It was a very small field at Luhmuhlen this year, with only 24 starters and 15 finishers. At first I was like meh why even bother doing anything pedigree-related for this field, but then I thought… maybe this actually gives us a unique opportunity. With only 15 finishers we can do a bit of a deep dive into each one, plus I feel like we got a pretty good variety within those 15. A small group, for sure, but still very representative of what is typical at 5* these days. Plus, ya know, the winner is by the same sire as Bobby’s new dressage horse so I would be remiss not to mention that, right? Family connections and all.
Instead of the usual format of averages and worthwhile mentions, lets just do a quick summary of each of the finishers, shall we? This is the kind of information I normally compile anyway, I just toss it into a spreadsheet and summarize it all for these posts, and this time I won’t have to.
Charly van ter Heiden – his sire Contendro’s Bube was shown in dressage and used largely as a dressage sire, but obviously he’s by the jumper stallion Contendro, also one of the most successful eventing sires of all time. Seeing Contendro in a 5* field is pretty much a given by now and Luhmuhlen was no different. What is a bit different about this particular Luhmuhlen winner is that he has a very low blood percentage for an eventer – 24% – which you could see a bit by the end of the cross country course. Clearly not lacking heart though, and still an excellent jumper on the final day. His dam, by Escudo II, also produced a couple showjumpers (one went through 1.45m) and a dressage horse, so clearly there’s some versatility in this family. Charly also competed in young horse classes earlier in his career.
Carjatan S – another horse who’s breeding is very typical of what we see a lot at the upper levels, by a Holsteiner showjumping sire on a high blood mare. His sire Clearway jumped through 1.55m level and has been an extremely successful breeding stallion. Carjatan’s dam is by the thoroughbred stallion Galant Vert xx, which contributes greatly to his overall blood percentage of 60%.
Leamore Master Plan – who says you can’t breed event horses? This one was born for the sport, through and through. His sire is the legendary Irish thoroughbred stallion Master Imp xx, and his dam is by the equally legendary Holsteiner stallion Cavalier Royale – both of whom have produced an absolute legion of successful top level eventers. Leamore Master Plan has even more TB blood on the bottom of his pedigree thanks to Golden Bash xx, making up his 80% blood.
Troubadour Camphoux – there are two generalizations about the horses ridden by Frenchmen that are almost always true in eventing: 1) the horse they’re sat on was most likely also born and bred in France, 2) it’s probably got some blood close up in the pedigree, usually French Anglo Arab. This horse ticks both boxes. His sire Idem de B’Neville is a Selle Francais who showjumped through the 1.60m level. His dam is a French Anglo Arab (by Veganum X) who also produced a 1.40m showjumper. The model of SF stallion crossed on a high blood mare is pretty classic of the French event horses, probably because it works. All of the blood in his pedigree – 62% – combined with the jumping ability serves him in good stead for eventing.
fischerWild Wave – from a typical French model we move straight to a typical German model, with a horse by a thoroughbred stallion out of a jumper-bred Holsteiner mare (spoiler alert, you will probably be very tired of the TB + Holsteiner thing by the end of this post). Wild Wave’s sire is Water Dance xx, who actually competed through 1.45m level showjumping in addition to dabbling in eventing and dressage. He’s from the Sadler’s Wells and Blushing Groom lines, which are probably quite familiar to any TB fans. Wild Wave’s dam Uquina (by Acrobat II) showjumped through the 1.40m level herself before becoming a broodmare. fischerWild Wave comes in at 64% blood. He also competed in young horse classes earlier in his career (and went to the world championships for young event horses at Mondial du Lion).
Gortfadda Diamond – this one is an Irish horse, which is far from rare in eventing, but he’s a bit atypical in that he’s actually a real IRISH horse, with zero continental warmblood breeding to be found. He’s mostly TB (78%) with a traditional Irish Sport Horse sire line of successful showjumpers. His sire Watervalley Cool Diamond showjumped to 1.30m level, and his sire Coolcorron Cool Diamond showjumped to 1.60m level. Gortfadda Diamond’s dam was a full TB from familiar sport lines such as Arctic Tern xx and Strong Gale xx. He also competed in young horse classes earlier in his career.
Ricker Ridge Rui – You guys are never gonna guess how this one is bred. Add another one to the list of horses with a Holsteiner sire out of a high TB blood mare, although this one is a New Zealand-bred. Ricker Ridge Rui’s sire is the Holsteiner stallion Littorio sire of successful showjumpers and eventers who spent much of his breeding career based in New Zealand (where Rui was bred). The dam is by another NZ based jumper-bred stallion Corlando, out of a full TB mare, giving Ricker Ridge Rui a blood percentage of 66%.
