Breeding a sporthorse on a thoroughbred basis
A modern show jumper does not only need ample scope and speed, or merely technique and bascule to perform well in today's courses. The horse should also be smart, lively and willing to please. The ideal I envisage is an athletic horse of medium height, which is positively influenced by its thoroughbred heritage. My breeding goal is a sport horse that excels in show jumping, shows high ridability with a work attitude to match and also boasts elastic movements. You would expect dually talented offspring resulting from such objectives.
Because of my high standards regarding show jumping, I only use stallions of which I expect the best in terms of sport performance. Every stallion that comes to my mind will not only be visited once, but several times, to get a clear picture of his own performance record, work ethic and character. Also, I will have a very close look at his family and progeny to check if these horses, too, suit my taste and meet my breeding requirements. I make it a principle not only to be at stallion shows and licensings (usually Holstein, Oldenburg and Hannoveranian Verband), but also visit prospective candidates for my mares in their home environment in training and of course at competitions.
I much prefer true performance over pretty faces. There is no doubt that a handsome horse sells better, but I object to rating beauty higher than athletic performance. I want real athletes who use their bodies well in the course and when moving loose.
My breeding is built upon thoroughbred mares, which I have selected because of their qualities in terms of ridability and show jumping. I specifically want my mares to be sufficiently tall (around 16,5 hands), with enough substance and bone. The German bred thoroughbreds are renown abroad for their great soundness and stamina, but I also want these individuals to come off the track healthy and sound. On top of that I want my OTT mares to have a record of ancestry suitable for breeding sport horses in terms of both exterior and gaits. All have siblings racing over obstacles and flat. I value the performance under saddle of my mares and check their ridability and show jumping talent myself.
The demands of a quick thinking sport horse of thoroughbred heritage ask for a rider who appreciates their qualities. Such a horse is probably not the first choice for a beginner. Still, the scrutiny with which I observe the temper and rideability of my horses, combined with their careful rearing, makes them easy to handle, regardless of whether you are an amateur or pro.
Dance & Miami 2011
Read on: Why breed show jumpers with OTT mares?
Read on: Details about my broodmares
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