ISSUE 70
SEP 2021

PARAS WIN HEARTS
AT TOKYO
KEVIN McNAB & DON
STRIKE SILVER
OLYMPIC BLOODLINES
WITH HEATH RYAN

PLUS: LUCINDA GREEN, AMY GRAHAM, EMMA WEINERT O’ROURKE, DIAMOND B’S SECRETS, THOROUGHBRED REHAB, WALERS TO THE RESCUE, SET GOALS WITH KERRY MACK, THE BLACK STALLION, BUILDING AN ARENA, FEEDING & FOALING

AUSTRALIA`S BEST EQUINE MAGAZINE
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ISSUE 70

CONTENTS

SEP 2021
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A few Words

FROM THE CHAIRMAN

ROBERT MCKAY

Opinion

BREEDING FOR BRISBANE: WHAT TOKYO TAUGHT US

RYAN'S RAVE BY HEATH RYAN

Para Equestrian

PARA EQUESTRIAN FAB FOUR WIN HEARTS AT TOKYO

BY ADELE SEVERS

Dressage

EMMA BRINGS IT ALL BACK HOME

BY ROGER FITZHARDINGE

Off the Track

A THOROUGH BELIEF IN THOROUGHBREDS

BY AMANDA YOUNG

Showjumping

AUSSIE AMY GRAHAM’S JUMPING LIFE IN EUROPE

BY BERNARD BALE

Training

SO YOU WANT TO GO TO THE GAMES?

BY DR KERRY MACK

Health

HOLD YOUR HORSES: FEEDING FOR COOLNESS

BY ELLIE JOLLEY

Lifestyle

THE MAGIC OF THE BLACK STALLION

BY SUZY JARRATT

Property

DESIGN BY VISION

BY ADELE SEVERS

Eventing

KEVIN McNAB’S SILVER DEBUT

BY ELLI BIRCH

Lifestyle

THE HORSE AS THE HEALER

BY ELLIE JOLLEY

Showjumping

HOW DIAMOND B PRODUCES ITS GEMS

BY ROGER FITZHARDINGE

Health

SEPSIS IN FOALS

BY DR MAXINE BRAIN

Eventing

LUCINDA GREEN’S JOINT VENTURE

BY ADELE SEVERS
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Jaguar Mail, sire of Australian dual medallist in Tokyo, Vassily de Lassos. © Split Seconds/Alamy Stock Photo.
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The following is an overview of my impressions of bloodlines that have evolved into prominence in terms of impacting on the top placings at the Tokyo Olympics across the three Olympic disciplines.

At the moment, the evolution of the dressage horse is very distinctive. The evolution of the show jumping horse is clearly different to the dressage horse, but again very distinctive. Meanwhile, the evolution of the eventing horse is still a bit of a shemozzle, however, the top horses are largely influenced by the show jumping breeding program. Not so long ago, the eventer was mostly Thoroughbred and the top Olympic placings revolved around speed and stamina and courage. Although these three qualities are still important, the sport of eventing has changed so much that the straight Thoroughbred has nearly 100% been replaced. I am really sad about this. I grew up on the Thoroughbred and I so love the Thoroughbred.

My personal breeding program for the last 40 years has focused on dressage bloodlines, which I felt represented the most likely genetics to produce top-of-the-range competition horses for Australia and hopefully impact on Australian Olympic successes. I hurry to add that, especially in the past, Olympic bloodlines which were capable of high collection — meaning piaffe and passage and one-time changes and pirouettes — were a very different set of genetics to bloodlines which were likely to be successful in the young horse classes. For instance, the number one dressage genetic by miles producing Olympic Grand Prix superstars for the last 35 years has been Donnerhall and Donnerhall sons. There have been other very influential lines, but nothing has ever got even close to Donnerhall. Interestingly, very, very rarely have we seen over those 35 years a Donnerhall youngster doing well in the young dressage horse classes. The young horse class specialist was a very different animal to the Olympic superstar.

I think the massive German breeding program has been racing to close this gap. In Germany, the sale of Olympic discipline horses, most of these being young horses, in terms of industry and generating national income is second only to the automobile industry. Producing fancy young horses that do in fact have the potential to continue on to Olympic participation is a very, very commercial consideration for Germany. Most of us breeders the world over are driven by passion and the love of the horse. Passion and love are wonderful things but rarely are they scientifically focused. The German breeding program is driven and is focused largely by the German government and also private industry entrepreneurs with the commercial outcomes prioritised. It is little wonder that the evolution of these new-age of competition horses is clearly being led by the German breeders. Tokyo 2020 was a showcase of just where the German breeding program has gone and just how successful they have been.

