The stallion selection committee have plenty of reasons to look forward to the upcoming performance tests. They have performed a strict selection on type, movement, athletic ability, and pedigree. It resulted in the appointment of 33 interesting dressage stallions, that combine performance and predicates in their pedigree and also convinced the jury through their own abilities. An interesting group of 50 jumper stallions passed the first stage of the stallion selection with flying colours. Seven of the finest dressage stallions received a premium in Den Bosch and an equal number of jumper stallions was awarded these top honours.

The stallion selection committee dressage, composed of chairman Bert Rutten, Johan Hamminga and Wouter Plaizier, was presented with 76 stallions in the second round viewing. 33 of which were granted an invite to the performance test. Out of the first crop of Le Formidable and double world champion Kjento, respectively four and three sons got appointed. Glock’s Toto Jr. also left his mark with four sons, while world champion Glamourdale sires three stallions that may advance to the performance test.

Most complete
In terms of numbers, the total of 33 appointed stallions does not make it the most prolific year, nevertheless it seems to be a good year when you look at the quality. The seven premium stallions symbolize that, according to chairman Bert Rutten. “We are very pleased with the group of stallions we could select for the performance test. We were able to stay the course and were surely not influenced by numbers. The selected stallions all made a good impression, move with elasticity, have an uphill tendency, and generally boast a well-developed and appealing conformation”, Bert Rutten shares afterwards. “The seven premium stallions each convinced us with their type, pedigree, and movements. All of them left a lasting impression. In general, we were able to appoint stallions whose dam lines brim with performance. We notice an upward trend in that area, and we believe it to be a positive development. Everything is hereditary and the more quality and talent a horse has by nature, the better he can pass that on to his offspring.” In the presentation of the premium stallions Powered by Catering Culinair, the breeders of six KWPN-registered stallions were handed a cheque of 750 euros, provided by the Friends of the KWPN.

Premium stallions
The strongly built, expressive Perle (Kjento out of Colinda ster pref PROK by Tuschinski) of breeders Jelke and Linda Heida of Oldeholtpade and co-registered to Van Olst Horses, is one of the premium stallions that impressed in every aspect. His dam is a half-sister of the Small Tour horse Harmony’s Wamberto (s.Rousseau), the 2006 stallion show champion that was also bred by Jelke and Linda Heida. Granddam Olinda (s.Voltaire) furthermore gave these breeders the international Grand Prix horse Witschge (s.Ferro) of Kebie van der Heijen.

“This well-modelled stallion was born after the first breeding season of Kjento and his pedigree is graced by three prestatie mares in succession. He shows abundant power and self-carriage in his movements, and he impresses with his aptitude to lenghten and shorten his strides”, Bert Rutten explained. For the Heida family it was the second cause for celebration in a few days, after the referral of their jumper stallion Pasquino van de Hagenhorst (s.Hardrock Z), that was bred out of the same dam line.

Premium stallion Plusfour (For Romance out of Flanell elite IBOP-dres sport-dres PROK by Apache) of breeder Bert Roerink of Beilen and co-registered to Witte-Scholtens Stables, is another stallion that gave a compelling performance in all respects. His dam started her career under the guidance of Veronique Roerink, before taking the highest levels by storm in the hands of Semmieke Rothenberger. Flanell is furthermore the half-sister of the international Grand Prix horse Elvive (s.Tuschinski) of Lyndal Oatley and the national Grand Prix horse Glen Moray (s.Apache) of Veronique Roerink. It quickly became clear that Plusfour lives up to high expectations. “The pedigree of this stallion is a fusion of many Grand Prix genes, and he is an alluring blood stallion that moves with ample activity and a good posture. He is bred out of a highly successful mare and moves with a good impulsion and an uphill tendency.”

Family Ten Bosch of Driel were asked to join their homebred premium stallion Pride (Secret out of Idol elite IBOP-dres pref D-OC by Apache) in the arena. The stallion bred by Eef and Leonie ten Bosch was skilfully presented by their equally passionate son Emiel. “This noble, chic stallion shows ample balance and elasticity in his movements. He combines a good posture with suppleness and light-footedness. Adding his interesting dam line to the equation earned him a premium.”

