Two years after being awarded keur, Carambole, the multiple Grand Prix winner, has now been honoured as a preferent stallion. At the KWPN Stallion Show, the top sire appeared once more under the saddle of Willem Greve and received a standing ovation from the audience. With offspring such as Quantum Robin V, Hello Senator, Fecynelle, Frasier, Elien, and Cote d'Or Z, he has already proven his significant value in breeding.

In Den Bosch, Carambole appeared once more under the saddle of his regular rider, Willem Greve. Together, they have achieved great sport accomplishments, and in January 2023, Carambole bid a fitting farewell to the sport at Jumping Amsterdam. That he is still in top shape at 20 years old was evidenced during the honouring at the KWPN Stallion Show, where he cantered around like a young stallion.

Meant a lot
His breeding achievements earned him the highest predicate: preferent. It was a beautiful moment to also reflect on his impressive sport career. Inspector Henk Dirksen said, "Carambole was born in Holstein and was acquired in the autumn of 2007 by the Dutch stallion owners Gerardus Post and Jan Greve, who discovered him at the stable of the Dutchman Tjeert Rijkens in Elmshorn. As a four-year-old, Carambole was registered with high scores at KWPN. He achieved a 9.5 for his technique and nines for his reflexes and ability as a showjumper. Subsequently, the stallion was very successfully trained by Willem Greve, with whom he performed excellently in Grand Prix and Nations Cup competitions. Several of his offspring are already performing at the highest level in sport or proving their worth in breeding. Carambole has meant a lot to both Dutch sport and breeding, and this has been made possible by his discoverers, owners Gerard and Gerda Korbeld, and of course his rider Willem. Unfortunately, his owners cannot be present at this honouring, but they will undoubtedly follow it via the live stream," said Dirksen. Gerardus Post and Jan Greve were involved in the honouring in Den Bosch, as they contributed to the success of the preferent sire Carambole.

Simply the best
During the honouring, beautiful words from Willem Greve were heard, summarizing how much the rider still adores his 'once in a lifetime' horse Carambole. "You have made me feel things that no other horse has made me feel. You have made me a better rider, a better horseman; you have jumped the toughest courses all over the world and always given your all. You have done everything for me, and I am eternally grateful to you. You were, are, and will always be 'simply the best' for me, Carambole!" The duo performed from early 2012 to the end of 2021 in international sports. In October of that last year, they had a shining moment in the Nations Cup final in Barcelona, where Carambole, at the age of 17, pulled off a crucial faultless round, securing the main prize for the Dutch team. Other memorable victories were achieved in the 1.60m Grand Prix of Amsterdam and the 1.55m Grand Prix events of Drachten, Hardelot, and Knokke. "From the start, Carambole has always performed excellently, and we have had wonderful highlights. What I find most beautiful is how, at an advanced age, he proved his worth again in the Nations Cup final, jumping in the same autonomous manner as he did when he was four years old, once again delivering a faultless round for the Netherlands," praised Willem the stallion.

Strong inheritance
Out of a total of 636 registered offspring now at KWPN, Carambole has already produced a large number of successful horses. At the highest level, he is represented by Quantum Robin V (registered name Iguest W), who won the Grand Prix of CSI4* Prague with Matt Garrigan and was recently sold to top rider Max Kühner, Hello Senator (registered name Everest) ridden by Scott Brash, Elien ridden by Katharina Offel, Formidable ridden by Willem Greve, Fecybelle ridden by Karl Cook, Frasier ridden by Samantha Schaefer, and Fyolieta ridden by Michael Greeve. At the inspections, 31 mares achieved the ster predicate, seven mares were declared keur, and 12 daughters of Carambole are elite. In addition, 18 mares passed the IBOP, two passed the mare test, and - just as importantly - 50 daughters already have the sport predicate. With Fibonacci, Forsyth, Gerardus, and Haynes GH, Carambole has already given four KWPN-approved sons, of which Gerardus has proven to be the most successful in sport, competing at the national 1.45m level under Sophia Lindemann. Additionally, earlier this year, Carambole's son Cote d'Or Z was recognized by the KWPN. This eight-year-old stallion, bred by Dirk Demeersman, has already achieved international success at the 1.40/1.45m level in sport and shows promise for both sport and breeding. It is also positive that the daughters of Carambole are proving their worth in breeding. For instance, the KWPN-approved stallions Lingo van de Watermolen (s.Connect) and Blom Cup champion Mees van de Watermolen (s.Vannan) both come from a dam descending from Carambole. The aforementioned Grand Prix mare Elien has already produced several international offspring herself and is the grandmother of the promising KWPN-approved stallion On the Spot (s.Diamant de Semilly).

Much confidence
Carambole has not covered large numbers, but big names from both sport and breeding have used him on their mares. "What I have always considered a very good sign is that people from the sport have used Carambole a lot. Riders and traders who have seen him at competitions week after week. Pieter Devos, Leon Thijssen, Dirk Demeersman, Paul Hendrix: they have all successfully used him, and almost every weekend I come across good Carambole offspring in sport," said his rider. In the most recent WBFSH Sire ranking, Carambole is ranked 57th. In addition to the previously mentioned top performers, horses such as Hesjedal NL ridden by Erika Lickhammer-Van Helmond, J'Adore ridden by Lalie Saclier, Fresca ridden by Alonso Valdez Prado, and Eye of the Tiger ridden by Evelyne Putters have contributed to Carambole's position. "A stallion can only pass on what he naturally possesses. That's why it certainly doesn't come as a surprise to me that Carambole breeds so well because he is a great natural talent himself. He suits different types of mares; the best is when the mare gives a bit of sharpness in the hind leg over the jump. I am pleased that the KWPN has given him the recognition he fully deserves and hope that this will invite more breeders to use Carambole for their breeding because he has proven himself at the very highest level in both sport and breeding and deserves to cover mares," said Willem Greve. Not only in top sport but also in young horse classes, offspring of Carambole have already achieved remarkable success. His descendants Hello Senator and Formidable both jumped to the bronze medal at the World Championships for Young Show Jumping Horses in Lanaken. Not entirely coincidentally, both then progressed to the Grand Prix level.

The life story of the preferent sire had a somewhat challenging start, but Carambole has never caused disappointment. In 2004, he was born at the renowned Holsteiner breeder Jens Ritters, who gave him the name Coloccini. He had used the top sire Cassini I on his State Premium mare Normandie VI (Concerto II x Sir Shostakovich xx). Two years later, Ritters took him to the Holsteiner stallion licensing, but there, Carambole's qualities did not shine through in free jumping, and as a result, he was rejected. In the auction, he ended up in the hands of Tjeert Rijkens as an unlicensed stallion, who initially purchased him with a slight lack of enthusiasm for an acquaintance but soon discovered Carambole's qualities once home. Not long after, Gerardus Post and Jan Greve joined the stallion, on the condition that he was approved by KWPN. This was achieved with a top score of 88.5 points. When Carambole was eight years old, his then owners gave Gerard and Gerda Korbeld the opportunity to purchase him, ensuring that the stallion would remain with Willem Greve and thus also benefit Dutch sport and breeding. Years later, we can conclude that this was a decisive move, with nothing but positive consequences. Given the high percentage of offspring performing in international sport and his strong inheritance of attitude, canter, rideability, and jumping talent, he can further prove his value in breeding in the coming years. Starting from the upcoming breeding season, he will do so as a preferent stallion, an honour reserved for the very best sires in Dutch and global breeding. Carambole has now joined that select group, and he is available for breeding with fresh semen.

Source: Jenneke Smit
Photo: Dirk Caremans

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