Dominator Z


Christian Ahlmann and the pride and joy of Studfarm Zangersheide, Dominator Z, became second in the world cup competition of Leipzig yesterday. The elite squad consisted of 40 combinations, of which 17 were German ones. We saw 16 candidates return for the jump-off, in which Germany was also most strongly represented with 7 competitors. Nevertheless, it became an Irish victory instead of a German one.

For the last two years Christian Ahlmann has been unbeatable in Leipzig. In 2019, he guided Caribis Z to the win, after in 2018 Taloubet Z retired from the sport with a blistering victory. This year he saddled another Z stallion and quite a nice one too! After the second place of Dominator Z (Diamond de Semilly x Cassini I) during his World Cup debut in Madrid and the fact that the Leipzig leg is Christian Ahmann’s favorite competition, the German crowd had high hopes for these two. Moreover, Christian was already in the winning mood because just before the World Cup he claimed the victory in the final for 8-year-olds with Mandato van de Neerheide.

Dominator Z, came, saw and almost conquered! Ice put down another clear in a fast chrono of 33.77 seconds, good for the provisional leadership position and it seemed that Christian was about to make it three-in-a-row.

Watch the jump-off of Christian Ahlmann and Dominator Z over here:

Course designer Frank Rothenberger provided a a risky short-cut on this jump-off track. Christian Ahlmann didn’t take it, but the Irish rider Dennis Lynch did. He finished within the same second but was slightly faster in 33.16 second and secured the win with his 14-year-old GC Chopin’s Bushi. Marcus Ehning and Comme Il Faut, the Cornet Obolensky son out of Ratina Z, closed the top three. Emilio Bicocchi and Evita SG Z (Verdi x Codexco) were also clear in 34.88 seconds and ended just outside the podium places. This duo already took Friday’s biggest win at 1.50m level. Michael van der Vleuten and Beauville Z confirmed in the WC as well with two clears. Their time of 35.54 seconds resulted in a fifth place after they had also collected an earlier third place in Leipzig.

Afterwards Christian Ahmann was very happy with his second place: “Dominator Z was amazing! I didn’t take the inside turn because he isn’t experienced enough yet and you had to do it today to win. Dominator Z is developing very well and he is definitely a horse to keep an eye on for the future. He has been breeding a lot in recent years and that’s why he didn’t jump so much as a young horse. It is still too early to talk about the Olympics, but we will see”, he said.

At 1.45m level, Angelique Rüsen jumped to tenth place with Corico Z, the nine-year-old Z stallion of Coriano Z  out of Cocaine Z (Caretano Z), who is also the dam of Tabou Z (1.60m with Victoria Colvin), Zaza Z (1.50m with Lillie Keenan), Crowntano Z (1.45m with Judy Ann Melchior) and Candico Z (1.45m with Maria Sole Campinoti).

Solid Gold Z

27 JANUARY 2020
Solid Gold Z once again lived up to his name! In 2018 Studfarm Zangersheide’s golden boy became the seven-year-old World Champion and although he is still very young, he already collected an incredible record.

Last weekend, this approved Z stallion of Stakkato Gold x Calvin Z (br: Gestüt Sprehe) jumped his very first World Cup competition in Abu Dhabi. The jump-off consisted of 12 big guns and after the faultless score of Abdel Said (Arpege du Ru) it seemed as if the winner was known. It looked impossible to speed things up after his tight lap in 39.49 seconds. Until the penultimate starters Christian Ahlmann and Solid Gold Z finished 3/10 seconds under the time of the Egyptian. At the age of nine and in his very first World Cup, even his very first 1.60m class, Solid Gold Z jumped to gold as if he has been doing this for years.

Also with Zampano Z (Zandor Z x Cocktail Jet), who won the Open Sires of the World in Mechelen, Christian Ahlmann took two fourth places in the 1.35m derby and in the 1.45m jump-off.

Furthermore, the Irishman Michael Pender (Casanova of Overis Z) and the American Chad Fellows (Tachini Z) both became third at 1.45m level. Ali Ahmed Al Junaibi (Kouchette ter Goes Z) won a 1.30m class and in the 1.20m speed class Omar Abdul Aziz Al Marzooqi was the fastest with the Chellano Z daughter Coral Beach Z.