A fantastic achievement for the Ten Bosch family as they bred Pride out of the full sister of the phenomenon Jovian, that was crowned world champion of the young horses twice and has by now reached the highest level in the hands of Andreas Helgstrand. Moreover, dam Idol is the half-sister of the Grand Prix dressage horse Friend (s.Rousseau) of Christopher Hicke. Family Ten Bosch also bred the Inter II horse Astrix (s.Obelisk) out of this lineage, another double gold winner at the world breeding championships for young horses. Pride was later sold for €200.000, - in the KWPN Select Sale.

Excited crowd
The striking premium stallion Pablo Picasso (Taminiau out of Izzy ster D-OC by Florencio, bred by Ben Mensinck and Marjolein Ras of Vierakker), of Witte-Scholtens Stable, Edward Gal and Hans-Peter Minderhoud, does not only catch the eye because of his beautiful colour. “This strongly built stallion persuaded us in both the first and second round viewing thanks to his stunning conformation, power, and suppleness in his movements. In hand, he even gave a little extra and he is surely one of the most notable stallions this year.” His granddam Lunora S excelled in her IBOP and produced the ZZ-Zwaar horse B.Inc (s.Sandreo). In the second generation, Lunora S emerges in the pedigree of Small Tour horses such as Joyful STH (s.Boston STH), Gaga STH (s.Jazz), Dominca (s.Sandreo) and Einstein D (s.Spielberg). One of the crowd pleasers was the gorgeous L’Avenir (Le Formidable out of Weihe’s Hope by Sir Donnerhall I, bred by Arns-Krogman out of Lohne Kroge) of Saskia Poel and Karel Gerrits of Heusden, whose performance was met with an enthusiastic response from the grandstands. As a grandson of the widely acclaimed top sport mare Weihegold, winner of the 2019 World Cup Final with Isabel Werth, L’Avenir comes from excellent origins. In breeding, granddam Weihegold also made a name for herself as the dam of Grand Prix stallion Total Hope (s.Totilas) of Isabel Freese.

“We are happy we could appoint some good stallions out of the first crop of champion stallion Le Formidable, including this genetically interesting premium stallion. He is elegant, youthful and moves with a great impulsion. He is light-footed, stands out for his uphill movement and displays a remarkable front limb technique.” The international Grand Prix horse Total Recall (s.Totilas) of Jemma Heran is another descendant of this direct dam line. Handler Jeroen Witte had a busy day, since he prepared and presented both his own stallions Pablo Picasso and Plusfour, as well as the premium stallions Prisco RS2 and L’Avenir for and during the stallion show.

Good start
The stallion selection committee is eagerly awaiting the performance tests with a group of 33 appointed stallions. “The major selection will take place there. We have appointed sons of both young sires and established progenitors and are looking forward to seeing the development of the stallions that were born after the first year their sires stood at stud. The bar is set high, and our aspirant member Sönke once more pointed out to us that dressage breeding revolves around horses with three solid gaits. Top riders rather spent their time on horses that have all the qualities by nature without any big flaws, than on horses they have to ‘make’. The greater the natural talent, the easier the sport comes to these horses. We therefore paid special attention to the walk, although this gait is easy to denounce in loose movement and under these conditions. If a stallion shows a few good strides in relaxation, it gives us hope for the performance test. Then, we test all stallions under the saddle, and we assess how functional the stallions actually are. As a committee we look forward to it with confidence”, Bert Rutten concludes.

