The Horse and Hound is the most prestigious equestrian magazine in the UK, the equivalent of the Chronicle of the Horse in the USA. I was writing an article on horse breeding for them, including details of the ‘Holstein’ stallion Cavalier Royale, the Irish based stallion that has produced so many top class event horses, including World Silver medallist and winner of Rolex Ben Along Time and Mary King’s wonderful international pair, Call Again Cavalier and Imperial Cavalier. Their breeding editor returned my copy with a number of small changes, including deleting the fact that Cavalier Royale was half thoroughbred. I reinserted this fact and it was duly returned once again, deleted!
HIDDEN GENES IN THE SPORT HORSE WORLD
So I rang their breeding editor, whom you would have thought would understand about the hidden thoroughbred genes in so many sport horses. “No,” she said “Cavalier Royale is by the Selle Francais Cor de la Bryere out of the Holsteiner Ligustra.” So I then had to point out to her that Cor de la Byrere is two thirds thoroughbred and Ligustra slightly more than one third thoroughbred, making Cavalier Royale himself just over half thoroughbred. Therefore most of his famous offspring are three quarters thoroughbred, as they have been out of thoroughbred Irish mares. So like Mark Todd the breeding editor of the Horse and Hound had been led astray about the hidden thoroughbred genes in some very famous horses.
FIVE THOROUGHBRED GODS OF THE WARM BLOOD WORLD
What is also fascinating is that the thoroughbred genes of Cavalier Royale include those four thoroughbred gods of the warm blood world, FURIOSO, COTTAGE SON, RANTZAU, & LADYKILLER. Remember these names because, together with a fifth, LUCKY BOY, there is no statistical doubt that these five thoroughbred stallions are the equal of Northern Dancer and his son Sadlers Wells in the racing world. They are more influential than any other sires of any breeding in the jumping world….and they are thoroughbreds:
FURIOSO – (Born in Ireland 1939, stood in France) More than 50% horses in the top 20 show jumpers at the World Games in Aachen and the Olympics in Athens go back to the legendary TB Furioso. Furioso was by Precipitation, also sire of the famous Irish show jumping stallion Prefairy. Sire of supersire Furioso 11. who was himself sire 81 approved sons and 96 dams of approved sons, including the great jumping sires Voltaire, Le Mexico, For Pleasure (Marcus Ehning), & Purioso, sire of Anky Van Grunsen’s Dressage Gold medalist Cocktail.
COTTAGE SON – (Born in Ireland 1944, stood in Germany) Just as many show jumpers trace back to the Irish TB Cottage Son as to Furioso. He has made a huge impact on German warmblood breeding and was from the family of British Grand National winner Sheila’s Cottage and triple Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Cottage Rake. Sire of Valine the dam of supersire Ramiro Z (sire of Ratina Z), and of Viola the dam of the ubiquitous jumping sire Lord. Grandsire of Christine Stuckleburger’s dressage champion Granat. What is truly amazing is that he achieved all this despite being at stud in Germany for just four years.
RANTZAU - (Born in France 1946, stood in France) Rantzau holds a similar position in the Selle Francais stud book with the greatest number of top rated stallion grandsons and credited with revolutionising the breeding of show jumpers. Sire of supersire Cor De La Bryere, sire of over thirty approved stallions including Calando 1 – V1, Caletto 1 – 111, Calypso 1 – V, Cavalier Royale and Cicero, Corland, & Corrado 1 –11.
LADYKILLER – (Born in UK 1961, stood in Germany) Ladykiller, sired 35 approved stallions and 195 approved daughters and dominates Holsteiner pedigrees, that are the most successful in show jumping, to such an extent that those without his name are becoming rare. He has become the superstar influence in all the European stud books.
LUCKY BOY – (Born in Ireland, 1966, stood in Holland) Lucky Boy sired 27 approved stallion sons and is the sire of Melanie Smith’s great World Cup winner Calypso. Lucky Boy is without peer as a show jumping sire in the Dutch studbook. Also sire of the Olympic horses Van Gogh (Willi Melliger), The Freak (Hugo Simon and Dirk Hafemeister), and Anne Medrano (Anne Kursinski).
