Don Deluxe, Champion of the 2013 Oldenburg Stallion Licensing

Sun, 11/24/2013 - 22:44
Oldenburg Breeding News

The exceptional Don Deluxe (by De Niro x Rosario x Feiner Stern) was rightfully named champion of the 2013 Oldenburg Stallion Licensing in Vechta, Germany, on Saturday 23 November 2013. The superb chestnut was the only real "stallion" in a collection of many modern young sport horses. While the overall quality was outstanding on a sport horse level, the collection was quite meager when it came down to sire potential.

The absence of the promising Vitalis x Donnerhall as well as an interesting Rock Forever x Sevillano xx and the half-blood by Temptation x Octagonal xx  stole some of the licensing's thunder from the start. Especially the Vitalis x Diamond Hit appeared to be the most talented colt in the pre-selection and on video, and many stallion buyers have already knocked on owner Arnd Schwierking's door to buy him months before the licensing. A tooth infection has kept the stallion away from Vechta. His withdrawal gave the De Niro x Rosario plenty of space to shine and reign supreme at this year's licensing.

Bred by Josef Greten and owned by Johannes Westendarp, Don Deluxe (by De Niro x Rosario) stood out on day one with his exceptional balance and bounce in trot. He was a league of his own on the lunge line with great, rhythmical strides, always pushing from behind. He lifted himself in front and moved with an uphill tendency. In canter the stallion became slightly fixed in the top line and lost the clear 3-beat rhythm but this improved in freedom. The horse always walked with much ground cover and a clear 4-beat rhythm. He was the most complete stallion in the collection, with a sire attitude and an eye-catching presence.

Don Deluxe was such a stand-out that all buyers gathered at the auction eager to acquire this colt. The bidding went fast but Danish Andreas Helgstrand held the last bid of 910,000 euro for knock down and became the new, sole owner of this talented horse. He will present the stallion in December at the Hanoverian late-licensing. At home the stallion was amicably named Don W(estendarp) by the grooms at his home, but Helgstrand revealed Don Deluxe as his official name shortly after the licensing.

The Oldenburg licensing committee approved 19 dressage stallions in total and invited six to the premium ring.

There was no doubt about the reserve champion. The beautiful bright bay Quattromani (by Quaterback x Latimer x Rubinstein) was the second stallion that could achieve overall applause from the crowds during the three licensing days. On the lunge line the horse had much cadence and regularity in trot, he was always lightfooted, had much freedom in the shoulder and moved with much elegance.  The canter was uphill, but there could have been more flexion in the hind leg. The walk was not the greatest. Though he had good overtrack, the rhythm could have been clearer.  He sold at auction for 220,000 euro to Massener Heide.

The third ranked stallion raised some eye-brows. Bred and owned by Paul Schockemohle, the dark bay Furstenball x Sandro Hit x Contender was far from the best Furstenball in the collection! While the colt was very appealing with his looks (gorgeous face and neck), the hindlegs were too "Sandro Hit": long and a bit slow. On the lunge line, the horse showed good willingness to work, but the hind legs definitely needed to engage more. Also in canter there wasn't enough flexion in the joint. His walk was superior though. This stallion was not offered for sale.

The best Furstenball of the collection was without a doubt the smaller Furstenglory (by Furstenball x Rohdiamant x Glorieux), which was elastic on the lunge line and impressed with his trot. He moved nicely off the ground. The canter was good, but not superb, yet the walk was world class.  On the final day Furstenglory could have pushed a bit more behind, but he certainly was the best quality Furstenball of the three presented. American Grand Prix rider Jennifer Hoffmann made a very good deal when she acquired this boy at auction for 55,000 euro.

Three more premium stallions were ranked in fourth place. Aloys and Christian Hinxlage's bright bay Barchello (by Belissimo M x Sandro Hit x Langata Express xx) was another gorgeous colt with a lovely, elegant trot and super freedom in the shoulder. He moves quite narrow at the base but is very lightfooted. The canter on the lunge line was unbalanced but his strides had uphill tendency. Unfortunately he failed in walk and often became lateral. He sold for 85,000 euro to Singapore.

