NEXT Saturday (August 6th) ushers in the start of the ECCO FEI World Championships (August 6th - 14th) in Herning, Denmark.

For dressage breeding fans, it will be a feast of bloodlines. Traditionally, KWPN and various German studbooks, mainly the Hanoverian and Westfalian societies, finish nearest the podium at these championships. Although the host nation of Denmark too has a good track record in producing individual medallists, having notched up three silver medals since 2002.

Taking a look at the individual medals won in this millennium, the German studbooks had an advantage at the earlier Games. Then the KWPN pair of Totilas and Valegro dominated the medals at two successive championships, before the two main German dressage studbooks took gold and bronze at Tryon.

It’s not always about fashionable bloodlines as Rusty, a Latvian warmblood, and his German rider Ulla Salzgeber proved in their heyday.

Few breeder-riders are found in the archives. One exception was Heike Holstein’s home-bred mare Sambuca, recently sold to America.

Two KWPN-breds, a Westfalian and a Portuguese Lusitano provide the horsepower for Ireland’s dressage team at Herning next week.

Similarly, there are two German-breds and an Anglo European Studbook-registered horse amongst the para dressage team horses. Completing the quartet is the Danish-registered Fahrenheit, back on home ground at Herning.


  • Gold - Farbenfroh (WESTF. Herrman’s Freudentö). Rider: Nadine Capellman (GER).
  • Silver - Beauvalais (HANN. Bolero). Rider: Beatrice Ferrer-Salat (ESP).
  • Bronze - Rusty (LWA. Rebuss). Rider: Ulla Salzgeber (GER).
  • 2006 - AACHEN

  • Gold - Satchmo (HANN. Sao Paolo). Rider: Isabell Werth (GER).
  • Silver - Salinero (HANN. Salineri. Rider: Anky van Grunsven (NED).
  • Bronze - Matine (DWB. Silvermoon). Rider: Andreas Helgstrand (NOR).

  • Gold - Salinero (HANN).
  • Silver - Matine (DWB).
  • Bronze- Satchmo (HANN).
  • 2010 - LEXINGTON

  • Gold - Moorlands Totilas (KWPN. Gribaldi). Rider: Edward Gal (NED).
  • Silver - Mistral Hojris (DWB. Michellino). Rider: Laura Becholsteiner (GB).
  • Bronze - Ravel (KWPN. Contango). Rider: Steffen Peters (USA).

  • Gold - Moorlands Totilas (KWPN).
  • Silver - Mistral Hojris (DWB).
  • Bronze - Ravel (KWPN).
  • 2014 - CAEN

  • Gold - Valegro (KWPN. Negro). Rider: Charlotte Dujardin (GB)
  • Silver - Damon Hill (WESTF. Donnerhall. Rider: Helen Langehanenberg (GER).
  • Bronze - Desperados (HANN. De Niro). Rider: Kristina Sprehe (GER).

  • Gold - Valegro (KWPN).
  • Silver - Damon Hill (WESTF).
  • Bronze - Parzival (KWPN. Jazz). Rider: Adelinde Cornelissen (NED).
  • 2018 - TRYON

  • Gold - Bella Rose (WESTF. Bellissimo). Rider: Isabella Werth (GER).
  • Silver - Verdades (KWPN. Florett As). Rider: Laura Graves (USA).
  • Bronze - Mount St John Freestyle (HANN. Fidermark). Rider: Charlotte Dujardin (GB).
  • (The Freestyle competition was cancelled at Tryon due to Hurricane Florence).

    By the numbers


    - euros. Moorlands Totilas stud fee at the peak of his breeding career. His fee later dropped to €2,500.


    - individual gold medals won by KWPN-breds: Totilas (2010) and Valegro (2014).


    - individual silver medals won by the DWB, the host nation’s studbook: Matine (2006) and Mistral Hojris (2010).


    - studbooks tie for three bronze medals apiece: the Hanoverian Verband and KWPN.


