Capitol, a global force in breeding (Part II)

Equita van’t Zorgvliet, a descendant of Capitol I, with Germany’s Daniel Deusser in 2017.
Credit : Scoopdyga

Monday 04 February - 15h07 | Sébastien Roullier and Adriana Van Tilburg (translated by Ian Clayton)

Capitol, a global force in breeding (Part II)

Part II of Grand Prix's profile of Capitol I, one of the great leading sires of modern times. 

The fantastic Cento and Carthago

The fantastic Cento and Carthago - Capitol, a global force in breeding (Part II)

Capitol I
Credit : Werner and Tammo Ernst

Part I of the profile is here. A short video of Capitol I can be seen here.

For their part, French and Belgian breeders (BWP and Zangersheide) have bet more on Cento and Carthago. And for Harm Thormählen, the 2000 edition of the CHIO of Aachen remains unforgettable. “Cento won the Grand Prix with Otto Becker, and Carthago came in second with (Dutchman) Jos Lansink. I was so proud of these results! I wonder if there have been other stallions who have produced the top two finishers in this very challenging Grand Prix [in any case, not since that time – ed.]. That year, Capitol I also became the leading stallion in the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses Sire Ranking and remained on top for a few years.”

Cento produced true top horses, such as Cella (ex-Centoia van’t Roosakker, BWP, x Chin Chin), Team gold medallist and Individual silver medallist at the European Championships in Herning in 2013 with Great Britain’s Ben Maher, Centino du Ry (Bad-Wü, x Caretino), brilliant with France’s Hubert Bourdy and Franco-Polish rider Igor Kawiak, Centora de Walyro (CDE, x Aledo), very good with the Netherlands’ Lisa Nooren, Cordina (Old, x Garibaldi II), very good with Otto Becker, Requiem de Talma (SF, x Qredo de Paulstra), equally high-performing with France’s Alexandra Ledermann, as well as the stallions Cantinero (ex-Chopin de Mariposa, BWP, x Cash), a big winner with Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann, Norton d’Éole (SF, x Jalisco B), Ocento du Lerchenberg (SF, x Naos d’Helby) and Phébus du Grasset (SF, x Papillon Rouge).

Born at Erhard Krampitz’s stud farm, Carthago has also played a fundamental role in German, Belgian and French breeding. Achieving top results with Jos Lansink, this other grey has spread across the world, highlighted by the performances of Mylord Carthago (SF, x Jalisco B), Team silver medallist at the World Equestrian Games in 2010 in Lexington and at the 2011 European Championships in Madrid with Pénélope Leprevost, all the while showing himself to be an excellent sire in France, Cash 63 (x Lavall II), an exceptional winner with Germany’s Marco Kutscher, Kira III (x Cor de la Bryère), very good with Belgian Ludo Philippaerts, Catwalk (Z, x Quick Star), excellent with the Italian Piergiorgio Bucci, Cha Cha (Z, x Beachboy), very good with Belgium’s Judy-Ann Melchior, and Moon Mail (SF, x Gayssire Fleury Noren). Among Carthago’s numerous stallion sons, one can cite Cartani (Holst, from Taggi, the lead horse of Sören von Rönne), who distinguished himself at the 1.60 m level with Denmark’s Charlotte von Rönne, Coltaire (Z, x Voltaire), very competitive with Portugal’s Marina Frutuoso de Melo, Crown (Z, by the fantastic Ratina Z, Ramiro), Old Chap Tame (SF, x Quidam de Revel), a top winner with Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander, the Saudi Arabian Khaled Abdulaziz Al Eid and the Frenchwoman Eugénie Angot, Premiere Carthoes B (Z, x Voltaire), a big winner with Brazil’s Felipe Amaral, Panama Tame (SF, x French Cancan), strong with the Italian Luigi Polesello, as well as Looping d’Elle (x Jalisco B) with France’s Aymeric Azzolino, Castronom (Z, x Leuthen I) with the Belgian Arnaud Doem, Nouma d’Auzay (x Quidam de Revel) with the German Jan-Pierre Fromberger and Nartago (SF, x Hurlevent) with Portugal’s Filipe Malta de Costa. Not forgetting the Holsteiner Colman (x Lord), father of LB Convall (x Cascavelle), winner of the CSIO 5* Grand Prix of Aachen in 2016 and Spruce Meadows Masters in 2017 with Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt.