Sönke Rothenberger: “An incredible honour and insightful”
Top rider Sönke Rothenberger assumed his role as aspirant member of the stallion selection committee at the start of the first round viewing. A task which he takes great pleasure in performing. Born the son of Olympic rider Gonnelien Rothenberger-Gordijn, he has a good command of the Dutch language and the interest in breeding has always been present in Sönke, himself a team gold medallist at the 2016 Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro aboard Cosmo (s.Van Gogh). “As a young boy I used to attend the KWPN Stallion Show with my grandfather Adrie Gordijn and in sport I also took an interest in breeding. When I was asked for this role, I immediately thought it was an incredible honour and perfect opportunity to learn. I have always found it immensely fascinating to discover talent at a young age and to see if those expectations come true at a later stage. You must educate yourself on that topic. By joining the stallion selection committee, I get to closely follow a large group of stallions, also during the performance test”, the 28-year-old German explains enthusiastically. “Extremely special dressage horses are rare, that’s the case everywhere. The average quality is certainly improving; however, you need the finest horses for the most advanced levels of dressage sport. The breeding goal set by the KWPN is to breed those extraordinary horses and that is precisely in line with my wishes as a rider. I have certainly seen a group of horses I would love to work with myself. As a rider I am looking for horses without any weaknesses, plus the focus is increasingly shifting towards light-footedness and a soft connection. Everything must look as easy and effortless as possible, and the horses must be able to relax at the right moments. On Friday night we have watched top horses such as Glamourdale and Kjento, they are able to quickly alternate between contraction and relaxation. That talent is something we keep an eye out for during the performance test. I am looking forward to following these young stallions.”

Sires with multiple selected sons
The following stallions saw more than two sons get appointed:

  • Glock’s Toto Jr. (4)
  • Le Formidable (4)
  • Glamourdale (3)
  • Kjento (3)

Divided over two days, 99 jumper stallions made their appearance in the second round viewing. Fifty percent was given the green light. “We are very satisfied with the selection we have made these two days. From a large international gene pool, we were able to appoint a group of highly interesting stallions that shows to possess great jumping talent. We have selected for size and height, a good topline and a correct conformation. In jumping we focused on athletic ability, by which we mean that a stallion must be able to create not only an upward movement on the jump but should also put his trajectory forward. Qualities that are required in sport. We like to see a good overview, that the stallions can shorten that last stride when needed and that they have a good mindset. The appointed stallions have all been convincing in this respect, so we are looking forward to seeing their performance under saddle”, chairman Cor Loeffen shares. The stallion selection committee jumping furthermore features Eric van der Vleuten and Wout-Jan van der Schans.

Most complete
Seven of the 50 appointed stallions were awarded a premium. During the presentation of the premium stallions Powered by Hippo Horse Insurance, these seven stallions and their breeders and their owners were put in the spotlight. The breeders of the six KWPN-registered stallions were handed a cheque of 750 euros provided by Friends of the KWPN. One remarkable premium stallion is Popino-Larus (s.Gaspahr out of Tina-Laris stb prest PROK by Voltaire) of breeder Jan Hoppenbrouwers of Weert and co-registered to Reinie Tewis. He descends from the established Jolaris-line and is therefore closely related to a wide range of international showjumpers. The youthful, appealing stallion showed to possess plenty of talent himself. “Since the first round viewing, this stallion has grown two centimetres. He has that sport horse frame, is youthful and boasts a good topline. In both his performances Popino-Larus jumped with a great attitude and eagerness. Each jump, he showed an excellent technique, a powerful push-off and he rounded up well with his hindquarters”, Cor Loeffen laude the premium stallion that was part of the KWPN Select Sale collection. This well-modelled stallion has the same granddam as the by Hoppenbrouwers bred KWPN-approved stallion Kempinski (s.Darco) and dam Tina-Laris is a half-sister of the international 1.50m jumper Donnalaris (s.Calido I). She foaled multiple 1.30m/1.35m horses and this Jolaris-lineage has additionally produced the international 1.50/1.60m horses Captain (s.Unaniem), Expert (s.Tangelo vd Zuuthoeve) and the 1.45m stallion Gullit HBC (s.Cantos). Five years after Kannan Jr. could step forward as champion of the stallion show, he was represented by his interesting son Power of Zsazsa (out of Zsa Zsa elite IBOP-spr sport-spr pref prest PROK by Sam R) of breeders Gerrit and Karin Huisman-Holst of Mookhoek and co-registered to Sjaak van der Lei and Wobbe and Marietje Kramer. “This well-developed stallion features strong loins and croup, which we love to see. He put up an outstanding jumping performance in both the first and second viewing. He jumps with a great athletic use of his body, is light-footed, shows overview and has a good hindquarter technique. Moreover, he demonstrated to be careful and boasts interesting origins.” Dam Zsa Zsa performed at international 1.50m height with Siebe Kramer and, paired to Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve, produced Wout-Jan van der Schans’ international 1.60m horse D’Angelo.

