IT’s a fascinating piece of work by the Hippomundo team: going back over top level show jumping results to see which studbook has supplied the most five-star Grand Prix wins.

Collated since 2015, when the Belgian database began, there’s a clear-cut winner: Belgium’s Belgissch Warmbloedpaard (BWP). The BWP has produced no less than 92 winners in this timeframe, followed by the KWPN (71) and Selle Français (60).

Hippomundo’s ‘Data is King’ policy shows through in their analysis. “Until now, it was impossible to publish those numbers and statistics as no company was collecting and centralising such massive data on a daily basis,” its CEO and founder Koen Terryn told The Irish Field this week.

“Thanks to Hippomundo, which is collecting and combining all international data of specific horses since 2015, we now have a better idea about all the numbers and percentages of all participants in our sport.”

Not surprisingly, the top-10 comes down to a 50/50 draw between the powerhouse Benelux (BWP, KWPN, Zangersheide and sBs) and German (Holsteiner, Westfalian, Hanoverian and OS) studbooks. Rounding off the top-10 group are the Selle Français, another breeding nation always in the reckoning, and Anglo European studbooks.

Grouping these studbooks together by country leads to another interesting statistic found on the Hippomundo database.

Per country, horses from 27 German studbooks have collectively earned the most to date this year, with prize money of over €16 million earned at all levels. Germany is followed by Belgium (€13,571,917. Three studbooks) and France (€8,288,659. Nine studbooks).

Five countries break the seven-figure barrier, including Ireland in fifth place on €2,025,759. Like Belgium, Ireland has three studbooks listed.

The Irish Sport Horse studbook (€1,834,386, 648 horses) makes up the lion’s share of prize money won so far in 2023, followed by the Breeders Elite Studbook for Irish & European Sport Horses (€181,197, 63 horses) and the Warmblood Studbook of Ireland (€176, four horses).

However, looking at the average prize money sum won per country, Ireland currently tops this category on €2,829, followed by Germany (€2,399) and Sweden (€2,070). A pretty remarkable strike rate and due largely to the successes of James Kann Cruz, Pacino Amiro and MHS Calais.

Bertram Allen and Pacino Amiro (ISH) at the FEI World Championships in Herning \ Tomas Holcbecher

1.60m kings

All three are 1.60m Grand Prix winners. James Kann Cruz (Kannan - CSF Telly Cruz, by Cruising) and Shane Sweetnam were narrowly pipped in Vancouver’s 1.60m Grand Prix last week but the grey had already won his first five-star last year in the American Cup Grand Prix at Traverse City in Michigan.

Pacino Amiro (Pacino - Carnone Dancing Queen, by NC Amiro) is a consistent podium finisher for Bertram Allen, recently placing third in the 1.60m Windsor Grand Prix and has already scored two lucrative five-star Grand Prix wins at the Winter Equestrian Festival at Wellington in 2021 and 2022.

Like James Kann Cruz, MHS Calais (Cavalier Royale) was another to record his first five-star Grand Prix win in 2022. He and Mikey Pender won at the Valkenswaard round of the Global Champions Tour last August, followed up two months later by winning the Grand Prix at the Riyadh leg of the Tour.

The €300,000 prize money won there brought the 12-year-old’s Hippomundo tally to €914,079 and the Cavalier Royale gelding is well on-track to breaking the million euro mark.

Pacino Amiro has already reached seven figures with the 11-year-old’s international earnings, since 2015, now standing at €1,372,072, while James Kann Cruz’s Hippomundo current account is €748,422.

These are all young horses. These and more 1.60m Grand Prix wins could well see the Irish Sport Horse studbook break into Hippomundo’s top-10 five-star winners tables in the future.

The trio’s results also place their breeders - Patrick Connolly, Simon Scott and the late Ita Brennan - at the top of Hippomundo’s current leading Irish breeders’ leaderboard.

The Hippomundo database arrived on the scene long after the era of Clover Hill and Cruising progeny. However, both stallions appear in the second and third generations of James Kann Cruz and Pacino Amiro’s pedigrees.

It’s interesting also to see Cruising in third place in the dam sire rankings (after Winningmood and Jalisco B), based on the average sum won by these stallions’ second generation offspring in international competition.

Shane Sweetnam and James Khan Cruz (ISH) in action at the 2022 Dublin Horse Show \ Laurence Dunne


Back to Lien Hendrickx’s Hippomundo website article about five-star winners and each studbook’s top Grand Prix horse.

The BWP’s Grand Prix star was Gazelle (BWP. Kashmir van’t Schuttershof x Indoctro) with 13 wins, followed in top-10 studbook order by Explosion W (KWPN. Nine), Hermes Ryan (SF. Five), Casall ASK (HOLST. Six), Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z (ZANG. Six), Clooney 51 (WESTF. Five), HH Azur (sBs. Eight), Fit For Fun (HANN. Five), Balou du Reventon (OS. Three) and Lizziemary (AES. Six).

There should have been more Grand Prix class results, however the pandemic brought the international circuit to a halt. The other caveat is that results always need to be seen in context. The same applies to rankings, yet detailed rankings like these are a great resource.

Koen Terryn is in no doubt about the value of rankings and information.

“It is helping us to see how our sport is evolving and is evaluated as it gives also answers to questions such as: are horses able to stay longer in international sport than before, or not? Who is winning what and does that change over the years? How many mares produced 40+ offspring in their career, carried on her own, plus ET and ICSI? What are the average foal prices at public auctions? Are there big differences in numbers between the different countries or continents? What is the average prize money per horse per country and per rider?

“Those are only a handful of questions whose answers are very useful for the decision makers in our sport. This information is also very useful for organisations like the FEI, WBFSH, studbooks, national federations and, of course, for all journalists and sport horse lovers like myself.”