“The mother of Bella Rose 2 is half-Arab.”

OLYMPIC BLOODLINES AT TOKYO 2020

DRESSAGE

Tokyo 2020 in the dressage discipline from a genetics point of view does seem to be in the middle of the changing of the guard. Well, maybe… Sandro Hit really made a splash, influencing at least 25% of the Olympic field through himself, his sons, and also his daughters. Perhaps the most ferocious attack on the established blue-chip bloodlines, however, comes from the Gribaldi family, with Gribaldi being the grand sire of the gold medallist TSF Dalera and the sire of Totilas, whose oldest progeny are just nine years old and took two of the three spaces in the Dutch Olympic team. The blue-chip bloodlines of Donnerhall, Rubinstein, Weltmeyer, Florestan, Jazz, Bolero and Ferro still are super predominant in the top 20 Olympic performers.

The individual gold medallist and team gold medallist for Germany was TSF Dalera. For me this was one of the most standout gold medals ever! I don’t think I have ever seen a performance that was so complete without one weakness and without any mistakes. Beautiful, and significantly, a mare. At Tokyo 2020 there were lots of mares performing right at the top.

The sire of TSF Dalera is Easy Game, who in turn is by Gribaldi. Gribaldi is the sire of Totilas. Totilas is the looming big genetic mover for the future. I am calling this the Gribaldi dynasty. This Gribaldi bloodline has now without question staked its claim as a whole new top of the range dynasty. Wow has this made an impact perhaps never before seen in the evolution of the dressage horse.

The dam of TSF Dalera is all Trakehner with Hohenstein lurking back there. Hohenstein all by himself has produced some 13 Grand Prix horses.

The individual silver medallist and team gold medallist for Germany was Bella Rose 2. Again, a mare.

The sire of Bella Rose 2 is Belissimo, who goes back to the Bolero dynasty. The Bolero dynasty also incorporates the Brentano 2 bloodline, which also seriously impacted at Tokyo. Brentano 2 is the dam line in Quarterback, which looks like another new dynasty on the horizon that may hugely impact at the Olympics in the future. This Bolero dynasty is old and solid blue-chip and has produced other amazing horses like the mare Brentina, who is called the best dressage horse in American history. Belissimo is out of a Romadour II mare line. Romadour II is also the Rubinstein I bloodline. Rubinstein I in his own right would be considered a blue-chip dynasty in Olympic Grand Prix genetics.

The dam of Bella Rose 2 is Cedra 2, which is by the Arab stallion Cacir AA. Now this is where things go really pear-shaped in terms of classical dressage breeding. The mother of Bella Rose 2 is half-Arab. Every now and then these wild outcrosses are fantastic, however, it is a bit like trying to win lotto. Very, very chancey!

The individual bronze medallist and team bronze medallist for Great Britain was Gio. The sire of Gio is Apache, who goes back to the blue-chip Dutch dressage dynasty of Jazz. Gio is seriously Dutch because he also has on the sire side Krack C, which is from the Flemmingh dynasty.

The dam line of Gio is Zenzi who is by Tango who — hello, hello — is by Jazz. So Gio has a double cross of Jazz. Jazz did come storming back into the Tokyo Olympics, which did surprise me, as this is now an older dynasty. The horse En Vogue, who was also in Great Britain’s silver medal-winning team was also by Jazz. Jazz does just keep on keeping on!

Okay, so that is a quick rundown on the individual medallists in the dressage at the Tokyo Olympics. So now I am just padding this out with a brief commentary on other team medal horses and a couple of personal opinions from me on what I thought were standout performances or performances that showed signs of impacting in the future.

Germany: Team Gold Medal

The first German team member was TSF Dalera who was introduced when discussing the individual medal winners, as was the second German team member, Bella Rose 2.

The third German team member was Showtime FRH, who came 15th in the individual standings. Actually, this was probably the hard luck story of the Olympics. Showtime had already produced amazing tests in the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special. A sweet test in the Freestyle would have left them challenging the individual medals. This could have seen a complete German dominance of the individual medals. A couple of small mistakes in the Freestyle and bingo, back to 15th!