More premium stallions
Portlaw Keizersberg (Aganix du Seigneur out of Anoulavsca Fortuna ster pref prest PROK by Kreator xx) bred and owned by Keizersberg Stables in Elsendorp also persuaded the stallion selection committee. “This son of Aganix du Seigneur has that sport horse, athletic type and is very youthful. He has a light-footed canter and jumped with great overview, light-footedness and athletic ability both times. It makes him an interesting, modern stallion that was bred out of a half-blood mare.” Jos van Deurzen bred the premium stallion Portlaw Keizersberg out of the dam of the 1.45m showjumper Brighton Bay (s.Ultimo) and the KWPN-approved stallion Kordon VDL (s.Glenfiddich VDL), that is active in the international 1.35m classes. This direct sports lineage also produced the international 1.50m/1.55m horses Zellobee (s.Berlin) and the KWPN-approved stallion Entertainer (s.Warrant). The appealing and electric Unedo van de Vondel (Conthargos out of Koreana van de Vondel, breeder Steven Dewulf of Bavikhove) of VDL Stud is a grandson of the Thomas Gilles’ Grand Prix mare Calleryama (s.Cassal). “This stallion features a good rectangular frame and is a typical ‘VDL horse’: he has an alluring front, a strong topline and stallion expression. Unedo van Vondel impressed us in both viewings thanks to his overview, athletic body use, bascule, and carefulness. Five sons of Hardrock Z were appointed to the performance test, Powerman (out of Wiltura R elite EPTM-spr pref prest PROK by Corland, bred by Cor and Marieke Toonders of Veldhoven) of Stal Van Vliet was awarded a premium. He is the half-brother of the international 1.45m jumper Blom’s Gintura (s.Zirocco Blue VDL) and the international eventer horse Fire Fly (s.Zavall VDL), that was crowned world champion of the young eventer horses as a six-year-old. “This was one of the highlights of the first day. Measuring 1.75m, he is the biggest selected stallion and he showed to handle his large body very well. He is sufficiently youthful and is certainly not heavy. He has a light-footed canter with a great balance, in jumping he displays a functional technique and athletic use of his body. He assesses the distances and fences well and shows overview and athleticism.” This direct lineage has also brought forth the international 1.50m jumper Imposant TN (s.Comme Il Faut). 

All around convincing
Premium stallion Por Favor ES (El Barone 111 Z out of Halita ES pref by Tornesch) is a product of the breeding programme of Egbert Schep of Tull en ‘t Waal. Por Favor ES is a grandson of the acclaimed mare Maxime O, this prestatie mare is known for producing the international 1.60m horses Aquila HDC (s.Ovidius) of Patrice Delaveau and Clintissima (s.Clinton) of James Paterson-Robinson as well as the international 1.40m KWPN-approved stallion Jubel ES (s.Harley VDL) that is active in the United States with Bruno Diniz das Neves. “This appealing, long-lined stallion has a strong topline and a good croup. His jumping was super convincing both times, as he showed athleticism and scope. He also possesses a great hindquarter technique, elevating the hip well.” The appointed stallion Prestobantos (Opium JW van de Moerhoee out of Larabanta stb by Carambole) of breeder Egbert Kuijer of Dwingelo and co-registered to Jan Greve, was bred out of the Banta-line. He sports a solid maternal lineage and granddam Hanibanta passed her IBOP with 78,5 points. “This enchanting harmoniously built stallion has an appealing model and correct conformation. He gave a convincing performance in both viewings. He is eager, gifted with electric reflexes and is super careful. The mares in the first three generations have not yet foaled many offspring, however his pedigree is adorned with three elite mares in succession and further along the lineage we do encounter more sport performance.”

