Yesterday, the world watched in awe as the reigning World and European champion, German event rider Michael Jung, swept team and individual Olympic gold.
In equestrian competition, whenever a system–be it an individual’s system or a country’s system–seems to be thriving, it’s useful to look to that system and see what we can learn from it.
In this case, the Germans seem to have real program in place for producing and developing both its riders and its horses.
Their ability to breed world-class event horses, in particular, is worth examining. How do they do it?
Consider the breeding of Jung’s gold-medal partner, Sam, who is at this moment arguably the best event horse in the world.
Sam’s success in the sport isn’t an accident–he was purpose-bred to be a champion. Sam’s grandsire Heraldik xx of Germany also sired the 2012 Olympic competitors FRH Butts Abraxxas ridden by Jung’s teammate Ingrid Klimke; Butts Leon, ridden by Thailand’s Nina Ligon; and Happy Times, ridden by Sam Griffiths of Australia. His son Ekwador will be competing later this week for the Polish Olympic dressage team with rider Katarzyna Milczarek.
If you’re interested at all in the German breeding system, here’s some required reading:
The book is available through our friends at World Equestrian Brands, who explain:
The gorgeous, hardcover book depicting the bloodlines of selected sires of Germany is a must-have library addition for breeders and riders everywhere. World Equestrian Brands is offering the 2012-2013 edition of “Ausgewahlte Hengste Deutchlands,” which translates to “Selected Sires of Germany,” and information on the book will be available through their website.
“This book is a must for breeders and riders, as it is a great resource pertaining to many of the bloodlines people are investing in. The photography is excellent and bloodlines are depicted in a tree showing four generations of every horse in the book,” said Robin Moore, President of World Equestrian Brands, the United States distributor of Amerigo saddles and strap goods, Amerigo Vega saddles, Vespucci, E.A. Mattes and Equilibrium products.
The hardcover book features 608 pages written in German, packed with great images of the stallions. “It comes with a CD that lists the stallions in English that are in the hardcover book, with in-depth bloodline information, as well as a performance and breeding records when available which makes it useful for breeders and competitors alike,” Moore said. “Even if you don’t speak or read German, you won’t have trouble thanks to the translation guide.”
Thank you, World Equestrian Brands, for making this book available to us.