The point is that the genes of these horses all contain the classic bloodlines of the best jumping thoroughbreds from the racing world, which in turn come from flat racing. In other words the huge success of these five Gods of warm blood breeding is not a total fluke… nor was the success of this additional group of over 250 hugely successful thoroughbred sires (with multiple advanced international sons and daughters or grandchildren within the last 50 years) that I list below…. I just want to emphasize how many very important TB sires there are in the modern sport horse world and, amazingly, how they are mostly related. Most sired top performers in more than one discipline. NB This list is certainly not exhaustive but I haven’t finished my research:
Pik As (Germany), Monitor (Germany), Praefectus (Germany), Belgorod (Germany), Neckar (Germany), Marlon (Germany), Pindar (Germany),Valentino (Germany), Angelo (Germany), Koridon (Holland), Anblik (Germany) Der Loewe (Germany) Bleep (Germany), Ecuador (Germany), Poet (Germany), Steinpilz (Germany), Marcio (Germany), Waidmannsdank (Germany), Hornbeam (UK), Abyss (UK), High Top (UK), Tremolo (France), Busoni (Germany), Oliveri (Germany), Caramel (Germany), Go To Bann (Ireland), Manolete (Germany & Denmark), Paren (Germany),Wiesenbaum (Germany), Pericles (Holland), Pasteur (Germany), Le Val Blanc (France), Perser (Germany),Mago (Germany), Afrikaner (Holland), No Robbery (USA), Turner (France), Lauries Crusador (Germany), Black Sky (Germany), Prince Thatch (Germany).
Khaled (USA), Grand Empereur (Holland), Aristophanes (USA), High Hat (UK), Abernant (USA), Swaps (USA), The Phoenix (Ireland), Ultimate (Germany) Water Serpent (Ireland), Helidorous (USA), Exilio (Holland), Highland Flight (Ireland), Pluchino (Germany), Vieux Manoir (France), Hugh Lupus (France), Cale (Germany), Premonition (UK), Chair Lift (Ireland), Prefairy (Ireland), Khalex (USA), Abgar (Holland), Agricola (New Zealand), Good Twist (USA), My Babu (USA), Palestine (USA), Bolero (USA), Preciptic (Ireland), Sayajirao (Germany), Princequillo (USA), Nashua (USA), Blakeney (UK), Waldenser (Germany), Mourne (France), Aberali (USA), Royal Charger (USA), Hethersett (UK), Lucius (Germany), Chanteur (UK), Tudor Rocket (Ireland),Courville (Holland), Arctic Storm (Ireland), Uppercut (Holland), Bold Minstrel (USA), Supreme Court (Ireland), Ozymandius (Ireland), Sunny Light (Ireland), Sailing light (Holland), Ksar (USA), Hand In Glove (USA & France), Hay Hook (USA), Regular Guy (Ireland), Middle Temple (Ireland), Vain (New Zealand), Cardinal (Germany), Colinstable (Ireland), Compromise (Holland), Nordlys (Ireland), Tula Rocket (Ireland), Heraldik (Germany), Baderna (Sweden), Mytens (Holland), Sky Boy (Ireland), Darantus (Ireland), Colourfield (Ireland), Dock Leaf (Ireland), Laudanum (France), Rex Magna (USA), Forrest (Germany), Captain Maverick (UK), Cocky Golfer (USA), Grundy (Germany), Easy Lift (Ireland), Sit This One Out (Holland), Sacramento Song (Germany) & Julio Mariner (Germany, Ard Alley Cat (Ireland), Coconut Grove (USA), Favoritas (Holland), Power Blade (Ireland), Betel(Germany).