Which Stallion is Better than Chacco-Blue?

Posted on 18 Nov 2019 by Nathalie De Martin

The WBFSH announced last week that Chacco-Blue, Diamant de Semilly and Casall ASK are the best stallions in the world for 2019. Also in the Hippomundo Stallion ranking this trio has a firm grip on the reins. But will that change if we look at the % Black Type Offspring?

Black Type (BT)

For our stallion ranking, we look at the prize money that the offspring of the stallion has collected in 2019. As a breeder you can also see how many horses contribute to this amount, as well as how often the offspring compete, win and are placed. With our Sires according to% Black Type Offspring Ranking we take a more nuanced look: What percentage of the offspring competes at 1m45 level or higher? Here we get some more insight…


Indisputable Chacco-Blue

If we look at stallions with at least 100 offspring from all ages, we see that Chacco-Blue is also here indisputably the number 1. With 46.8% BT, he has no fewer than 459 of the 980 offspring (who are 8 years or older) who jump 1m45 or higher.

We now see Stolzenberg in a perhaps more surprising second place. This son of Stakkato has only 140 offspring who are 8 years or older, but 59 of them have a Black Type pedigree, which makes 42.1%. Some of his famous descendants are Hello Shelby (Scott Brash), Salomon (Maikel van der Vleuten) and Gain Line (Abdullah Waleed Alsharbatly).

The third place is reserved for Cornet Obolensky who, with 226 of the 539 offspring, can present a percentage of 41.9%.

Arpeggio is in fourth place, thanks to a percentage of 40.8%. Lord Pezi takes fifth place with a percentage of 40.6%.


Better than Chacco-Blue?

Fanatic breeders are always in favor of using young(er) stallions, because that would help genetics advance faster and so we have also briefly examined the stallions with at least 50 offspring of all ages.

This time it is the genetic gem Comme Il Faut who firmly takes the lead. 36 of his 63 descendants of 8 years or older compete at 1m45 level or higher, which gives him a Black Type percentage of 57.1%. That is even more than 10 percent more than Chacco-Blue! Marcus Ehning’s other asset, and also a son of Cornet Obolensky, Cornado NRW, scores high as well in this ranking. With a BT% of 53.6%, the grey easily takes second place. Contagio (by Colman) follows in third place. He achieves exactly a percentage of 50 percent thanks to 26 of the 52 offspring who jump 1m45 or higher.

This time, fourth place is for Stakkato Gold with 48.2%, followed by Chacco-Blue with 46.8%.


Want to know more about our extensive Hippomundo Rankings?

For only 7 euros a month you have access to the most complete information! You can become a member here

Triple Victory for Explosion W!

osted on 24 Nov 2019 by Nathalie De Martin

Last weekend, the blistering GCT Super Grand Prix was scheduled. Eighteen riders entered the battle, of which 4 managed to score a clear first round. Sixteen riders were invited to the second round and then it became exciting …


Best horse – GCL

Explosion W was already honored on Wednesday as the best horse of the GCL Season 2019. Not surprisingly, since Explosion W’s intelligence, power and ability to excel in different arenas in the GCL this season has captivated the equestrian world. He helped Ben Maher to the victory in the Global Champions Tour and also made sure owner Poden Farms and breeder Willy Wijnen got awarded. Owner Heidi Moffitt said: “Explosion is one of those special stories we are all happy to be part of and we are really fortunate to be part of his story. The GCT has always been a part giving us the platform to achieve what we have. And of course Ben (Maher) that goes without saying. And I have to say Emily, she is the reason we are in this sport and my husband, as some of you know, is an all in sort of person, a little intense and I wish he was here – it’s kind of his award. May the story continue.”

Also Willy and Betsie Wijnen spoke with delight: “Thank you ladies and gentlemen I am very happy that Jan has invited me here for the Breeder Award. It is wonderful what Explosion is doing. Before I knew we had a good horse but Ben made the team, he made the team complete.”

