Last month, in October, I attended my first Holsteiner stallion licensing and auction. I was both surprised and pleased by what I saw. I had not expected the quality of movement that the stallions displayed, clinging I suppose to the old idea that Holsteiners are for jumping, and not so much for dressage. However, most of the stallions I observed were very good-moving. Stallions like Contendro I and Diarado, respected as dual purpose stallions both in terms of their own and their offspring's ability, seem to be more common nowadays. Based on what I saw at the approval, more like them will become available in the future. Gone are the days when a breeder used Holsteiners only for their jumping capacity. Using modern, dual purpose Holsteiners to inject performance blood without diminishing movement is also an exciting opportunity for dressage breeders.
I was very impressed by the strong type, and couldn't help wondering how a population with a studbook that is relatively closed and so linebred to the C and L-lines remains so vigorous, strong and athletic. The athleticism is palpable. Maybe someone more astute in the bloodlines of Holsteiners could tell me this secret. I also noticed that the Landgraf I line seems to be receding back in pedigrees, but the Cor de la Breyer line is still prevalent closer up.
Cascadello I (Casall / Lavall I), had the best performance as a sire at the licensing. He had the most sons present, four, and of those three were approved, two were premium, with his son Charleston named Siegerhengst (champion). This guy was a crowd favorite due to his uphill movements, great jumping ability and enormous charisma. He topped the auction at 300,000 euros.
My personal favorite of the licensing was the Casall son, Central Park, who ended up as vice champion stallion. Top jumping capacity and spacious movement combined with a noble beauty garnered a 100,000 euro auction price. The Casalls were overall quite impressive.
The licensing committee is not too generous with their premium awards and there were a lot of very nice stallions who did not get approved. Perhaps this accounts for the overall uniformity and quality of the presented horses.
The dressage stallions presented were quite interesting and an Ampere / Lorentin I son, Alsandair, was approved and sold for 55,000 euros. DeVille, by De Niro / Linaro, was not approved but was a very nice stallion. Another dressage stallion that was not licensed, Kracker by Krack C / Accord II, was a great favorite with the crowd. Tocanto, by Totilas / Canturo, another crowd favorite was licensed. None of the dressage-bred stallions achieved premium status.