VDL Cardento has sired countless of top horses, and was himself very successful in the sport together with Swedish rider Peter Eriksson – winning team silver at the 2002 World Championship in Jerez, team silver at the 2001 European Championship in Arnhem and team silver at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
At the age of 24, Cardento still looks amazing and has a special super-star charm about him.
World of Showjumping went to the VDL Stud, and got to learn more about the uphill that Cardento had to battle in the early days of his career.
"We wanted to buy him as a 2-year-old, but the owners didn't want to sell as they wanted to show him at the stallion selection in Holstein. He didn't get approved there, so we got to buy him and we took him to the KWPN stallion selection. But, they didn't want to approve him either. We tried once more in KWPN without success. We already worked together with Jonas Persson from Sweden so we asked him if he wanted to show him in Sweden. So as a 5-year-old Cardento got approved in Sweden, moved there and Peter Eriksson started to ride him," Wiebe-Yde from the VDL Stud explains about the early-days-difficulties.
VDL Cardento stayed in Sweden until he was 14, when he returned to the Netherlands. Then approval by the studbooks were no longer an issue. "Dad always believed in him. Cardento has a great mentality, scope, a good mind, came from a good family and he was so elastic in his body," Weibe-Yde tell us.
The whole showjumping world is probably very happy Wiepke van de Lageweg didn't give up on Cardento!
Text & pictures © Jenny Abrahamsson
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