Second round LGCT Super Grand Prix

The second round of the LGCT Super Grand Prix created some extra excitement. Last year Edwina Tops-Alexander claimed the victory with 4 penalty points, so anything was possible. The Brazilian Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (VDL Edgar M) was the first to show that a clear round was realistic, and with his 4 penalty points of the first round he would eventually become fifth. Martin Fuchs (Clooney 51) was visibly disappointed with his 4 penalty points in the first round and decided to go full throttle for a clear round, hoping to still be able to get a good place in the rankings. He succeeded well in his set-up, because he would eventually finish third with a time that was 6.5 seconds faster! Darragh Kenny and Balou du Reventon received 1 penalty point for time in the first round and choose the safe option again. The Irishman succeeded, again with 1 penalty point time, and so all he could was wait for the 4 clear combinations still to go…

Dani Waldman and Caspar 213 were unable to repeat their first round and were charged 8 penalty points. Daniel Deusser and Tobago Z, on the other hand, did not seem to get close to the fences, but a soft rub over the plank, the C-element of the triple jump, made sure that they left the ring with 4 penalty points. Next, it was up to penultimate starter Julien Epaillard to stay clear with Virtuouse Champeix, but also they ran into problems halfway through the course and ended up with 12 penalty points in the end. All pressure on Ben Maher, who, just like at the European Championships in Rotterdam, could write history with a clear round. Obstacle 1, 2 and 3 went smoothly, but the double combination 4AB ended up to be nerve wracking. Explosion W hit the rear bar of the B-element, which even jumped out of the cups, but the Brit was lucky that everything remained intact. The audience was silent, the pressure was higher than ever… Maher and Explosion W did what was expected of them and the relieve was enormous: the victory in the super GP was a fact!

Result Grand Prix Prague: click here

Best horse – Rankings

With a prize pool of 300,000 euros for the winner, the victory in the Super GP ensures that Explosion W makes a spectacular rise in the Hippomundo Rankings. With a whopping 1,289,311 euros, the 10-year-old son of Chacco Blue has collected an unseen prize pool this year. Last year Verdi TN collected a record prize pool of € 1,443,222 so the question is now: will Explosion W do better?


For the full Hippomundo Ranking click here

Facts and Figures about ICSI and ETet

Posted on 25 Nov 2019 by Nathalie De Martin

Photo © Fotobron: Bridge Clinic

While the racehorse industry chose to ban ET and ICSI, both techniques are commonly used in jumping and dressage sport. Already in 1972 embryo transplants were performed in the US. and Argentina, and while the first human ICSI was established in Belgium in 1991, it took until 1996 before the first ICSI equine pregnancy was announced.

Embryo transplantation

Embryo transfer (ET), that is, recovery of an embryo from the uterus of a donor mare and transfer of the embryo to the uterus of a recipient mare, is a well‐established equine assisted reproductive technique (ART) (Squires, McCue, & Vanderwall, 1999). The standard protocol for equine ET is to monitor the preovulatory follicle of the donor mare via ultrasonography per rectum. The mare is inseminated when the follicle appears to be ready to ovulate, or in coordination with induction of ovulation by administration of a GnRH or LH analog. The preovulatory follicle is monitored daily after insemination so that the day of ovulation (Day 0) can be determined. The embryo is flushed from the donor mare’s uterus, typically on Day 7 or 8 after ovulation. Flushing is performed by filling the uterus with ~1 L of flush solution, then draining the fluid through a filter and repeating this multiple times. The embryo is located in the fluid retained in the filter, and is washed and transferred transcervically to the uterus of a recipient mare that ovulated from a day before to 3 days after the donor mare. With a fertile donor mare, the expected embryo recovery is about 75% and the expected pregnancy rate after transfer about 75%, for a ~50% recipient pregnancy rate per cycle (Squires et al., 1999; Vogelsang, Bondioli, & Massey, 1985), although experienced practitioners may report higher rates than this.


Embryo transfer can be used to obtain more than one foal per donor mare per year, or to obtain foals from donor mares that the owner does not want to be pregnant (because the mare is in competition, the mare is too valuable to risk the potential dangers of pregnancy or foaling, or the mare has other issues, such as lameness, pelvic damage, or even maternal behavior). Embryo transfer can also be used to recover embryos from donor mares that are capable of conception but which suffer from repeated early embryonic death associated with factors such as uterine periglandular fibrosis or other age‐related uterine changes (Kenney, 1978).


