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Virtual reality finale to NZ summer showjumping series

Bravado Ego Z (Balougran Z - Cressida Ego Z x Cathargo Z) ridden by Jasmine Sketchley

By Sally Reid
Photography: Cornege Photography

A ‘virtual’ ceremony – conducted via Facebook from paddocks, yards and homes around the country – announced the winners of the ESNZ’s 2019-20 breeding series for jumpers. And, although it lacked the excitement of the normal Glistening Waters finals, it was no less significant for breeders and owners nationwide to be recognized.

All of the winners and top placegetters are horses who’ve been profiled in previous editions of this magazine, but some of them deserve further attention, and possibly none more so than the year’s leading stallion…

Top jumping stallion

The very handsome Bravado Ego Z (Balougran Z - Cressida Ego Z x Cathargo Z), who was third in this series last year, was 2020’s top jumping stallion. A chestnut Zangersheide, he is owned and ridden by Jasmine Sketchley and stands at her stud, Felixstowe Lodge in Northland. However, he may not be there for much longer, as he is on the market and attacting interest, and the 11-year-old still has plenty of time left for both competition and stud duties.
Bravado Ego Z has the blood of two truly exceptional grandsires, Baloubet du Rouet and Carthago Z. His sire, Balougran Z (Baloubet du Rouet - Agrana x Grannus), bred by Paul Schockemöhle, was one of Baloubet’s first licensed sons and won his performance test (2002), with five 10s in the jumping section.
Bravado himself was bred at Ego Summersea in Australia by Dr. Linda Mayer, a specialist (the first in that country) in breeding jumping warmbloods. Many years of research and forethought have gone into his – and every other – Ego Summersea pedigree. Accofrding to Dr. Mayer; “Summersea has utilised Zangersheide genetics for more than 25 years, being the first stud in Australasia to import leading Zangersheide showjumping stallions’ semen. By the time Bravado was born, the stud’s mares were three to five generations of Zangersheide genetics, and with this comes soundness and a guaranteed jump.
“The difficulty was to breed a horse that had the soft, comfortable, athletic ride combined with an eager character that did not risk preciseness and consistency. This type of horse had to carry our less classically trained riders than in Europe. We looked to the hotter, self-travelling French blood which would not risk losing the jump. Balougran Z filled our expectations and combined perfectly with the comfortable, precise, consistent and reliable blood of the great Carthago Z.
“Cresida Ego Z (Carthago Z x Almé Crack Z), Bravado’s dam, has the same cross as Cosmic 4 (Carthago Z x Almé Crack Z), the international 1m50 stallion. After the relatively dominant and easy-to-breed jumping genetics, we found that character is a major deciding factor for success. All kudos to Jasmine Sketchley for sensitively training and managing this magical, talented youngster so that he could realise his potential.”
Bravado Ego Z was imported with the specific aim of breeding Olympic level jumpers here, and although all of his progeny are still young, one of them, Braveheart, who was bred by Sketchley, is the joint winner of this year’s five-year-old series (see below). Another very interesting prospect is the two-year-old Cicsco, who is with Takapoto Equestrian, and is out of their Zangersheide mare, Cuba d’Esquelmes Z (Chellano Z - Quassie d’Esquelmes x Canadian River). This mare was bred by Daniel Maillart at Elevage d’Esquelmes in Belgium, and although she’s a Zangersheide, she has a lot of Holsteiner blood on both sides of her pedigree, including that of Contender, Calypso II, and Capitol I.
Bravado Ego Z is one of two Baloubet grandsons at stud in NZ; the other is four-year-old Baloubert TMS (Balou du Rouet x Kinnordy Gym Bello) who stands at Little Valley Farm.
Runner-up in the stallion series is the wonderful imported Hanoverian, Euro Sport Centavos (Escudo I - Anabell, Staatsprämie x Argentinus), who is now 16 and had a very light competition season. He has jumped internationally at 1m60, and has absolutely nothing left to prove, either as a competitor or as a sire: his progeny are of a super quality. They include the gorgeous four-star eventer, Acrobat; a very promising Centavos x Clinton mare, Takapoto Sienna, who was first-equal in the four-year-old jumping class at Takapoto in February; Centavino who won the Derby at Takapoto and was excellent throughout his age-group series; and Central Park, who is jumping at World Cup level.

Joint five-year-old winner, Double J Hurricane, ridden by
Samantha Carrington

Euro Sport Centavos is from Stamm 4191603, Schridde 261, and belongs to Claudia Hay of Euro Sport Horses, who imported him from Germany. He was bred by Heinz Schutte at Hof Schütte in Spelle and has a Staatsprämie half-sister, Sarieka (Stakkato), as well as a Westfalian Hauptprämie stallion half-brother, Los Angeles 20 (Light On OLD)... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber