I am probably one of the few bloggers nerdy enough to follow the young horse competitions in Europe, but this year I’m kinda glad I did. The Bundeschampionate (basically a big fancy word for the German Federal Championships for Young Horses and Ponies) is held in September every year features the best young sporthorses and sportponies in Europe. If you’re into breeding it’s a pretty cool thing to keep up with because you can compare and contrast a lot of different bloodlines at once.
The Bundes is no joke. Both sections of the eventing championship – the 5yo and the 6yo – have some pretty serious courses to conquer. The format isn’t exactly the same as a regular event – the courses are shortened, the gallop is assessed, they are scored numerically, etc. Basically they are evaluating the horse’s potential to go on and be successful at the upper levels of the sport. More like the Young Horse competitions here in the US, but on steriods. This is last year’s winner of the 5yo section.
I haven’t paid much attention to the dressage or jumping sections lately, but this year I did keep an eye on the eventing sections. Two horses in particular jumped out at me in the 5yo Finals. The first was a familiar name – QC Diamantair. We saw that horse when we were in Belgium at the awesome castle-like barn of Lara de Leidekerke’s.
The second that caught my eye was the eventual winner of the 5yo final, Michel 233. He’s by Mighty Magic out of a Hanoverian mare. Some of you may remember that I’m planning on breeding Sadie to Mighty Magic next year. Some of you might also remember that Sadie is Hanoverian/TB. So naturally when I saw Michel I perked right up and dug a little deeper into the pedigrees. Turns out that Michel’s dam has 4 relatives in common with the Hanoverian side of Sadie’s pedigree – Gotthard, Wendekreis, Abglanz, and Der Lowe. Granted, nothing super close up in the pedigree but definite similarities nonetheless. Very interesting, and pretty encouraging, that the 5yo Bundeschampionate winner is bred kind of similarly to what will hopefully be my next eventer.
Does anyone else pay attention to – or care – about young horse competitions, either here or abroad? I will be keeping a close eye on our Young Event Horse series as the time comes…