The main limitations of embryo transfer as an equine ART are that (a) recovery of embryos requires that the donor mare have a functional tract, at least to the point that sperm can reach the oviduct, the mare ovulates normally, and the oviduct and uterus can support fertilization and development of the embryo until Day 7 or 8 after ovulation; (b) breeding the donor mare requires a full insemination dose of good‐quality semen; and (c) superovulation of mares is problematic (Squires & McCue, 2007), so only the potential embryo resulting from ovulation of the one dominant follicle (or sometimes two, if the donor mare spontaneously double‐ovulates) is available. Use of ET in mares in competition can be complicated by the effects of stress (Campbell, 2014), and repeated manipulation of the mare’s uterus (breeding, uterine flush) can be associated with induction of endometritis (Campbell, 2014).1


Oocyte recovery and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be used for production of foals from mares that cannot become pregnant or provide an embryo under standard reproductive management. This includes mares with cervical, uterine or oviductal abnormalities or disease. However, ICSI will NOT be helpful if the cause of the mare’s subfertility is due to her oocyte quality. In the clinical ICSI program at Texas A&M, the main driver for ICSI is on the part of the stallion owner, to allow breeding of mares by top stallions that have aged or died and so have only limited supplies of frozen semen available. The efficiency of frozen semen is greatly increased by ICSI, as only a few sperm are needed, from which one is selected to fertilize each oocyte. Frozen semen can be thawed, diluted up to 1:200, and refrozen in a large number of straws of “ICSI doses” (Choi, Love, Varner, & Hinrichs, 2006a) and used for ICSI successfully. If motility is good, a portion of this straw (a “cut”) can be used at a time, for fertilization of numerous oocytes, thus allowing an existing store of frozen semen to produce a large number of embryos.

Because of the higher costs associated with ICSI, it is therefore recommended to first try embryo transplants before working with ICSI. Another advantage of ICSI is also that it can be performed on a mare that has just died, also known as post-mortem.

The ICSI procedure
The first step of the ICSI procedure is to recover oocytes from your mare. Oocytes may be recovered from small (immature) follicles, or from the one large preovulatory follicle. The oocytes are then cultured to induce maturation. This maturation mimics the developmental changes that would occur naturally in an oocyte within the mare, during the day or so immediately before ovulation. For oocytes recovered from small (immature) follicles, the maturation process generally takes 30 hours. An oocyte recovered from the one preovulatory follicle after hormone stimulation is already maturing at the time it is recovered, and is cultured for 12 hours or less prior to ICSI.

Those oocytes that mature are then subjected to ICSI, that is, injection of each oocyte with an individual sperm from the desired stallion. For this procedure, the sperm sample (fresh or frozen-thawed) is washed and prepared, and one sperm is injected into the cytoplasm of each oocyte under a high-power microscope. The resulting fertilized oocytes are cultured in the laboratory for 7 to 10 days, to allow development into blastocysts, that is, embryos suitable for transfer to a recipient mare. If you do not wish to transfer the embryos right away, they may be vitrified for later transfer.


Let’s talk numbers: results
You have undoubtedly heard about various results of the success of ICSI and so we decided to request the findings from Texas M&A University. They published the results below in January 2017.2


  • About 65% of oocytes collected from immature (small) follicles are expected to mature in the laboratory. If your veterinarian collects the oocyte from the one dominant preovulatory follicle, after administration of an ovulation-inducing hormone, essentially 100% of these oocytes are maturing at the time of collection. Only mature oocytes can be fertilized by ICSI.
  • After ICSI of oocytes recovered from small follicles, we anticipate that about 20% of the injected oocytes will develop to blastocysts, if the sperm is from a normally fertile stallion. If the oocyte is from a preovulatory follicle, the chance of the oocyte developing to a blastocyst is about 40%.
  • While overall there is an average of one blastocyst produced per aspiration session, individual sessions produce variable results: at the EELab in 2016, 39% of aspiration sessions (oocytes recovered on aspiration from one mare) resulted in NO BLASTOCYST being produced; 24% resulted in one blastocyst being produced, 17% resulted in two blastocysts being produced, and 20% resulted in 3 or more blastocysts being produced.
  • The average pregnancy rate per transferred embryo in 2016 was 67%; however, this can very depending upon the conditions at the embryo transfer center to which the embryo is shipped. For example, in 2016, pregnancy rates at centers transferring 8 or more embryos varied from 50% to 87%.
  • In 2016, 13% of the pregnancies established with ICSI embryos resulted in pregnancy loss, typically before 30 days.
  • The ongoing pregnancy rate (over 90 days) after transfer of an ICSI embryo is expected to be about 60%. That means that after the second pregnancy check there is still a big chance that there is no foal to be born!