Vegas des Boursons – Another shocker here: it’s a French-bred horse that’s by a Selle Francais stallion out of a high blood mare. Vegas is by the showjumping stallion Allegreto, who competed through the 1.60m level. His dam, Clio des Boursons, is by the thoroughbred stallion Tin Soldier xx out of a Selle Francais mare. Vegas has 67% blood. Vegas des Boursons also did compete in young horse classes earlier in his career (and went to the world championships for young event horses at Mondial du Lion).
LEB Lias Jewel – Am I the only one who loved seeing Cathal Daniels on another quick-footed little mare? He clearly has a type. This horse is an Irish-bred by the Holsteiner stallion Limmerick, who should be pretty familiar to anyone who follows sport breeding, as he’s sired a ridiculous number of top level showjumpers and eventers in Ireland. Lias Jewel’s dam is an Irish Sport Horse from traditional Irish lines on top, with the TB stallion Imperius xx (sire of aforementioned Master Imp xx) appearing on the bottom. The very bottom of this horse’s pedigree isn’t recorded, so best guess is that she’s got at least 43% TB blood, likely more. Lias Jewel’s dam has also produced one other FEI level event horse, a 7 year old that’s currently competed through 2*L. LEB Lias Jewel also did compete in young horses classes earlier in her career.
Carneyhaugh Rua – Yet another Irish-bred horse, this one by a Selle Francais stallion out of high blood Holsteiner x TB mare, giving him a blood percentage of at least 57%. His sire Harlequin du Carel has been a fantastic and popular sire of showjumpers and event horses in Ireland through the highest level. His dam is by Cavalier Royale, who we’ve already talked about, out of a mare who is at least 3/4 TB (the very bottom of her pedigree is unrecorded). The dam has also produced another FEI level event horse who is currently competing at the 3* level. Carneyhaugh Rua also did compete in young horse classes earlier in his career.
Commander VG – This one’s a little bit more unusual in that he’s Danish-bred… don’t see too many of those. Really though he has a lot of (surprise) Holsteiner blood. His sire Come Back II is another stallion that was bred to showjump but ended up in the dressage ring, showing through Grand Prix level. His dam is by Abantos out of a Flemmingh mare, giving him a lot of jumper-bred-but-good-at-dressage horses in his pedigree, and he still manages to have 58% blood. Commander VG also did compete in young horse classes earlier in his career (and went to the world championships for young event horses at Mondial du Lion).
Shannondale Quest – hope y’all aren’t tired of Irish-bred horses with a lot of Holsteiner yet. This one is by 1.60m showjumper Cascaletto (Cassini x Caletto) out of a Clover Hill mare with good bit of Thoroughbred, giving Shannondale Quest 52% blood. His dam has also produced a 1.60m showjumper and another FEI level eventer (2*).
Barnahown Corn Hill – This one has one of those extremely incomplete Irish pedigrees that makes me totally twitchy. We know that Barnahown Corn Hill is by a TB stallion, Chinook Eclipse xx (who has a decidedly American pedigree), and out of a mare named Mats Lady, but unfortunately her breeding is completely unrecorded. So the horse has at least 50% blood, likely more but who knows, and your guess is as good as mine on the mare. Barnahown Corn Hill did compete in young horse classes earlier in his career (and went to the world championships for young event horses at Mondial du Lion).
Shanaclough Contadora – I’m out of unique ways to say this… look, it’s another Irish-bred horse with a lot of Holsteiner. This one is by 1.35m showjumper Contador (another Cassini son) out of an Irish Sporthorse mare by Coevers Diamond Boy, but still clocks in at 54% blood. Shanaclough Contadora did compete in young horse classes earlier in her career (and went to the world championships for young event horses at Mondial du Lion).
Burry Spirit – Last but not least, the lone Dutch-bred entry, but guess what that pedigree really contains? If you didn’t say Holsteiner I’m not sure you’ve been paying any attention at all. Indeed this horse is by the Holsteiner showjumper stallion Casco, who competed to 1.60m level, and out of 1.30m showjumper mare by the Holsteiner stallion Indoctro. His dam has also produced 5 other horses with showjumping results in the database, with two at 1.40m and one at 1.50m. Burry Spirit has only 39% thoroughbred blood.
All in all it was a pretty typical field for a 5*, as far as breeding goes, with a lot of the same lines and same trends that we’re used to seeing at that level. Hopefully you guys liked the slightly deeper dive/more detail on all the horses so you can kind of see why I say or point out the things that I do on these posts. Let me know what you think!