It’s in the Blood: Badminton edition

Since I was a little late on this one due to life drama, I did some extra stats based on the results as well. Which took even more time and nerd dedication, but I also think it’s more interesting too. Let’s take a look at the field for Badminton 2019!

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A grand total of 80 horses started the dressage phase this year, and as usual there were a few I had to throw out of a few stats due to incomplete pedigrees. I’d rather omit them than knowingly put in inaccurate data.

As has become pretty usual by now, Irish Sport Horse was the most common registry, with 33 horses. The rest were relatively split between Dutch (7) , Hanoverian (7), Selle Francais (7), Holsteiner (4), British Sporthorse (5), Thoroughbred (4), etc. There was also one Connemara x TB cross, just like at Rolex, and one Clydesdale x TB cross.

Of the Irish contingent, 12 have traditional Irish breeding and 21 have some kind of European warmblood – and of the ones that contain warmblood, 76% of them carry Holsteiner blood.

Winner Vanir Kamira, registered Irish Sporthorse by Camiro de Haar Z out of a mare by Dixi xx. (Holsteiner, TB, Irish Sporthorse)

The average blood percentage of the original starting field is 58%, and the average blood percentage of those who completed is 57%. Pretty much the same. The average blood percentage of the clear XC rounds? 58%. What about the blood percentage of the double clears? If you guessed 58%, you get a prize. What about the average blood percentage of the horses who didn’t finish? 57%. These are kinda boring numbers considering how long it took me to input all of that data.

Moving on.

A little more interesting… 19 horses (24% of the field) have at least one full TB parent. Of the full TB’s, you saw a few names several times throughout the pedigrees, including Heraldik, Golden Bash, Danzig, Nijinsky, Mr Prospector, and Mytens.

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Mytens xx

Aside from just the commonalities among the thoroughbreds, several stallions appear more than once throughout the field as a sire or damsire. Courage II, a Holsteiner stallion that was widely used in Ireland, is the sire of an incredible FIVE horses, 4 of which went on to complete, 2 with a clear XC. Limmerick, another Holsteiner stallion that was widely used in Ireland, is the sire of 3 horses in the field, all of which went on to complete, 2 with a clear XC.

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Courage II

Other stallions that are seen multiple times include: Ricardo Z (sire of 2, damsire of 1), Clover Hill (damsire of 3), Balou du Rouet (sire of 2), Lauriston (sire of 1, damsire of 1), Heraldik xx (damsire of 2), Cavalier Royale (damsire of 2), and Golden Bash xx (damsire of 2).

An amazing 56% of the field came up through the FEI young horses classes – ie the old 6yo 1*/7yo 2* levels.

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Swallow Springs, who finished 9th at Lion d’Angers in the 6yo 1* world championship in 2014

Despite having only 4 horses in the field that are registered Holsteiners, an incredible 40 horses (50%) have Holsteiner within the first 4 generations. Similarly, only 7 horses in the field are registered Selle Francais, but 28 horses (35%) have Selle Francais within the first 4 generations. I won’t say that jumping blood is super important for event horses, because I say it all the time, buuuuuut.

I will say that when I sorted out the top 10 dressage scores, I kind of expected a slightly lower blood percentage, ie less TB. But the blood percentage of those top 10 was bang on the average – 57% – and while none of them have a full TB parent, 5 have a full tb damsire. Eight of those top 10 have holsteiner and selle francais (ie more jumper-oriented) breeding.

Any other finisher stats you’d like to see? I could go all day, breaking down average dressage score by registry, average number of rails in showjumping, time faults, etc etc. But I feel like everyone is probably already asleep, so I’ll stop there…

17 thoughts on “It’s in the Blood: Badminton edition

  1. I’m not familiar with Mytens, but he’s MIGHTY (heh) nice! Wouldn’t turn that sucker out of my barn! But he’s a Hoist the Flag grandbaby, and let’s face it. Any of those are welcome to find their home with me any day. Haha.

    I’m interested in what the full TB lines in the top 10 dressage horses were. Any consistent lines?


    1. It took all of my restraint to not mention that Mytens is the sire of Mighty Magic… trying not to let my bias hang out so much. LOL

      For the top 10 after dressage, 5 had a TB damsire. Those damsires are: Stan the Man (IRE), Sky Boy (GB), Cult Hero (CAN), Dixi (BEL), and Heraldik (CZE).


  2. Mytens is the grandsire of my GP dressage horse who is KWPN and was imported as an event horse. He’s a scary jump weenie though after training level so they went into another direction with him. So yeah, I love me some Mytens too. And data.


  3. I love Courage II, and while I’m probably all Tb for lyfe I’d love a horse by Balou du Rouet one day.

    Thanks for answering Austen’s question above – I’ve seen Stan the Man in a couple pedigrees of horses I liked on the ground.


    1. You suuuuuuuuuuuuuure you want a Balou? lol. They’re pretty and they can jump, that’s for sure. The rest varies. Billy the Red is a good example.


      1. i should clarify: the idiot 20 year old in me wants a balou. I tried a balou mare (chestnut, no less) and she was 3 sheets to the wind insane but holy crap could she jump.

        maybe if i crossed it with a sloth?


  4. Thanks for the stats. I love reading your breakdowns at the top events. Super interesting as I’ve following TB racing for years and just now getting into the Eventing side.


    1. Okay that was a bad choice of works – thanks for your data crunching at the top events ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. The standouts for me were Ben Hobday and his half Clydesdale running around a 5 star course. I really liked the look of him, Harelaw Wizard.
    And November Night with Ciaran Glynn. I thought she was amazing cross country. She jumped everything smart as you please no matter how she was presented to it.


  6. Excellent data parsing & analysis! Loves stats! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hope this isn’t a disruptive question! Is the near 60% of similar breeding trends due to these lines being the ones that emerge from a broad diversity of breeding among event horses at all levels? Or is it that the entire sport is very focused on just these lines, so that is what they buy? In Europe especially.
    Hope that makes sense. Hypothetically, in a jar full of multi-color M&M’s, if shaking it brings all the red and yellow ones to the top, then there is something about the reds and yellows that the other colors don’t share. But if someone put in primarily reds and yellows in the first place, then any random scoop will reflect mostly reds & yellows.
    I wondered about this because it does seem that the same group of sires and damsires are so frequently referenced at the highest levels of international eventing. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Well, a lot of them have been very commonly used, so it makes sense that we see more of them. But also we see a lot of the same jumping lines repeated over and over because they are known to be bold, have a lot of scope, and move well too… which is why they were used so much in the first place. Makes sense that more of those horses turn into good event horses. Some sires also end up very purpose-bred too… like Windfall has been used almost exclusively to produce eventers, so it’s not that shocking that we saw two of them at Kentucky. Whereas stallions who were jumpers, or were targeted mostly to the jumper market, are a bit less likely to have as much crossover (even though we still see it quite a bit).


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