Where Are They Now? Capri Sonne JR

Fri, 05/05/2023 - 15:17
Laura Tomlinson and Capri Sonne Jr at the 2019 CDI Hagen :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Capri Sonne Jr is the black stallion that launched Dinja van Liere's international dressage career and was meant as a successor of Laura Tomlinson-Bechtolsheimer's Olympic medal winning top horse Mistral Hojris. The black stallion made his small tour debut in 2015 and his Grand Prix debut in 2018, but only showed at the highest level on the international stage for two years.

Where is he now? 

Dinja van Liere

Capri Sonne Jr is a 16-year old KWPN stallion by Rhodium out of Wendela (by San Remo x Glendale). He is bred by Renate van Steijn-van der Vliet.

Originally owned by Jan Cees van der Endt of company Duval, the stallion was first competed by the Yerseke based Nathalie van der Endt who began riding him in May 2011.

At the 2012 World YH Championships
A little later the stallion was allocated to young rider Dinja van Liere and became her career starting dressage horse. Van Liere began as an assistant rider at Leunus van Lieren's stable Hexagon in 2011 and got matched with the horse through Van Lieren. 

They were nominated on the Dutch team for the 2012 World Young Horse Championships in Verden and won bronze in the 5-year old division with a 8.94 score. A year later they returned to the 2013 World YH Championships but he did not pass the vet check due to an injury.

In 2014 he became Dutch Indoor Champion at Z-Licht level and then claimed the title at the Dutch Outdoor Championships at ZZ-level. They returned to Verden to compete in the 1* small tour class for past WCYH finalists and were fifth and fourth with 72% scores. 

 In February 2015 they claimed the VHO Trophy at the KWPN stallion licensing and a month later won the 2015 Dutch Indoor Championships at small tour level.

Sold to the U.K. 

In April 2015 Dr. Wilfried and Ursula Bechtolsheimer acquired the then 8-year old stallion as a successor for Mistral Hojris, who was retired from sport in December 2013.

At the 2015 CDIO Hagen
A month after purchase, Laura made her national small tour debut on Capri Sonne at the local show at Hunters Equestrian, winning a Prix St Georges with 71.97%. Their international show debut was at the CDIO Hagen in July 2015, where they were second in the Prix St Georges (74.684%) and second in the Intemediaire I (74.974%). 

Capri Sonne Jr then disappeared from the international show scene for three years. He did one national small tour show in June 2016 and then did not return to the arena until November 2017 as Laura gave birth to her second baby.

Grand Prix Career

The duo produced their first Intermediaire II test in January 2018 at the CDN Addington and rode their first Grand Prix at Hunters in May 2018 with a score of 68.30%. Laura picked up international showing on Capri Sonne at the end of May 2018 at the Aachen Dressage Days (68.348%) and went from there to Rotterdam and Hickstead. Laura did not show in the summer and autumn of 2018 as she was pregnant with her third child

At the 2019 CDI Hagen
In 2019 they campaigned in Hagen, Wiesbaden, Hartpury and Hickstead with scores between 66 and 70%.  The CDI Hickstead in July 2019 was the stallion's last international.

Nationally Laura and Capri continued at the 2019 British Grand Prix Championships and were third in the Grand Prix (71.06%) and seventh in the Freestyle (69.68%).  In 2020 they did three more national shows in February, July and August. They had to retire from two classes, while at the July show they got 70.90%

Where is He Now?

Capri Sonne Jr has not been out to compete since that event at Prestige Equestrian on 7 August 2020. Eurodressage asked Laura Tomlinson what her 16-year old stallion is doing now. 

"He is very happy in the field," Laura Told Eurodressage. "He retired from sport early as he developed a heart murmur and we were advised that, although he may be fine, the risk of heart attack during high level sport was greater than I would want to take!"

Wilfried Bechtolsheimer patting Capri at the
2018 Aachen Dressage Days
In 2014 Capri Sonne Jr was accepted as a breeding stallion for KWPN after a shortened performance test and also got approved for AES and Oldenburg. He did some breeding during his days at Stable Hexagon. In The Netherlands he sired the licensed stallion Capri's Jim Beam and Kaygo. His most famous offspring in sport, at the moment is Jillzella (Rita Laura Nagy) and Kapri Son (Micky Schelstraete).

In Great Britain Capri Sonne Jr has been part of the Bechtolsheimer's breeding programme at home.

"He is breeding, but not in work," said Laura, who added that she has some very young offspring by him. "We don't breed every year, normally ever other year so we will see how his (offspring) end up."

Photos © Astrid Appels - Digishots

Where Are They Now? Table of Contents

Related Links
Capri Sonne Jr Sold to Bechtolsheimer Family
Governor, High Scorer of 2014 KWPN Autumn Stallion Performance Testing
Sa Coeur Does the Double in Lacklustre 6-year old Finals at 2013 World Young Horse Championships
Scores: 2012 World Championships for Young Dressage Horses