NOW that the dust has settled at Pratoni, which bloodlines, stories and studbooks stand out?
The main story is that the Irish eventing team secured its Paris Olympics qualification and while there was no repeat of Ireland’s team silver medal magic at Tryon four years ago, at least there was one Irish Sport Horse on the USA team that took that same colour medal at these world championship: Off The Record.
The Peter Brady-bred was both the highest-placed Irish Sport Horse and Team USA horse in seventh place with Will Coleman.
There was also the exceptional performance of another Irish-bred, Leamore Master Plan (11th), competing with Ariel Grand as an individual for the USA. Had the pair been on the official team of four, the Americans would have repeated their gold medal win at Jerez de la Frontera 20 years ago.
Selle Français breeding dominated the medals podium with both the individual gold and silver medal winning horses flying the French flag. In fact, it was a replay of the Tokyo individual results with another one-two for French-breds at Pratoni: championship newcomer Banzai du Loir and Tokyo gold medallist Amande de B’Neville.
Plus, 50% of the victorious German team members rode Selle Français horses: Julia Krajewski’s Amande de B’Neville and Sandra Auffarth’s Viamant de Matz.
Of the 68 horses still in the running by Sunday, nine were Selle Français; followed by six Irish Sport Horses and five British-breds from the Sport Horse (GB) studbook, including Colorado Blue. The Jaguar Mail grey finished best of the Irish squad in individual 18th place.
In the final top-10 horses breakdown, the score is Selle Français (3), Hanoverian (2) and one apiece for the Anglo European Studbook, Deutsches Sportpferde (SATHÜ), Holsteiner Verband, Irish Sport Horse and Sport Horse (GB).
We can expect to see the Selle Français studbook jump in the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horse (WBFSH) rankings after those Pratoni results. Still displaying the July rankings on its website, the studbook title race shows the Irish Sport Horse (899 points), ahead of its Holsteiner (850) and Selle Français (813) rivals.
How did the Irish-breds fare?
SO how did Irish-breds fare compared to Tryon? Not as well, as there were two Irish-breds - Quarrycrest Echo (ISH) and Arctic Soul (TB) - on the victorious British team there and three - Horseware Ardagh Highlight (ISH) [TIH], Horseware Stellor Rebound (ISH) and Rioghan Rua (ISH) - on Ireland’s silver medal team.
Two of those five - Horseware Stellor Rebound (fifth) and Quarrycrest Echo (10th) - also finished in the top-10 at those championships four years ago.
Susie Berry and Monbeg by Design (ISH) jumping clear on the final day \ Tomas Holcbecher
By comparison at Pratoni, Off The Record did maintain the Irish Sport Horse presence in the team medals table, as well as upholding a top-10 result by at least one Irish-bred at the world championships.
Was there a pattern to breeding a Pratoni medal-winning horse? Or indeed any five-star horse that can produce a low dressage score, unheard of at previous world championships, beat the time over short-format technical cross-country courses and jump clear over a 1.30m course the next day?
Both the French-bred individual medal-winning horses follow quite a similar pattern of a 1.50m jumping stallion crossed with a dam with at least 50% TB blood.
Banzai du Loir (66.21% TB) is by Nouma D’Auzay, a stallion that started his show jumping career with none other than Franke Sloothaak. The horse’s moderate record on the FEI database shows he had four more riders, rounding off his international career with seventh place in the Grand Prix at Helsingborg CSI2* in Sweden.
By the Capitol I son Carthago out of the Quidam de Revel mare Hadvia D’Auzay, his topline shows the inroads made by continental bloodlines into Selle Français breeding.
Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir at the FEI World Championships in Pratoni where they took the individual gold medal \ Tomas Holcbecher
Banzai du Loir’s dam Gerboise du Cochet has one of those pedigrees full of French greats, including the thoroughbred pair of Furioso and Rantzau in her sire Livaro’s line and a third - Wild Risk - in her thoroughbred dam Passera’s family tree.
Wild Risk is always an interesting sight as he appears in both the pedigrees of Bassompierre and on both sides of Tina Cook’s multi-medal winning horse Miners Frolic.
Amande de B’Neville (45.31% TB) is another to combine jumping lines with stout Selle Français dam lines. Her 20-year-old sire Oscar des Fontaines, by the Danish-bred Lando and also featuring Plot Blue’s sire Mr. Blue in his pedigree, was still competing earlier this year with his Czech rider Sara Vingralkova. She has produced this sire of an Olympic gold medallist eventer since he was a youngster.
