By Stafford Robinson
ON THE MODERN WARMBLOOD Stafford Robinson. Geneticist - Berghof Sporthorses
Stafford is a qualified New Zealand Racehorse trainer, a Film director of 20 years, freelance writer and owner of Berghof Sporthorses. He has a degree in Genetics, a postgraduate degree in Zoology and is now completing his Masters in European Sporthorse breeding - more specifically the relationship between inbreeding and performance. Stafford, through his stud Berghof, was the first South African to purchase an unlicensed 2 year old German Warmblood Colt and put it through the licensing and performance testing in Germany, to then import a fully licensed Stallion. Stafford has been riding since he was 7 years old and has ridden most disciplines, then at the age of 20 qualified for the infamous Taupo Three Day Event, New Zealand’s premier event on the eventing calender. Now training his dressage stallion Sonnentänzer, Stafford recently won the young horse dressage class at the 2013 Horse of the Year show. His aim is to take the horse to Grand Prix.
he base breeding stock of many European Sporthorse societies has been the heavy farm workhorse. During the 1950’s when horses were used less and less as working implements, farmers then turned to utilizing their stock to breed Sporthorses in an attempt to still have them a profitable aspect of the farm. As can be testified by the stallion pics of the 1950’s the problem was that most of the horses were too heavy for riding horses and thus breeding required the influence of a refining breed.The Thoroughbred was the perfect equine athletic to fill that gap. Over the years the Thoroughbred has shown to be a positive improver of the Sporthorse and in modern times horses like Shutterfly who have a half-bred dam have endorsed that importance. Shutterfly has been one of the most successful jumpers of modern times with over 55 wins at 1.50m classes. He avchieved individual Gold at WEG in 2006, first place at European Championships in 2007, and fourth place at the 2008 Hong Kong Olympics and first in the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in 2009. He has won over 3 million Euro in prize money. A sterling representative for the Thoroughbred blood! But Shutterfly is certainly no isolated case. A number of sons of Thoroughbred have established themselves as exceptional
SPORTING HORSE Issue 19
jumper horse producers; horses like Cor de la Bryère (by Rantzau xx), Landgraf (by Ladykiller xx) or Furioso II by (Furioso xx).” Even the Great Quidam de Revel in his third generation has Thoroughbred that seems to have influenced that line. Today’s breeder however seems to be moving more towards performance based stallions: stallions that have proven themselves in the performance arena.And that is relatively rare for the current selection of Thoroughbred stallions. Indeed I can only think of the French Jumper Laudanum XX. Laudanum XX was the first international jumping star of Pierre Durand, winning Grand Prix, Puissance and Nations Cups and more than 100,000 French francs in prize money. Among many of the European breeders that I have talked to it is accepted that the introduction of the Thoroughbred blood is best done by mating a good Thoroughbred sire with an established strong mare line, hope for a mare and then put that mare back to a good Warmblood jumper or dressage stallion. Indeed that was part of my attraction when I found my Oldenburg Stallion Sonnentänzer. His dam line was the famous Oldenburg Feldminze mare line (The Oldenburger’s place great importance on their mare line, naming their mare lines the same way other breed societies name their stallion lines).The mare Feldmine IV was put to the Thoroughbred stallion Noble Roi XX who had produced many good dressage horses and also jumpers. He was proven as
Published on Jul 15, 2014