In Europe, on the other hand, we are still a little behind on our American colleagues. In a study conducted by Avantea, Utrecht University and James Cook University in March 20193, it is cited that 18 to 36% of the injected oocytes develop into a blastocyst. It should be noted that these low figures often have to do with the quality of the oocytes (which is lower in older mares) and the marginal fertility of certain stallions.


At the end of July 2018, another study was conducted by Avantea and the University of Utrecht looking into the gestational percentage for ICSI transfers.4 They found that the percentage of pregnant mares after 7-10, 23 and 37 days of the transfer was 56% respectively (147 / 261), 49% (129/261) and 48% (124/261). The likelihood of pregnancy tended to be lower for IVP embryos from infertile mares or when embryos were transferred into recipient mares on day 6 after ovulation rather than on day 4 or 5. Finally, the diameter of the embryonic vesicle 7 days post transfer was lower for pregnancies that were lost compared to those that were maintained.


Finally: at the Zangersheide Quality Auction held on 20 and 21 September, no fewer than 17 of the 104 foals were born via Ovum Pick Up-ICSI at Avantea5. They raised an average price of 48,470 euros, compared to the overall average of 22,340 euros. With all this information, you can calculate how interesting ICSI is for you!








Filho de Air Jordan Z Vence Grande Prêmio em Beijing


Henrick von Eckermann and the 13-year-old A Bernhard have won the 1.45m Big Tour during the Longines Equestrian Beijing Masters. This Air Jordan Z descendant of breeder C.A.P. van Opstal performed a clear round against the clock in 66.60 seconds. Among the 38 other participants, nobody did better and so it became a Swedish victory in Beijing, China.

Martin Fuchs also stayed clear with Cognac du Vlist Z, of Calvino Z x Calypso. Their 70.10 second chrono earned them a fifth place. Both Cognac du Vlist Z and A Bernhard gained their second top score on Saturday because in the Big Tour opening class they also became second and fourth respectively.

In addition, Martin Fuchs and Cognac du Vlist Z managed to clear to the 1.50m course of the three-star Longines Grand Prix as well. Seven combinations made it to the jump-off. Fuchs and the 10-year-old gelding bred by A.J. van der Vlist finished in sixth place. They were faster than winner Penelope Leprevost (Cenai), but four penalty points eventually kept them from first place.

Ranking de Criadores e Studbooks

This week we have published the final LONGINES/WBFSH Studbooks and Breeders Rankings 2019


Ben Maher og Explosion W.
d. 12-10-2019 – 14:41

Early this week, we had the pleasure to publish the LONGINES/WBFSH Studbooks and Breeders Rankings 2019 which have been eagerly awaited by breeders all over the world.

  • The LONGINES award winning breeder in dressage is German Zuchtgemeinschaft Strunk – Heinrich, Wilhem and Heike for Bella Rose (WESTF) by Belissimo M / Cacir AA with 2904 ranking points.
  • The LONGINES award winning breeder in show jumping is Dutch W. Wijnen for Explosion W (KWPN) by Chacco-Blue / Baloubet du Rouet with 2683 ranking points.
  • The LONGINES award winning breeder in eventing is German Zuchtgemeinschaft Meyer-Kulenkampff for Fischerchipmunk (Chipmunk) (HANN) by Contendro / Heraldik XX with 301 ranking points.


At the 2019 WBFSH annual meeting in France in October the winning studbooks of the three disciplines dressage, jumping and eventing will be honored, and so will the three winning breeders at the occasion of the LONGINES FEI World Cup show in early November.

