NETHERLANDS (by Claartje van Andel) During the Global Dressage Forum at the end of 2015, the seven best dressage horses all times were presented – chosen by international riders, judges and trainers from a selected group of winners of an international FEI championship or FEI World Cup Final.
The list included Rembrandt (Romadour II x Angelo xx) and Ahlerich (Angelo xx x Donar), both bred by Herbert de Baey; Bonfire (Welt As x Praefectus xx) bred by Karl Bernd Westerholt; Salinero (Salieri x Lungau) bred by Horst Bunger; Totilas (Gribaldi x Glendale) bred by Jan Schuil; Matador (May Sherif x Wersal) bred by Georg Möllebjerg; and Valegro (Negro x Gershwin) bred by Joop and Maartje Hanse. It was remarkable that from among all the title winners that might have reached the final seven, two horses were bred by the same breeder Herbert de Baey, while two horses have also been shown to the ultimate success – the individual Olympic gold medal – by the same rider, Anky van Grunsven (Bonfire and Salinero).
Breeding developments from the past 30 to 40 years were illustrated by the elite dressage horses presented. We know those years in the previous century as the decennia necessary to develop a sport horse from a working horse, continued by developing more specialized sport horses in the direction of showjumping or dressage athletes...