Happy Monarch (UK), Sheshoon (UK), Blue Cliff (Ireland), Crepello (UK), Manicou (UK), Mon Cher (Ireland), Rockefella (USA), Heathersett (UK) Wild Risk (UK), Sicambre (France), Relic (France), Awarkward Brief (Ireland), Spiritus (UK), Rose Argent (UK), Chou Chin Chou (Ireland), Honeyway (UK), Deimos (South Africa), Star Kingdom (Australia), Empyrean (Australia), Hawaii (South Africa), High Peak (Australia), Red Mars (New Zealand), Ruthless (New Zealand), Vollkorn (Germany), Raise You Ten (Ireland), Chamossaire (UK), Wild Risk (France), Wilton House (Ireland), Varano (Ireland), Marwood (Ireland), Penistone (Ireland), Petition (Ireland), Cornwall (USA), Brilliant Invader (New Zealand), Babamist (USA), Djebe (France), Beau Charmeur (Ireland), Pardal (UK), Rugantino (Ireland), Court Martial (UK), Mossborough (UK), Cantab (Ireland), Golden Love (Ireland), Bahrain (Ireland), Impeder (Ireland), Le Fabuleux (France), Belgrave (Ireland), Hubble Bubble (UK), Fortino (Ireland), Even Say (Ireland), Hildenley (Ireland),Soudno (Ireland), Majestic Streak (UK), Biscay (Australia), Garnered (UK), Primarily (Ireland), Crespino (Ireland), Just A Monarch (UK), Menelek (Ireland), Bassompierre (Ireland), Peacock (Ireland), Cardinal (New Zealand), Santas Sleigh (Ireland), Artic Que (Ireland), Polonez (Poland), Surumu (Germany), Final Problem (Ireland), Garnered (Ireland), Step Together (Ireland), Martinmas (Ireland), Market Square (Ireland), Final Problem (Ireland), Hoarwithy (UK), Pollerton (Ireland), French Wood (Ireland), Vivadari (Ireland), Peacock (Ireland), Cantab (Ireland), Shaab (UK), Worden (France), Ben Hawke (UK), Imperious (Ireland), Seven Bells (Ireland), Nasrullah (USA), Golden Spread (UK), Big Hat (Australia), Aberlou (New Zealand), Grey Ghost (UK), Forli (USA), Mandalus (Ireland), Ben Faerie (UK), Bold Ruler (USA), Welton Gameful (UK), Master Spiritus (UK), Vimy (France), Nickel King (UK), Carnival Night (Ireland), First Consul (New Zealand), First Consul (Ireland), Sir Ivor (France), Aristocracy (Ireland), Royal Renown (Ireland), Ela mana Mou (UK), I'm a Star (Ireland), Arctic Que (Ireland), Bold Bidder (USA), Campaigner (Ireland), Cockade (UK), Euphemism (Ireland), Aristocracy (Ireland), Rhett Butler (Ireland), Blue Laser (Ireland), Rusticaro (UK), Drums of Time (New Zealand), Trio (France), Over The River (Ireland), Edmund Burke (Ireland), Mac Rocket (Ireland), Gipfel (Ireland), Esquilino (Australia), Smooth Stepper (Ireland), Mr Lord (Ireland), Turn-To (USA), Count Ivor (France), Miners Lamp (UK), Pulsingh (UK), Able Albert (Ireland), Condrieu (Germany), Forties Field (Ireland), Maha Baba (USA), Village Star (France), Java Tiger (UK), Beneficial (Ireland), Mayhill (UK), Market Square (Ireland), Bohemond (UK), Supreme Leader (UK), Helikon (Germany), Mokhieba (USA), Master Imp (Ireland), Primitive Rising (UK), Ghareeb (Ireland), Colourfield (Ireland), Stan the Man (Ireland & Germany), Fearless Action (UK), (Cult Hero (Ireland), Rich Rebel (Ireland), Painters Row (Denmark & Ireland), Porter Rhodes (Ireland), Comet Shine (USA), A Fine Romance (Canada).
What is interesting is to also present them in date order. In the twenty years after the second world war the German and Dutch breed societies made a conscious decision to import thoroughbreds to cross with their native mares to produce showjumpers, but the big question remains …. is the decline in new TB sires the result of more quality part bred sires being available (largely the sons and grandsons of the thoroughbred sires in this list…in particular the sons of the five GODS of the warm blood world), or the result of the success of the marketing policies of the breed societies, or a little of both? Some would say that the right thoroughbred types are no longer available, but the conundrum is that all the disciplines are moving towards more quality horses. The success of TB sires born in the 80’s would suggest that there are now new openings and open minds for the thoroughbred in all disciplines….if we could find the right ones!