The sire of Showtime FRH is Sandro Hit. I have never been a great fan of Sandro Hit, however, at the Tokyo Olympics 16 horses carried Sandro Hit genetics either on the sire’s side or the dam’s side. Nearly always the other side is balanced with traditional blue-chip genetics.

The dam of Showtime FRH is Rosaria Alpina, which is a Rotspon/Rubinstein/Donnerhall bloodline. That is so blue-chip Olympic Grand Prix lines it’s not funny. However, in a field of 59 horses, Sandro Hit influenced 25% of the whole field. From a breeding point of view with the future in mind, you have to consider Sandro Hit. Just make sure your mare is solid and not too much of an outcross herself. (Yep, that is Heath Ryan advice! Take it or leave it.)

USA: Team Silver Medal

The highest placed individual horse in the USA team was Sanceo who came fifth in the Freestyle. The sire of Sanceo is San Remo. San Remo is in turn by Sandro Hit, out of a mare by the legendary Grand Prix producer, Donnerhall.

The dam of Sanceo is Rivera. Rivera is by Ramiro’s Son 2, which was a half decent show jumper competing up to and including 1.50m. The great grand sire was Ramiro Z who competed in show jumping at 1.60m and was a very famous foundation sire for some of the best show jumpers. This is a very interesting collection of genetics, which produced a very beautiful horse in Sanceo.

The second USA team member was Suppenkasper who finished in 10th place individually. The sire of Suppenkasper is Spielberg. Spielberg is a very interesting combination of amazing genetics. Spielberg himself is by Sunny Boy, who in turn is by Sandro Hit. Spielberg is out of a mare called Rosiera who is by Rosier. Rosier is by Rubinstein out of a Donnerhall mare. It doesn’t get much more classic than that. But wait there is more. Fantastica, who is the mother of Sunny Boy, is also by Donnerhall.

The dam of Suppenkasper, Upanoeska, is Dutch blue chip Grand Prix genetics being by Krack C who in turn was by Flemmingh. Krack C was a Grand Prix dressage horse and Flemmingh sired lots of Dutch Grand Prix dressage horses including Lingh, who was part of the Dutch silver medal winning team at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen. Anyhow, Suppenkasper is beautifully bred.

The third and final USA team member was Salvino who finished in 19th place individually. The sire of Salvino is Sandro Hit. Interestingly, all of the silver medal USA team members were riding horses either by Sandro Hit or by a son of Sandro Hit or by a grandson of Sandro Hit.

The dam of Salvino, Dynastie, is by the great Donnerhall out of a Brentano 2 mare. Super blue chip genetics.

All of the USA horses carry Sandro Hit influence and on the other side are, without exception, bred in the purple with traditional blue chip dressage genetics.

Great Britain: Team Bronze Medal

The first team member for Great Britain, Gio, was mentioned in the section on individual medal winners.

The second Great Britain team member is En Vogue, who came eighth in the individual standings.
The sire of En Vogue, Jazz, is a dynasty in his own right and was very influential at the Tokyo Olympics. In Australia, Mary Hanna at times had all of her top horses by Jazz. Mary speaks very highly of the Jazz horses.

The dam of En Vogue is Nicarla. This mare is by the jumping stallion Contango. Contango, however, is also the sire of Steffen Peters’ very famous Grand Prix dressage horse from the USA, Ravel. So a little bit out there but still proven bloodlines.

The third Great Britain team member who we haven’t mentioned so far is Everdale. Everdale is a magnificent, really tall, big stallion. Everdale came 13th in the individual standings. I loved him. He is bred by the Van Olst stud. This is the same stud that produced Valegro, who was the individual gold medallist at London in 2012 and Rio de Janerio in 2016. Valegro was by Negro who in turn is by Ferro. Real Dutch blood and real blue-chip genetics. Everdale’s sire is Lord Leatherdale, which also stands at the Van Olst stud. Lord Leatherdale was popular as a young stallion, but to my knowledge this is the first of a truly great offspring. The Van Olst stud has backed Lord Leatherdale more than anyone else, and Glamourdale, who is also by Lord Leatherdale, is a young Grand Prix stallion standing at the Van Olst stud about to hit the international arena — and the inside word is that he might even be better than Everdale. Wow! Everdale’s dam is Aliska K, who is by Negro. Very fancy dam line. The semen from the Van Olst stud is not readily available to Australians because this stud will not regularly subject their stallions to the quarantine process required by Australian quarantine regulations before the semen is allowed to be imported. Frustrating. I do believe there is one or maybe more Everdale stallions/progeny already in Australia.

