “Secretly, I am for sure proud of being the breeder of two horses competing in Aachen. Stallion choices are for me, most of the time, a matter of feeling. Ability and performance are the most important qualities, in combination with the pluses and minuses of the mareline.”..
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