FURIOSO, COTTAGE SON, RANTZAU, Anblik, Pik As, Monitor, Der Loewe, Koridon, Poet, Marcio, Wild Risk, Nasrullah, Khaled, Chamossaire, Aristophane, Honeyway, Abernant, Swaps, Star Kingdom, Deimos, The Phoenix, Court Martial, Spiritus, Helidorous, Rockefella, Ultimate, Chanteur, Royal Charger, Bolero, Water Serpent, Empyrean, High Peak, Red Mars, Ruthless, Petition, Preciptic, Manicou, Pardal, Palestine, Princequillo, Double Jay, Vieux Manoir, Cornwall, Djebl, Belgorod, My Babu, Sayajirao, Supreme Court, Mossborough, Happy Monarch, Pluchino, Neckar, Wild Risk, Sicambre, Relic, Sailing Light, Pindar, Worden.
Premonition, Valentino, Grand Empereur, Steinpilz, Bleep, Mourne, Manolete, Turn-To, Oliveri, Vimy, Hugh Lupus, Nordlys, Exilio, Nashua, Courville, Bold Ruler, Perser, Royal Charger, High Hat, Hornbeam, Final Problem, Highland Flight, Ben Hawke, Agricola, Aberali, Prefairy, Khalex, Abgar, Hay Hook, Waldenser, Compromise, Crepello, Marlon, Sheshoon, Heathersett, Lucius, Cantab, Middle Temple, Menelek, Blue Cliff, Waidmannsdank, Fortino, Hethersett, Arctic Storm.
LADYKILLER, LUCKY BOY, Wiesenbaum, Praefectus, Ecuador, Busoni, Angelo, Pericles, Pasteur, Le Val Blanc, No Robbery, Turner, Black Sky, Raise You Ten, Cale, Master Spiritus, Polonez, Le Fabuleux, Chair Lift, Uppercut, Good Twist, Cardinal (Aus), Hawaii, Cardinal (Ger), Rugantino, Beau Charmeur, Abyss, Belgrave, Sacramento Song, Laudanum, Ozymandius, Peacock, Sir Ivor, Forli, Bold Bidder, Rose Argent, Welton Gameful, Chou Chin Chou, Badernum, Even Say, Sunny Light, Biscay, Market Square, Garnered, Vollkorn, Imperious, Big Hat, Bold Minstrel, Ben Faerie, Penistone, Master Spiritus, Blakeney, Carnival Night, Golden Love, Trio, Vain, Golden Spread, Hoarwithy, Afrikaner, Wilton House, Impeder, Colinstable, Paren, Hildenley, First Consul (Ireland), Primarily, Martinmas, Arctic Storm, Tula Rocket, High Top, Macrocket, Crespino, Vivadari, Babamist, Mon Cher, Darantus, Artic Que, Varano, Marwood.
Caramel, Hand In Glove, Grundy, Majestic Streak, Hubble Bubble, Julio Mariner, Grey Ghost, Ksar, Rex Magna, Brilliant Invader, Seven Bells, Royal Renown, Campaigner, Soudno, Cockade, Aristocracy, Rhett Butler, Edmund Burke, Aberlou, Miners Lamp, Over The River, Just a Monarch, Surumu, Nickel King, Rusticaro, Mandalus, Java Tiger, Forties Field, Step Together, Ela Mana Mou, Count Ivor, Cocky Golfer, Sky Boy, Aristocracy, Go To Bann, Maha Baba, Shaab, Regular Guy, Smooth Stepper, Mister Lord, First Consul (New Zealand), Gipfel, French Wood, Blue Laser, I'm A Star, Drums of Time.