The blue-chip bloodlines are still predominantly the foundation of nearly all the top performers. It’s amazing how small the genetic pool is when you study the really, really top horses. I guess what we are all interested in is the hint of outcrosses that are going to consolidate into blue-chip bloodlines in the future. All of us are really keen to get on board in the early days. The big danger is, if you go too quickly and something that looks momentarily really good actually fades away, then you have wasted time and set yourself back years in your breeding program for a gold medallist.

EVENTING

The cross country at Tokyo 2020 was just 7min 45sec. This does change the nature of winning a gold medal at the Olympics. It was not that long ago that an Olympic cross country course would go for 12 minutes at 570 metres per minute. The horses today are almost exclusively Warmblood or of Warmblood extraction. What’s more, the riders have improved beyond imagination and can complete the cross country clear of jump penalties and clear of time penalties. Very tough to do but the top riders can do this. The show jumping is also tough, however, again, the riders are so much improved and the horses are amazing and completing this phase without any rails down and any time penalties is also possible. So the only phase that a rider can actually win is the dressage phase. A combination can lose the competition in the cross country phase and can lose the competition in the show jumping phase. The really, really top riders today with top horses can finish on their dressage score.

Having said that, the only rider to finish on his dressage score at the Tokyo Olympics was the Australian Andrew Hoy, riding Vassily de Lassos. Andrew finished with an individual bronze medal. Why didn’t he win? Because he came 13th in the dressage and the two riders ahead of him managed to hold him out. Close thing. So, the horses today in eventing have to be amazing in the dressage arena, amazing in the cross country and amazing in the show jumping arena. Simple. Actually, no matter how good the horses are, they need to be partnered by an amazing rider who doesn’t blink no matter how ferocious the pressure. Almost impossible.

The individual gold medallist for Germany was Amande de B’Neville. The sire of Amande de B’Neville is Oscar Des Fontaines; he is, I am sorry, a horse I have never heard of. He did, however, compete at 1.50m. This is really serious. Back in the bloodline for this horse is Landgraf and the really good Thoroughbred bloodline Ladykiller. Also back in the bloodline is Mr Blue, who did himself compete at 1.60m. Mr Blue has all of a sudden caught my attention, as he is actually the sire of two other horses at the Tokyo Games.

The dam of Amande de B’Neville is Perle de B’Neville. Perle de B’Neville in turn is by Elan de La Cour, who is a Selle Francais stallion that did jump in 1.60m classes. Horses that can jump 1.60m are operating at an Olympic level and that is seriously elite. Very few horses can jump at this level. These horses are Selle Francais or French, which do carry a bit more Thoroughbred blood than perhaps some of the German jumping bloodlines. A bit ironic that the German gold medal eventing team won the individual gold with a French horse! Amande de B’Neville did have 0.4 time penalties in the cross country, which is just one second over the time. This Selle Francais bloodline clearly performed very well in the dressage arena, coming fourth, and then went clear in the show jumping on the last day. Actually, he had 0.4 of a time penalty in the final jump-off. Still, all of this was just amazing and resulted in an individual gold medal. I don’t think these bloodlines are available in Australia through frozen semen. Most of the frozen semen in Australia does come from Germany!

The individual silver medallist and team gold medallist for Great Britain was Toledo de Kerser. This horse came 12th in the dressage and added 0.4 show jumping time penalties to their score in the final individual jumping round. So he nearly finished on his dressage score.

The sire of Toldeo de Kerser is Diamant de Semilly, who is acknowledged as one of the very best show jumping sires in the world. He has competed successfully at 1.60m himself and, perhaps more importantly, has produced 158 offspring that have gone on to jump 1.60m or more. Just amazing.

The dam of Toldeo de Kerser is Ariane Du Prieure 2, who is by Papillion Rouge, a stallion that jumped at 1.60m competition level and has sired 37 offspring who have also jumped 1.60m. So, Toledo de Kerser is really bred to be a superstar Olympic show jumper.

