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Dominant bloodlines at the Europeans in Rotterdam

When taking a closer look at the top horses at the European Dressage Championships 2011 certain bloodlines seem to be painting the picture

Double individual gold winner Jerich Parzival has legendary Ulft as his dam sire (Photo:
d. 22-08-2011 - 07:03

Taking a closer look at the 64 competing horses at the European Dressage Championships 2011 in Rotterdam one will find that most are of German, Dutch and Danish origins. The Dutch studbook KWPN was represented by nothing less than 15 horses, Danish Warmblood by 10 and the Hanoverian studbook by 8 competing horses.
Three sires stood out as very strong progenitors at the championships. Trakehner stallion Gribaldi by Kostoloany x Ibikus had four offspring in the Grand Prix whilst the KWPN stallion Michellino by Michelangelo x Ulft and the Oldenburg stallion Donnerhall by Donnerwetter x Markus both had three offspring.
Furthermore, the Donnerhall sons Blue Hors Don Schufro and De Niro each had two offspring competing. Equally represented by two offspring were sires Florestan I, Master, Rohdiamant and Solos Carex.


Ulft plays the lead role
Despite the fact that KWPN stallion Ferro only had one direct offspring competing at the Europeans he was still strongly represented. His son Metall is the sire of Uthopia and his son Negro is the sire of Valegro, both of which were on the British gold winning team. Ferro is sired by the legendary Ulft who proved be the most influential stallion at the championships in Rotterdam. Not only is Ulft the dam sire of Michellino, who had three offspring in Rotterdam; he is also the dam sire of the double individual gold winner Jerich Parzival. This is how Ulft appears in the pedigree of the most successful horses at the Euoropean Dressage Championships 2011:


Ulft in 2nd generation Jerich Parzival Double individual gold and team bronze
Ulft in 3rd generation Uthopia Double individual silver and team gold
Ulft in 3rd generation Mistral Højris Individual bronze and team gold
Ulft in 3rd generation Valegro Team gold
Ulft in 3rd generation Elmegaardens Marquis Team gold


Ulft was born in 1978 by Le Mexico x Pericles xx and was strongly used in Dutch sport horse breeding during the 80’s. Just like top sires Florestan I and Jazz the sire line of Ulft goes straight back to the thoroughbred stallion Furioso xx.


Donnerhall the King of dressage
The Oldenburg stallion Donnerhall made a name for himself already as a young horse and is considered to be the most influential sire of dressage horses in recent times. In Rotterdam it was quite remarkable that all three sons of Donnerhall - Damon Hill, Digby and Donnperignon - made it to Grand Prix Special where they placed 8th, 9th and 10th. So nearly a third of the top ten horses in the Special were sired by the late Donnerhall.
This means that all three of them easily qualified for the Grand Prix Freestyle, but unfortunately for Christoph Koschel and Donnperignon the FEI rules prescribe that each nation can be represented by a maximum of three riders in the Freestyle, and Germany had all four riders in the top ten. In the Freestyle Damon Hill took 8th place again and Digby placed 10th.