1980’s & '90s
Mago, Able Albert, Mokhieba, Bohemond, Colourfield, Stan the Man, Primitive Rising, Rich Rebel, Dock Leaf, Colourfield, Sit This One Out, Euphemism, Helikon, Fearless Action, Supreme Leader, Ard Alley Cat, Prince Thatch, Laurie’s Crusader, Tremolo, Captain Maverick, Forrest, Mytens, Heraldik, Master Imp, Pulsingh, Condrieu, Village Star, Beneficial, Mayhill, Painter's Row, Easy Lift, Esquilino, Gareeb, Cult Hero, Coconut Grove, Market Square, Playmate, Favoritas, Power Blade, Comet Shine, Porter Rhodes, A Fine Romance, Betel.
Quite a gathering I think you’ll agree …I wouldn’t mind a couple waiting for me in our front field…and I still have much work to do especially with Australian and New Zealand thoroughbreds. These stallions all have some common ancestors which can be a real help in evaluating the breeding of new sires.
THE RIGHT ANCESTORS – 10 OF THE VERY BEST X 2
So what are the common ancestors of the above 5 TB Gods of the warmblood world and the other 70 sires? I won’t bore you with too many details and too many sires, but going a long way back there are ten names in particular that should seriously brighten your day if you find a liberal sprinkling of them on BOTH sides of the back pedigree of your horse:
1 - GALOPIN (1872 - UK, the sire of St Simon)
2 - ST SIMON (1881 - UK, sire of Chaucer)
3 - BAY RONALD (1893 - UK, sire of Rondeau, Dark Ronald & Bayardo; Grandsire of Teddy)
4 - RONDEAU (1900 - UK)
5 - CHAUCER (1900 – UK, grandsire of Hyperion, Pharos & Fairway)
6 - DARK RONALD (1905 - UK, sire of Son In Law)
7 - BAYARDO (1906, sire of Gainsborough &grandsire of Hyperion)
8 - FAIR PLAY (1905 - USA, Sire of Man O'War the sire of War Admiral & War Relic, sire of Display the damsire of both Native Dancer and Bold Ruler)
9 - THE TETRARCH (1911 – Ireland)
10 - SON IN LAW (1911 - Grandsire of Cottage Son & Furioso )
...and 10 more slightly more modern thoroughbreds which connect to these sires...
1 - TEDDY (1913 – France & USA)
2 - ORANGE PEEL (1919 – France, grandsire of Ibrahim '52 the sire of Alme '66),
3 - HURRY ON (1913 – UK - the sire of Precipitation & Coronach, grandsire of Court Marshall)
4 - PHALARIS (1913 – UK - the sire of full brothers Pharos and Fairway)
5 - BLANDFORD (1919 – Ireland - the sire of Umidwar '31 & Blenheim '27 - Grandsire of Wild Risk '40 & Ultimate '41)
6 - TOURBILLON (1928 – France - the sire of Djebel '37 who was the sire of Djeddah, Clarion, Le Lavandou, My Babu & Hugh Lupus the sire of Heathersett the sire of Blakeney, & Imperious the sire of Master Imp)
7 - PHAROS (1920 - sire of Nearco the sire of Nasrullah, full brother of Fairway)
8 - FAIRWAY (1925 - full brother of Pharos, sire of Fair Trial the sire of Court Marshall.)
9 – HYPERION (1930 – UK - son of Gainsborough also the sire of Solario, sire of jumping sires Owen Tudor, Hornbeam, Alibhai, High Hat, Stardust, His Highness, Rockefella, Khaled, Aristophanes, Hypericum, Aureole & Heliopolis, among others.)
10 - PRECIPITATION (1933 - UK, son of Hurry On, sire of Furioso, Prefairy, Preciptic, Premonition, Airborne, Agricola, Supreme Court, Chamossaire & Sheshoon the sire of Sassafras.)
...plus one more
11 - CHANTEUR (1942 - UK, sire of Ben Hawke the sire of Ben Faerie, & Pinza, son of Chateau Bouscaut also the sire of The Phoenix. )
For example my own stallion JACKAROO (2007), a full brother of Karen O’Connor’s Mandiba, has 39 crosses from this list of thoroughbred sires, only missing out on Orange Peel….and I emphasize that my suggestion is that we benefit from the very special mental qualities handed down by these horses as well as the physical qualities. The 15 great thoroughbred sires with names in capitals above do it all, mentally and physically….they are a truly golden list …..and a high proportion of their families really jump.