The individual bronze medallist and team silver medallist for Australia was Vassily de Lassos. This was the only horse to finish on his dressage score, which was an amazing accomplishment. In the dressage competition, Vassily de Lassos came 13th. He did, in actual fact, do a nice test. This is a very tough competition.

The sire of Vassily de Lassos is Jaguar Mail. Jaguar Mail did jump at 1.60m and did represent Sweden at the 2008 Bejing Olympics. Jaguar Mail has also sired 18 four-star eventers and carries Thoroughbred blood on both his sire and dam side. So, an interesting eventing sire.
The dam of Vassily de Lassos is Illusion Perdue X, who is by an Arab stallion, Jailenny X. Quite peculiar breeding for a top-of-the-range horse. We saw this sort of anomaly creep into the breeding of the silver medallist in the dressage competition. Personally, I would not recommend that people use Arab blood to produce top Olympic horses, however, there is no doubt that occasionally this can prove to be an unbelievable success story.

It is really hard to find stallions that are dominating in the eventing discipline. There is a little bit of a curiosity in the breeding of the sire of the gold medal horse, Amande de B’Neville. On the sire’s side, Oscar Des Fontaines, he does go back to a stallion called Mr Blue who has himself competed at 1.60m straight show jumping. Well, funnily enough, Mr Blue appears as the sire of two other horses at the Tokyo Games. The Canadian horse, Qorry Blue d’Argouges, and the Swiss horse, Toubleu de Rueire. I can only imagine that Mr Blue is not just influencing really good jumping, but is also passing on good movement. Honestly, I am just guessing on this, however it may be worth keeping an eye on.

Contendro 1 has over the years been outstanding. Contendro 1 has featured as a straight show jumping sire, and he does have a number of Grand Prix dressage horses to his credit including the dam of one of the Grand Prix dressage horses at Tokyo. Contendro 1 is the sire of two eventers at Tokyo. Diamant de Semilly, the straight show jumping stallion as per the individual silver medallist, Toledo de Kerser, had two progeny at Tokyo. The Thoroughbred stallion Heraldik has especially in the past made a huge contribution to the sport, especially to the German Olympic team, and at Tokyo Heraldik was the sire of the dams of four horses. The Irish breeding program in years gone by has been very influential in the eventing world using Irish draught stallions like King of Diamonds. I do think the sport is moving away from traditional Irish breeding.

It’s my opinion that by the next Olympics, which is in Paris in 2024, these bloodlines will be starting to get sorted out. Of course, by Brisbane 2032, there will be very clearly eventing lines that start to dominate. Right now, it is possible to anticipate where the sport will be in 11 years’ time at Brisbane and either breed or purchase a youngster that may well give you a cutting-edge advantage. Exciting.

SHOW JUMPING

The show jumping as a sport has evolved to a standard which is heart-in-the mouth from a spectating value. It is basically terrifying and one slip is catastrophic!

The team gold medal certainly took me by surprise being the Swedish team. They were different. I am sure that for every difference you could observe there were more subtle differences that were not to be seen by the casual onlooker. The Swedish team was exciting. Two of the team’s three members rode horses by the stallion Kashmir van Schuttershof. Well, who the heck is that? Actually, Kashmir van Schuttershof is bred well enough, being by Nabab de Reve. All of this line has competed at 1.60m. Very fancy. The Kashmir horses do, however, bring a new meaning to ugly! I mean really ugly.

Secondly, two of the Swedish horses jumped without shoes on. Who does that? I have never heard of a rider competing at the top end of the sport of show jumping riding barefoot. Well, the Swedish team actually won their Olympic team gold medal convincingly. There is absolutely no question that they pursued a state-of-the-art, high-performance approach to the Tokyo Olympics which really left everyone else in their wake. So, what are the Swedish saying? Are they suggesting that at the top end, 70% of horses are slightly uncomfortable wearing shoes and this impacts in a negative way when show jumping at the very top? It certainly is a sobering thought that maybe most of us are making our horses more or less uncomfortable by having them shod. Clearly the Swedes recognise that not all horses are uncomfortable in shoes as the one horse that did have shoes on jumped equally as well as those without. Maybe no shoes is for a completely different reason. If you did try to ride without shoes, managing your horse’s feet at major shows would become a whole new project. Clearly not impossible. Fascinating!

The individual gold medallist for Great Britain was Explosion W. Explosion W was one of the anticipated superstars and he sure did not let anyone down.