    - medal winner for the Latvian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association (LWA): Rusty.

    Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas, winners of the Grand Prix Special and Freestyle at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington \ Dirk Caremans


  • Going green: the dressage judges huts are made from recycled timber, plus a 20,000-hectare forest will be planted in Herning as a legacy of the 2022 World Championships.
  • Farbenfroh’s name translates as ‘colourful’. The striking chesnut, a dual individual and team gold horse at Jerez de la Frontera, was instantly recognisable with his broad blaze and stockings.
  • Two clones of Rusty, the individual bronze medallist horse at Jerez, were born in 2013 in France and Texas, USA.
  • The nine-year-old Imhotep, Charlotte Dujardin’s latest medal hopeful, is a son of the Lord Leatherdale stallion Everdale, himself named as GB teammate Lottie Fry’s reserve horse for next week.
  • Lottie has also been named on the team with the 11-year-old stallion Glamourdale. Like Everdale, he’s another son of the Rheinlander sire Lord Leatherdale.
  • Like mother, like son: Another British teammate Richard Davison travels to Denmark with Bubblingh (Lingh - Ballaseyr Royale). Davison competed the dam - Ballaseyr Royale - at the 2002 World Equestrian Games.
  • Those Games, hosted in Jerez de la Frontera, proved to be vintage ones for future stallion stars. Both Jazz and Ferro appeared on the fifth-placed Dutch team at the 2006 World Equestrian Games. Judy Reynolds star performer Vancouver K is by Jazz out of a Ferro dam.
  • Jazz, or Broere Jazz to give him his full title, is also the sire of one of the Irish team horses: Alex Baker’s Dutchman.
  • Edward Gal is another to have competed two generations; Moorlands Totilas and his sire, the Trakehner Stallion of the Year: Gribaldi.
  • Totilas is the sire of another Irish team horse in Sorrell Klatzko’s Turbo.
  • Brentina, the Hanoverian mare that finished fourth 20 years ago in the Spanish-hosted World Equestrian Games, went on to represent the USA at two Olympic Games (Athens, 2004 and Hong Kong, 2008) with Debbie McDonald. Attempts to produce Totilas embryo transfer foals in 2011 proved unsuccessful.
  • In last year’s World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH) sire rankings, Jazz and Totilas ranked third and seventh respectively.
  • The host nation Denmark’s studbook - the DWB - finished fifth in the WBFSH rankings last year, with the KWPN yet again topping the leaderboard. A cluster of German studbooks - Hanoverian (second), Oldenburg (third) and Westfalian (fourth) filled the other top-five places.
  • Included in the Herning programme of events is the Danish elite foal auction on Tuesday, August 9th.
  • Irish dressage team at Herning

    Dutchman (KWPN). Jazz - Imagine, by Fantast. Breeder: J. Muilwijk. Rider: Alex Baker.

    Esporim (LUSIT) Pagad - Lequita, by Quiaz. Breeder: Coudelaria Do Monte Velho. Rider: Anna Merveldt.

    Giraldo (KWPN). Rousseau - Valenza, by Flemmingh. Breeder: G. Eggink. Rider: Abigail Lyle.

    Turbo (WESTF). Totilas - Falbala, by Florestan I. Breeder: Gudrun Isenbeck-Geue. Rider: Sorell Klatzko.

    Irish para-dressage team at Herning

    Chantal (HANN). Christ - Donnerfee, by Del Piero. Breeder: Hans-Herman Maack. Rider: Rosemary Gaffney.

    Cleverboy (KWPN). Vivaldi - Wanny, by Kennedy. Breeder: G. Gijsbers. Rider: Michael Murphy.

    Fahrenheit (DWB). Furst Romancier - Charisma Solyst. Breeder: J.E. Marcussen/ A. Hansen. Rider: Tamsin Addison.

    Serafina T (AES). Rossgold Sunstar - Leona, by Lungar. Breeder: Karin Hoerner. Rider: Kate Kerr-Horan.

    Next week: Show jumping.