On paper, bronze medallist horse Falco (29.10% TB) is one of the least likely five-star horses, compared to the more classically bred fellow Hannoverian fischerChipmunk FRH.
Falco’s pedigree includes solid Holsteiner and Westfalian names such as Corrado I, Weinberg and Pilot, more associated with producing show jumping horses. Whereas fischerChipmunk’s sire and dam sire are Contendro I and Heraldik, two of the leading event horse sires in modern rankings.
However, horses defy paper pedigrees and thoroughbred percentages. Falco came home clear within the time on cross-country day, jumped a clear show jumping round and fischerChipmunk had two fences down to lose the gold medal. That’s the sport of eventing.
Pedigrees are about narrowing the odds, not a guarantee.
Gold - Banzai du Loir (SF) by Nouma D’Auzay - Gerboise Du Cochet, by Livarot. Breeder: Pierre Gouye. Rider: Yasmin Ingham (GBR).
Silver - Amande de B’Neville (SF) by Oscar des Fontaines - Perle de B’Neville, by Elan de la Cour. Breeder: Jean-Baptiste Thiebot. Rider: Julia Krajewski (GER).
Bronze - Falco (HANN) by Cardenio 2 - Witta, by Weinberg. Breeder: Norbert Nowark. Rider: Tim Price (NZL).
Top 10 by studbook
1.Banzai du Loir (SF)
2.Amande de B’Neville (SF)
4.Lordships Graffalo (SHB(GB))
5.fischerChipmunk FRH (HANN)
7.Off The Record (ISH)
8.Vinci de la Vigne (SF)
9.Mai Baum (DSP (SATHÜ))
Team Ireland - fifth
COLORADO BLUE (SHB(GB)) by Jaguar Mail (SF) - Rock Me Baby (AES), by Rock King (SHB(GB)). Breeder: Kate Jarvey. Rider: Austin O’Connor.
FALLULAH (WESTF) by Fidertanz (RHEIN) - Devona (WESTF), by Di Versace (HANN). Breeder: Michael Morris. Rider: Padraig McCarthy.
MONBEG BY DESIGN (ISH) by Pacino (BWP) - Eskerhills Lexis (ISH), by Puissance (ISH)[TIH]. Breeder: Fiona Molloy. Rider: Susie Berry.
SAP TALISMAN (ISH)[TIH] by Puissance (ISH)[TIH] - Ali Row (TB), by Ali-Royal. Breeder: Rosemary Ponsonby. Rider: Sam Watson.
By the numbers
20 - year drought since the last USA team medal at the eventing world championships.
19 - Irish-breds on WEG medal-winning eventing teams in this millennium.
5 - double clears, all within the time, recorded on cross-country and show jumping days by Amande de B’Neville, Falco, Lordships Graffalo, Zaragoza and Leamore Master Plan (ISH).
4 - year-old Sligo Candy Boy half-brother to Off The Record for sale.
3 - Selle Français individual gold medal horses in the past 20 years:
Espoir de la Mare (2002), Opgun Louvo (2014) and Banzai du Loire (2022).
2 - mares in the top-10: Amande de B’Neville and Zaragoza.
1 - Irish Sport Horse team medal horse at Pratoni: Off The Record (silver).
0 - penalty show jumping rounds for the Irish Sport Horses Leamore Master Plan, Monbeg By Design and Off The Record.
Did you know
The nine-year-old mare was the youngest in the Pratoni top-10 for the best-placed French rider Gaspard Maksud. “Jessie Heatherington, a lady from Donegal, bred Saracen’s Pride out of Sandra’s Pride, who, as I recall, was an unregistered mare,” Jane told The Irish Field this week.
“A quality mare, though not quite as much the blood type that Zoe [Zaragoza] is. From the very beginning, I was struck by Zara’s class and quality and managed to buy her.
“Thinking she could do with a break I decided to breed from her and selected Cevin Z as the stallion I would use. Talking to the locally based Donal Barnwell, he commended the stallion for his talent, athleticism and temperament - an easy and really kind horse - and after seeing some of his fantastically beautiful and talented offspring I was smitten, he was a fabulous stallion and I’ve never regretted that decision,” added Jane.
Next week: FEI World Championship show jumping bloodlines.