The sire of Explosion W is Chacco Blue. For the past four years, Chacco Blue has been the top-ranking show jumping sire in the WFSH stallion rankings. Chacco Blue was bred by Paul Schockemöhle. Chacco Blue has been one of the most influential show jumping sires of modern times, having eight of his progeny at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon and five of his sons and daughters at the recent Tokyo Olympics. Interestingly, there were two Chacco Blue offspring in the final jump-off at Tokyo. The final jump-off was just the best of the best and that came down to six horses only.

The dam of Explosion W is Untouchable, who herself competed at 1.60m. Her sire is the individual show jumping gold medallist from the 2004 Athens Olympics, Baloubet Du Rouet. This stallion has nothing to prove, setting a record that is unlikely to be bettered, winning three World Cup finals in a row; 1998, 1999 and 2000, and narrowly missing a fourth in 2001.

The individual silver medallist and team gold medallist for Sweden was All In. This is clearly a freak horse ridden by a freak rider, and has been managed brilliantly in terms of health and soundness. This is the only horse ever to win an individual medal at two consecutive Olympics: Rio de Janeiro in 2016, where All In did not have one rail down in all six rounds, and Tokyo, where All In had the last rail down in the final jump-off for the team event. Both individual medals being silver medals and this time a team gold medal. Absolutely spectacular.

The sire of All In, Kashmir van Schuttershof, was himself a 1.60m show jumper whose grand sire is the great Olympic stallion, Quidam de Revel. Kashmir van Schutterschof is currently ranked seventh in the WFSH stallion rankings.

The dam of All In is Fortune, who is by the stallion Andiamo — who himself has jumped 1.60m. Andiamo descends from one of the most profound sires and blue-chip dynasties in modern show jumping today, Alme. Andiamo had many top performances, one notable result being second in the Rome World Cup class. Fortune was also the mother of the 1.55m stallion, Happiness DK Z, who is by Hooch, which goes back to the legendary show jumping stallion, Heartbreaker.

The individual bronze medallist for the Netherlands was Beauville Z. Beauville was under so much pressure in the individual jump-off, with the two Swedish horses absolutely galloping clear chasing the bronze medal and less than one second behind Beauville.

The sire of Beauville is Bustique, who himself jumped a respectable 1.45m and has produced four 1.60m jumpers; his sire, Indoctro, has sired an astounding 144 offspring that have competed at 1.60m show jumping.

The dam of Beauville is Wrinton, who is by Jumpy Des Fontaines — a stallion who jumped 1.60m and competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics for China.

So that is the quick explanation on the breeding of individual show jumping medal winners at Tokyo. Following is a quick look at the genetics of the top three teams, where the individuals have not already been discussed.

Sweden: Team Gold Medal

With All In already covered above, the second Swedish team member was King Edward, who finished in fourth place individually. King Edward was the only horse in the whole Olympics at Tokyo to not have a single fault in the entire six rounds. Absolutely amazing.

The sire of King Edward is Edward 28, who was a fairly unremarkable horse until he sired King Edward. Edward 28 competed up to Prix St Georges level in the dressage arena and his most outstanding relative was probably Escudo 1 who competed at 1.40m. Very unremarkable.

The dam of King Edward is Fabienne, who is also on the unremarkable side in terms of genetics. Fabienne is definitely skewed towards dressage and as far as I can see has no jumping history of any note. I do hope I am not doing her a disservice!

The third Swedish team member was Indiana, who finished in fifth place individually. Indiana is very closely related to All In, being by the same sire and on the dam side having Andiamo back a couple of generations. Indiana certainly had a very big head! She did jump brilliantly.

The sire of Indiana is Kashmir van Schutterschoff, who has been covered earlier in the article. The dam of Indiana is Halifax, by Animo’s Halo, who in turn is by Animo. Animo jumped 1.60m in competition. Animo is a half-brother to Andiamo, who is the sire of the dam of All In. I hope you can follow that. Indiana and All In are closely related.

USA: Team Silver Medal

The first American team member was Contagious. This horse is magnificently bred. The sire of Contagious is Contagio, who has competed at 1.65m show jumping. Contagio goes back to the world-famous Carthago.

The dam of Contagious is For Mary, who was by For Keeps who competed at 1.60m show jumping. For Keeps is by one of the best show jumping sires in the world, For Pleasure. Both For Keeps and For Pleasure competed against each other at the very top.