...but preeminent in this breeding is the cross of Hyperion with Pharos or Fairway, togetherwith crosses of Precipitation and Tourbillon.
THOROUGHBREDS CAN JUMP
Top Irish show jumping stallion, the ‘Irish Draught’ CLOVER HILL (1973), was in fact half thoroughbred, being by Golden Beaker. Golden Beaker’s sire had crosses of Chaucer, Bay Ronald x 2, Pharlaris, The Tetrarch, and Blandford, while his dam had two crosses of Hurry On, making him a good choice as Clover Hill’s sire. I just wish Golden Beaker had been performance tested as a youngster and had his jumping ability assessed. He might have been found to be great and more use made of him because of this.
Both because so few thoroughbreds are properly performance tested, and because many riders are unaware that many top horses have a majority of thoroughbred blood, it has become common currency in show jumping breeding circles to say that the thoroughbred is not good enough for world class show jumping. Yet three of the greatest show jumpers, World Champion JET RUN (1968), Olympic Gold Medalist TOUCH OF CLASS (1973), and double Silver medalist and top rated jumper in the world GEM TWIST (1979) were all full thoroughbreds. As far as show jumping is concerned the statistics are solid with regard to the role of the thoroughbred, even in modern times.
IT’S A FACT
In addition to the multiple World Cup winners, BALOUBET DE ROUET (1989) & SHUTTERFLY (1993), that I mentioned earlier, that are at least 50% thoroughbred, just look at this list of showjumping royalty and note their % of thoroughbred blood….
RAMZES (1937) - sire of Raimond the sire of Ramiro Z the show jumping super sire. Therefore features in a huge dynasty of European showjumpers and dressage horses. Also sire of Remus and Mariano, Harry Boldt and Joseph Neckermann's two great Olympic and World Championship dressage champions - 50% thoroughbred.
LORD (1967) - features in top sire pedigree after top pedigree in German warm bloods - by Ladykiller out of mare by Cottage Son with more than 60 approved stallion sons. He is grandsire of In Style, Ian Millar’s impressive medalist at the Olympics last year - 80 % thoroughbred.
JALISCO B (1975) - holds the record for number of offspring at Olympics. Carries the genes of Orange Peel x 2, Blandford, Hurry On and Dark Ronald. Sire of supersires Quidam de Revel and Quito de Baussy – at least 65% thoroughbred.
QUIDAM DE REVEL (1982) – top rated sire 2003 and 2004. Carries the genes of Orange Peel x 3, Blandford x 2, Hurry On and Dark Ronald. Sire of Guidam and prolific sire of Grand Prix jumper, with 48 offspring winning International classes - at least 65% thoroughbred.
QUITO DE BAUSSY (1982) - World and Olympic champion and the leading jumping sire in ’02, 2nd in ’04 and leading again in ’05 and French Gold Team medalist. Carries the genes of Orange Peel x 3, Blandford x 2, Hurry On and Dark Ronald - at least 56.25% thoroughbred.
JUS DE POMME (1986) - Atlanta individual Gold medalist - arguably one of the greatest ever jumpers. Carries the genes of Hurry On x 2, Orange Peel, Blandford, & Tourbillon - 69% thoroughbred.
So if you are interested in elite performance double check that the horse you want to buy or cover your mare with has enough thoroughbred blood… because many don’t.
NOW HERE’S A SURPRISE
Finally there is a statistic which casts serious doubt on the line breeding claims of many jumping stud books and the cry from the warm blood world that you can’t find good thoroughbreds any longer….three of the four show jumping finalists at the Aachen World Games (2006) were out of daughters of TB stallions! Happy days for breeders of quality horses.
Next week….Part 4…the truth about Headley Brittannia’s husband and the connection between top dressage and jumping breeding.