The Dutch studbook KWPN dominates the studbook rankings by holding the first place in two disciplines and third place in one. The German Hanoverian studbook places second in two disciplines whilst the German Westphalian studbook takes a second and a third place. The studbook rankings are:



1. 14319 – Koninklijk Warmbloed Paardenstamboek Nederland (KWPN)

2. 14216 – Hannoveraner Verband e. V. (HANN)

3. 13510 – Westfälisches Pferdestammbuch e.V. (WESTF)



1. 9664 – Koninklijk Warmbloed Paardenstamboek Nederland (KWPN)

2. 7942 – Westfälisches Pferdestammbuch e.V. (WESTF)

3. 7828 – Stud-Book Zangersheide (ZANG)



1. 1409 – Irish Sport Horse Studbook (ISH)

2. 1221 – Hannoveraner Verband e.V. (HANN)

3. 1216 – Koninklijk Warmbloed Paardenstamboek Nederland (KWPN)


View the rankings.

Irish take home Olympic Ticket

Irish take home Olympic Ticket

The Nations Cup Final in Barcelona is always a prestigious event, but this year the pressure was increased. After all, there was one Olympic ticket to be awarded to the best yet non-qualified country. On Friday, during the first round, it turned out that Ireland, Italy and Colombia would be the ultimate contenders for that final ticket. That also meant there was an extra reason to looking forward to the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final!

Right from the start, the course designed by Santiago Varela Ullastres proved to be a difficult feat, with a double combination, a 4-fold line with open water and a triple running right along the packed stands. Of the first group of 8 riders, no one was able to keep the zero on the scoreboard, until the last rider Olivier Philippaerts with H&M Extra. The 10-year-old Berlin son jumped fantastic and ensured that the reigning European champions immediately took the lead. Peter Moloney and Chianti’s Champion achieved 4 penalty points for Ireland, just like Rene Lopez and Twig du Veillon for Colombia. Italy had a dramatic start after Lorenzo de Luca received 12 penalty points with Dinky Toy vd Kranenburg.

When the second riders had to start, it soon became apparent that an Olympic ticket for Colombia would no longer be an easy task since Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo left the course with 20 penalty points. The Italian Massimo Grossato finished with a clear round, just like Paul O’Shea. The Belgians, too, seemed on their way to another clear round by Niels Bruynseels with the approved stallion Jenson van ‘t Meulenhof, but at the last minute they saw the final fence come down.

One thing was clear: the third riders would decide who could take that Olympic ticket home, so Darragh Kenny and Balou du Reventon put everything on everything for a clear round. Darragh took his time and got one time penalty, but the Irishman didn’t even bother: the ticket belonged to the Irish, the pressure for them was gone! With a total of 5 penalty points, Ireland was also in second place, just behind Belgium, but Jérôme Guery and Quelle Homme de Hus still had to complete their round… Guery and the Quidam stallion, however, did not disappoint and recorded another strong clear round.

In the fourth round, all eyes were back on the victory of the Nations Cup Final. Belgium was in the lead with 4 penalty points, followed by Ireland with 5 and Italy and France on 20 penalty points. One mistake from Cian O’Connor and PSG Final would mean that Belgium would go home again with the title, while a clear round would put all the pressure on Gregory Wathelet’s shoulders… And that is what happened! After criticism from various corners about their selection for the team, Cian O’Connor and PSG Final majestically silenced the criticaster with a clear round!

All eyes were now on Gregory Wathelet and MJT Nevados. As the very last starter, they had the fate of the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final in their hands. A clear round would earn the Belgians gold again and Wathelet seemed well on his way … Until the penultimate obstacle! To the disbelief of the public and Wathelet himself, MJT Nevados shot past the fence to the left, preventing the Belgians from dropping their 4 penalty points and having to settle for silver.

In the end it was the Irish team consisting of Peter Moloney, Paul O’Shea, Darragh Kenny, Cian O’Connor and chef d’équipe Rodrigo Pessoa who were allowed to go home with both the victory and the Olympic ticket. The Swedish team, consisting of Henrik von Eckermann, Evelina Tovek, Fredrik Jönsson and Peder Fredricson, were good for bronze.

Daniel Deusser and Olivier Philippaerts also each earned 50,000 euros. With Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z and H&M Extra, respectively, they were the only two combinations that managed to jump clear both Friday and Sunday.