More champion offspring and descendants

More champion offspring and descendants - Capitol, a global force in breeding (Part II)

Cella, from Cento, with Great Britain’s Ben Maher at the European Championships in Herning in 2013.
Credit : Scoopdyga

In addition to the sons of Capitol I already mentioned, Theo Molenaers cites Canadian River (x Lord), “who didn’t cover many mares in Belgium, but whose foals proved to be very good” and Clearway, who essentially worked in Germany and for the Z. “With him, Nobert Boley wanted a son of Capitol, but with more modernity,” he affirms. As for Holsteiners, he is notably responsible for the stallion Clarimo (x Caletto II), a big winner with Sweden’s Rolf Göran Bengtsson, Cognac Champblanc (x Caretino), a great winner with Gerco Schröder, and Carella 5 (x Concerto II), who carried the young German Niklas Krieg to the highest level.

For Z, Clearway produced Claire (x Coronado), very competitive at the CSI 5* level with the Belgian Pieter Devos. And one has to mention Calato (Capitol I x Landgraf I), the father of Cöster (x Constant), Individual and Team gold medallist at the European Championships of Donaueschingen in 2003 with Germany’s Christian Ahlmann, as well as Ferly de Muze (BWP, daughter of the great Narcotique de Muze II by Darco).

Sire of sires... and of dams

Sire of sires... and of dams - Capitol, a global force in breeding (Part II)

Cabrio Van de Heffinck, another grandson of Capitol, with Olivier Philippaerts in 2014
Credit : Scoopdyga

The most represented sire at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, with 13 descendants, Capitol I has equally shone as a damsire, particularly through Corrado I (Holst, Cor de la Bryère), very successful in competition with Franke Sloothaak, from whom descend the Holsteiners Corradina 2 (x Sandro), multi-medallist at the European and World Championships with Germany’s Carsten Otto Nagel, Cantaro 32 (x Libero H), excellent for Qatar, Think Twice II (x Fier de Lui), a big winner with the Netherlands’ Leopold van Asten, Unita (x Caretino), a very big winner with Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, the stallion Corofino I (x Fernando) and the leading sire Clinton (x Masetto), a very strong winner with Belgium’s Dirk Demeersman and sire of a whole host of elite Belgian horses including Cornet Obolensky (ex-Windows van het Costersveld, BWP, x Heartbreaker), a great winner with Germany’s Marco Kutscher and star stallion of the Westphalian studbook. Corrado is also the sire of Arctic Aurora Borealis (FWB, x Almeto), great with Peder Fredricson, and Nadir di San Patrignano (SI, x Lancer II), excellent with the Italian Jerry Smit. Like Capitol himself, his best sons have proven to also be excellent damsires, including Cento, Carthago and Cassini I. “Capitol I is very precious in maternal lines, directly or through his sons. The mares benefit from the energy of their mother and the power passed on by Capitol. It’s exactly what is needed to create a good sport horse. At the moment, with the Holsteiner breed, our bloodlines are too close to get this effect,” says Thomas Nissen.

“In any case, having Capitol’s blood in the maternal line is a real treasure.” “The value of Carthago or Cento can mainly be seen in their capacity as damsires,” adds Theo Molenaers. “Capitol has generally transmitted his power, which we still need. Among the promising Holsteiner stallions displaying this quality, there is Million Dollar (Plot Blue x Vigo d’Arsouilles), whose grandmother, Daytona de Muze, is a daughter of Cento. I also bred Clicksem (Cardino x Littorio), the great-grandson of Capitol I via Cardino (Carthago) and great-great-grandson by his mother via Cassini I. Clicksem is a modern version of Capitol I, with better reflexes and more blood,” he observes. Approved in the Holsteiner inspections, Clicksem competes at the CSI 2 and 3* levels with Japanese rider Hikari Yoshizawa. “Capitol I continues to  distinguish himself through his sons, grandsons and even great-grandsons, which was shown again at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, where he shared the spotlight with For Pleasure (Hann, Furioso II x Grannus) and Cornet Obolensky. His descendants set themselves apart mainly through their power, their mental strength and their bravery. They are fighters. Their only weakness is that they sometimes lack intelligence given how much heart they put into what they’re doing,” admits Harm Thormählen.

“This bloodline crosses well with very energetic mares, like Selle Français,” the breeder adds. “He also passes down a very good mouth, and his products are very easy to handle, which was not the top quality of French horses in the past. 30 years ago, they didn’t have at all the same body shape as today, which made possible some interesting crosses with Holsteiner breeding horses.” Proud of this illustrious heritage, the Thormählens erected a statue of Capitol in their garden in 2008.

Further reading...