The second American team member was Baloutinue. The sire of Baloutinue, Balou Du Rouet, is currently 15th in the WBFSH sire rankings for show jumping. He is by Athens Olympic gold medal-winning stallion Baloubet Du Rouet, which is the mother line of the individual gold medallist at the Tokyo Olympics, Explosion W.

The dam of Baloutinue is Utika, who is by Landor S, which show jumped at 1.50m. Landor S goes back to Landadel, who has sired Olympic eventers, Olympic dressage horses and Olympic show jumpers.

The third American team member was Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve. The sire of Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve is Bamako De Muze. Bamako De Muze competed at 1.60m show jumping and is by the legendary Darco. Darco has the amazing record of siring 208 offspring who have competed at 1.60m.

The dam of Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve is Diva Van De Donkhoeve. These are very foreign names for Australians and certainly I am getting lost in them! This mare, Diva Van De Donkhoeve, is by the very well-regarded German show jumping stallion, Heartbreaker.

“The final jump-off was just
the best of the best.”

Belgium: Team Bronze Medal

The first Belgium team member was Nevados S. This horse ended up ninth in the individual rankings. Belgium does not have a great publicity or promotion program for its horse breeding, however, it does produce lots and lots of top-of-the-range jumping horses.

The sire of Nevados S is Calvados Z. Calvados Z has competed at 1.60m himself and has sired some five horses which have reached the 1.60m classes. The dam of Nevados S is Nestia S. Nestia S is by Romualdo, who also competed at 1.60m show jumping.

The second Belgium team member was Quel Homme de Hus, who finished 14th in the individual rankings. The sire of Quel Homme de Hus is Quidam de Revel. Quidam de Revel is one of the legendary sires of show jumpers, having sired something like 154 offspring who have competed at 1.60m show jumping. This line will go down as one of the freak sires of all time.

The dam of Quel Homme de Hus is P-Hawaii. P-Hawaii is by the 1.60m competition stallion, Candillo. Candillo is by another 1.60m competition stallion, Cassini 1. So, the mother of Quel Homme de Hus is pure show jumping royalty.

The third Belgium team member was Claire Z.  The sire of Claire Z is Clearway. Clearway has sired some 28 competition horses competing at 1.60m show jumping. Capitol 1 is the sire of Clearway and he is the sire of some 55 competition horses competing at 1.60m.

The dam of Claire Z is Colessa Z. Colessa Z is by Coronado, who in turn is by Corrado 1. Corrado 1 has competed at 1.60m and has sired some 81 competition offspring also competing at 1.60m.

SHOWJUMPING GENE POOL

The show jumping horses at the top certainly have a much bigger gene pool than the dressage horses, however, once you go over and over this, there are again, I think, no more than 20 jumping dynasties which account for almost all of the top show jumping competitors at the Games.

To be specific, I think the top performances in show jumping at Tokyo did in the main come from blue-chip dynasties which include Quidam de Revel, Alme, Heartbreaker, Cassini 1, Cornet Obolensky, Corrado 1, For Pleasure, Kannan, Mr Blue, Mylord Carthargo, and Toulon. The standouts at Tokyo with more than one offspring include Chacco Blue, who had five offspring there, including the individual gold medallist Explosion W. Two stallions had three offspring, being Kashmir van Schuttershof, who had two of his offspring in the Swedish gold medal team and Casall ASK. Other outstanding stallions who had two offspring including Catoki, Diarado, Diamant De Semilly, Clearway and Cooper VD Heffinck. Quidam de Revel did only have one direct son at Tokyo, however, he had many sons who had sired competitors and similarly there where a notable few competitors that where out of his daughters or grand-daughters.

Interestingly, I do think there are a number of Australians who are more and more on top of the show jumping genetics, and I think despite our recent Tokyo 2020 show jumping disaster, we are going to see our riders perform better and better. The Australian riders did come sixth in the world in 2018, which gave our team a straight entry into the Olympics. In 2018, we had a group of really well-bred show jumping horses that were not too old and a group of riders in the saddle who really took the world on. I think as we continue to breed, our riders both male and female are going to become more and more competitive. Once upon a time Australians did jump off for individual medals. Bring on Brisbane 2032!

Cheers,

Heath EQ

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