Sires with multiple selected sons
The following stallions saw more than two sons get appointed:

  • Hardrock Z (5)
  • Cornet Obolensky (3)
  • Chacoon Blue (3)

Gelder horses showcase qualities
During the first round viewing in Ermelo it already became apparent that the stallion selection committee Gelder horse implements a strict selection for quality. Consequently, merely three stallions advanced to the second round viewing in Den Bosch, where all of them were invited to the presentation. The jury in the arena was comprised of Arie Hamoen, Jan Pen, inspector Wim Versteeg and chairman Marloes van der Velden. The latter provided a clear explanation for each stallion. In the concluding presentation it was Parodie that took top honours as premium stallion. Primus B (s.Lanto HBC) and Lorano V (s.Danser) were also appointed to the performance test.

Premium stallion Parodie (s.Alexandro P) is bred and owned by Bertus Verwaijen of Eerbeek and co-registered to Marc Heijligers of Dordrecht. Parodie is bred out of the renowned preferent ster mare Beginning (s.Victory). In the dam line one encounters many horses that were successful in sport and at the inspections. Marloes was full of praise for Parodie: “This modern stallion boasts the Gelder type, has a rectangular frame and true stallion presence. In trot he shows lots of suppleness and a good posture. His quality canter displays the right technique and impulsion.”

Seven harness stallions
Seven harness stallions received an invitation to the performance test, two of which were additionally awarded a premium. In Den Bosch, the stallions were presented to chairman Lammert Tel and his team Thomas van de Weiden and Bauke de Boer. During the first round viewing Lammert Tel described this year’s crop to be of “average quality”.  However, he had spotted a few positive outliers. The committee is pleased that the selected stallions all descend from performance lineages or accomplished dams and believes the diversity in sires to be a plus. Out of seven selected stallions, two were asked to come back for the premium round. “Premium stallions must positively stand out from the rest”, the chairman argued.

One of the premiums was awarded to the grey Palido van Altrido (Idol out of Helony D keur by Cizandro, bred by Albert and Trijntje Doornbos of Beilen) of Haarsma Landbouwbedrijf of Tjerkwerd. This stallion is an offspring of the eminent Lony-line. Lammert Tel: “Palido van Altrido has a sufficiently rectangular frame and exhibits the distinctive harness horse features. A noble stallion with a great presence. He furthermore boasts an appealing front, a beautifully arching neck, well-developed withers and a good shoulder position. He could be stronger in the middle section and the croup is rather flat. In movement he elevates his front, displays elasticity and a remarkably swinging body. The engine is in the right place, and he shows a scopey front leg. Sire Idol is successful in sport and is increasingly distinguishing himself in breeding.”

Positief M (Indiana out of Gerianne M elite sport s.Unieko, bred by H. Meijers-Slagter of Orvelte) of Harold Dekker of Roderwolde and Klaas Buist of Nuis) was also announced premium. Dam Gerianne M obtained 101 winning points and descends from a performance dam line. “Positief M is a youthful, harness horse-typical stallion that displays nobility and has a good expression. He has an uphill frame, good withers, plenty of length in the shoulders and a strong topline. The croup is well positioned but rather flat. His legs are sound, and he has outstanding feet. In movement he could elevate his front more, however he shows a great technique with plenty of scope in the front leg. The stallion possesses great balance, and his hind leg is sufficiently placed under the body.”

Text: Jenneke Smit
Image: Dirk Caremans

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The KWPN (Studbook of the Royal Dutch Sport Horse) is a Netherlands-based organization specializing in the breeding of jumpers, dressage horses, harness horses, and Gelder horses.

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