Analysis by Adriana van Tilburn: If you are interested in breeding horses for showjumping, a visit to the stud farm of well-known breeder Harm Thormählen is well worth the trip. He is not only fascinating to listen to, he also has a wealth of knowledge thanks to his long-time experience as both a rider and sport horse breeder.

We all know Capitol (Capi- tano - Folia x Maximus) who was bred by Harm Thormaählen out of Stamm 173 that he made famous. He recalls; “I sold Capitol as a foal together with several other foals to Maas J. Hell and he secured him for the Holsteiner Verband. His free jumping was unbelievable. He did the free jumping for several years at the Holsteiner Verband stallion presentation. In 2000 and 2001 he was the best stallion for jumping horses in the WBFSH Ranking. At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney he had three direct offspring: Carthago (out of Perra x Calando I), Campi- one M (Fabia x Wahnfried) and Cento (Viola XI x Caletto II) and at the Olympic Games in 2004, Athens, he had four direct offspring; Cardento (B-Es- telle x Lord), Casita (Weisse Dame x Caletto II), Cento, again, and Goliath (Sanina x Caletto I)”.

But the adventure continues... While I was conducting this interview, Thormählen was free jumping his next generation of stars, the two-, three- and four-year-olds. He emphasized how important it is not to stress the horses, that they need to have positive experiences and must learn that jumping is not scary. Thormählen was also instructing his team on how to handle the horses.

Harm Thormählen (left) with his 92-year-old neighbour and loose jumping assistant, Michel Magens
Harm Thormählen (left) with his 92-year-old neighbour and loose jumping assistant, Michel Magens

One colt has been nick- named ‘Bandito’, and ap- parently has earned it. According to Thormählen, “This colt is so strong in his head, he will do everything he wants and not what we want. The free jumping looks very good, and horses which are special often reach top level. I have had more horses with a special character (not evil) in my stable, and the most of them reached the top level. You need to invest time to get them on your side and have a lot of patience and reward so that they will be- come fantastic sport horses. He (Bandito) has learned a lot the last weeks and I believe he will do what we want him to in the end”...

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