Sport Horse Pedigrees, 9 Meanwhile, Over in Europe

As the fifties, sixties and seventies slid by, most American riders in both eventing and show jumping were still riding full thoroughbreds, the by products of our racing industry, rather than horses specifically bred to be excellent jumpers. As long as there was enough winnowing and sifting, it worked, but there was precious little consistency in terms of pedigree selection. Great jumpers there were like Idle Dice and Jet Run, but they were “where you found them”, not products of any jumper oriented breeding programs.

After World War Two, the European horse industry was a shambles. While we Americans cruised along on our flood tide of inexpensive, mostly off the track thoroughbreds, a few European breeders, visionaries, as we now know, started to rebuild based upon the theory that thoroughbred stallions crossed with the native mares that had survived the war could create a new type of horse suited to sport. As I understand, the term “warmblood” means crossing “hotbloods”, mostly thoroughbreds, and some Arabians, onto “coldbloods”, draft type mares. Mix hot and cold, and you get warm.

More knowledgeable warmblood breeding experts than I am will perhaps chime in here, as this is just a general overview to give US riders a sense of how we got to 2012 in jumper breeding, not a historically precise analysis.

We might start by trying to discover show jumping “Adams” horses like the legendary Biblical patriarch, from which many others are descended, warmblood equivalents to, perhaps, Nearco, who we studied under racing thoroughbreds. One very big name in the jumper world is Alme, a bit more than 3/8  thoroughbred, registered Selle Francaise, by Ibrahim x Girondine, (by the Tb Ultimate), a foal of 1966.

Alme`s name is “everywhere” in modern sport horses. He sired the stallions Galoubet, I Love You, Jalisco, Ahorn Z, and a host of others, who in turn sired and produced others like Baloubet Du Rouet, Quidam De Revel, Accord 2nd, thousands more. Beezie Madden`s Authentic is one of hundreds of Alme descendants just in the USA.

Another warmblood “Adam” would be the Holsteiner stallion Landgraf, a foal of 1966, by the thoroughbred, Ladykiller, a male line descendant of Phalaris, just like Nearco. Landgraf is a name it`s hard NOT to find in the pedigrees of modern jumpers. For example, the Irish stallion, Limmerick, one of the leading event horse sires in England, is a double Landgraf descendant, as jumper lines begin to “invade” eventing lines.

Another huge “Adam” is the Selle Francaise stallion Cor De La Bryere, a 5/8 thoroughbred foaled in 1968. He`s part of the “double C” equation in jumper land, Cor De La Breyere for technique, Capitol for scope.  Olympic 3-day gold medal winning Marius descends from him, as, again, jumper lines and eventing lines are starting to blur. Mary King`s 2011 Rolex star Fernhill Urco is a great grandson of Cor De La Bryere, still another example.

So that`s a start. There are dozens of jumper line warmbloods, and in later posts, we`ll have a look at a few more.


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