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Verdi TN: Excellence in both sport and breeding

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Maikel van der Vleuten riding Verdi – Rio 2016 Olympic Games

By Sabine Timman
Photography: FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst

Partnered with Dutch international showjumping rider Maikel van der Vleuten, Verdi TN reached a pinnacle in sport: A remarkable achievement as very few exceptional competition stallions emulate their arena success in the breeding barn. In fact, this son of Quidam de Revel managed a dual career exceedingly well until the notable age of 18 – another accomplishment in itself.

Verdi’s story began in the stable of Dennis Musterd – ‘Veehandel Musterd’ – in Hooge Zwaluwe, the Netherlands. Clarissa, Verdi’s dam, descended from Holsteiner bloodline 474a, also known as the Plüschau stamm, which gave a lot of good jumpers, such as Calato(Capitol I x Landgraf I), VDL Bubalu (Baloubet du Rouet x Nimmerdor), Vingino (Voltaire x Cassini I), etc. If you dive into the damline of Verdi you will discover the historic excellence of the Plüschau stamm, which began in 1900 with the mare Kiek, owned by Deidrich and Johannes Plüschau.
Pamina (Fangball), born in 1956, was the most important mare in this line, and she produced two daughters who each established their own lines: Zamora and Etoile (1968), both by Aldato (Anblick xx). It was her second daughter Etoile who is the great-great-granddam of Verdi, and also Bubalu VDL. According to the Plüschau family, they had modern mares for that time. “Etoile’s grandmother was a half-blood mare, and her offspring were for the time (around 1950) modern horses. Pamina was the first mare we didn’t use as a workhorse on the farm. She was very fertile, very honest, and a kind mare. Unfortunately, she died too early because she was poisoned from eating a toxic tree.” That’s the reason she had only two offspring.”

Modern damline

The Plüschau family sold Etoile when she was a foal to Benno Hoff. “She was a very modern type mare, and I want to give credit to the Plüschau family for breeding with Thoroughbreds and stallions that had Thoroughbred sires. Their horses were outstanding riding horses and they had a very modern type. I rode Etoile myself and she had very good gaits. Jumping wasn’t her thing. I brought her to Haselau because I thought they had better stallions there at that time. I bred her to Rigoletto, and a couple of times with Ladykiller xx and Farnesse.” According to Verdi’s history, Etoile’s first foal, Italien (1972: Rigoletto), born in 1972, was ‘the’ one.
Etoile gave 12 foals in total. Her last in 1992 was the approved stallion Sir Tom (Sir Shostakovich xx). While a daughter, Shoraya (1976: Ladykiller xx) became one of the foundation mares of Wiepke van de Lageweg’s VDL Studfarm after he had the opportunity to buy her. Shoraya’s second foal Zancara (1981: Nimmerdor) stood out by giving three approved Grand Prix stallions: VDL Bubalu, Montreal (Indoctro) and Pessoa (Animo), which illustrates the relationship between Verdi and Bubalu... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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