The black Del Ponte (by Dante Weltino x Pïk Noir x Adlerflügel) was one of three colts from Dante Weltino's first crop. Bred by Monika Hartwich and owned by Dressage Performance Centre Lodbergen, this refined looking black stallion has a lot of flexion in the hocks. On the lunge line he was quick and active from behind but could move the hind legs more towards the gravity point. He was tense in canter, but the hind legs were reaching. He has nice knee action but the walk was mediocre. 

The American bred Dante Coeur (by Dante Weltino x Royal Hit x Le Coeur) was not licensed even though the tall bay stallion was a very impressive mover. The bay had a superior model to the DW x Pik Noir, but unfortunately he paddled extremely with his right front leg, a default which most likely cost him the licensed status even though he makes an outstanding young dressage prospect.

The third fourth ranked premium was Santo Dottore, a lovely black Sir Donnerhall I x Rubinstein I x Feiner Stern colt out of the same dam line as the champion stallion. Bred by Gunter Luschen and owned by SH Sportpferde, this sporty young stallion stood out in the collection. The trot on the lunge line was good with an active, reaching hind leg and a beautiful front, the canter was always nicely uphill. In freedom he could have been a bit quicker behind but always moved in a funtional and motivated way. The self carriage could improve. The walk was ok. He sold at auction for 70,000 euro to Denmark, but upon inspection in the stall after the auction an issue with the stallion's testical was revealed on the horse's vet report. Eurodressage has asked the Oldenburg verband for a statement, but at the time the information provided was that the stallion will lose his licensed status because of this health issue accidentally overlooked by the verband. The sale to Denmark was cancelled.

One stallion that couldn't make it to the premium ring, but that deserves credit is the Hanoverian branded Florencio x Sandro Hit x Donnerhall.  Bred by Rolf Peter Schulze and owned by Norbert Nowak, the black stallion is quite long in the back but was impressive on the lunge line. He was always uphill oriented, both in trot and canter and moved with a strong hind leg. The fact that he sold at auction for 100,000 euro to Gerd Sosath says enough. The Danish bred Rockas Langholt (by Rock Forever x Welt Hit II x Windsor) also impressed with his athleticism, nice front and super cadence in trot. He showed good self carriage in canter, even on the small voltes on the lunge line. He sold at auction for 60,000 euro.

Two Furst Romancier colts were presented at this year's approval and both failed to impress enough to be licensed. The Furst Romancier x Sandro Hit x Donnerschwee moved with a stiff front leg and a fixed topline. The Furst Romancier x Sandro Hit x Rubinstein was incredibly hard in the mouth on the lunge line, leaned on the bit and moved on the forehand.

Bernadette Brune's Dutch warmblood registered Grimaldi (by Totilas x Krack C x Ferro) became the second licensed Totilas offspring so far. The gorgeous black stallion is an appealing type with a very sympathetic face and sporty conformation. On the lunge line he underwhelmed with a normal hind leg and lack of power and push, but he made up for that in freedom. Then he was active behind and off the ground.  He was renamed Tolegro.

It was quite easy to follow the thinking process of the Oldenburg licensing committee this year. Only on a few occasions it was surprising to see them license certain colts, which failed to impress in our eyes. For instance the Bordeaux x Florestan did not have enough power from behind and a very limited walk and the Charmeur x Special D had a very crooked right hind hoof and often moved with a body crooked to the right. Especially on the lunge line, he was slow behind and was sometimes short-long in front in walk.

Overall the 2013 Oldenburg stallion licensing was a wonderful event with a nice collection of young stallion, one highlight and a wonderful stallion parade on Saturday afternoon (article about that later). The auction was a huge success thanks to the price highlight of 910,000 euro which pushed the average price for a licensed stallion up to 130,643 euro. The average price for a non-licensed stallion was 20,429 euro.

Text by Astrid Appels
Photos © Ridehesten - LL-foto

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