In some coming Exclusives we focus in on some of the world's top showjumpers and how they were as youngsters. In this second part of our series we have spoken to German rider Joachim "Jocky" Heyer, who has a long list of top horses that have passed through his stables over the years – to later end up in top of the sport. That is why we sat down with Jocky to talk about how three of them were when they where youngsters; Lantinus, Grande Dame Z and Livello.
Lantinus is so famous that he hardly needs any introduction. The now 15 year old gelding by Landkoening x Argentinus has been Denis Lynch's super star for several years and before that he was seen under Gregory Wathelet. The 14 year old Livello (Limbus x Ahorn Z) is now showing under Angelica Augustsson after doing the Europeans in 2009 with Cameron Hanley and the WEG in 2010 with Cagri Basel. Grande Dame Z (Grannus x Ramino) is now enjoying her retirement after being successful in the top of the sport both with Jan Tops and Judy-Ann Melchior.
"Lantinus was bought for me by a sponsor at the auction in Verden at the end of Lantinus' fourth year. I had him for one year and rode the Bundeschampionat on him. Lantinus was always very promising with a lot of scope, he was very careful and had a head for jumping. Honestly I have hardly ever ridden a horse with that scope.
At the Bundeschampionat he jumped the first round as he was from a different world - the judges thought different though... Then the owner sold him to Paul Schockemöhle. Of course I would have loved to keep him - he is a dream horse! But everything went fantastic for him; he has won in Aachen and has got a top rider in Denis Lynch."
"Grande Dame was another horse that I had several times during her young age. First I helped the breeder to sell her as a foal to the south of Germany, then I bought her from there as a one year old. Then she was sold again and I got her back when she was three and by then she was in foal with Accord. When I started to ride her as a five year old she couldn't trot or canter, but she could always jump!
Then half of Grande Dame was sold to Urs Fäh from Switzerland, and he also bought her foal. It took only 14 days before he bought the other half of Grande Dame as well and later on he sold her to Jan Tops.
Grande Dame was always a mare with a lot of self confidence, and she wanted things her way - she wanted to be right. But it didn't matter how you got to the fence, she always gave you a good jump out of every situation. She was a small horse, but she had an unbelievable over view over the situation and a lot of scope. She was incredible and she really wanted to get over every pole you rode against. Grande Dame also had a big stride in comparison to her size. She was a tough lady, and that was why she could cope with the top sport for so long. Now she is standing at Zangersheide and producing foals through embryo transfer. "
Jocky also had Livello in his stable and explains; "Everyone laughed at me when I said that Livello would be a great horse. It might not have looked like it, but he always gave you a great feeling. I got to ride him from the end of his fifth year and had him for 1 1/2 year. He just did it - Livello got qualified for the Bundeschampionat straight away and when he in the beginning of his seventh year did his first S class, he was placed straight away. He did it really simple for his rider and he is for sure one of my favorite horses. As a stallion he was easy and really nice.
I then sold him through Dietmar Gugler to Sevil Sabanci from Greek and Cameron Hanley rode him back then."
Which of these horses would Jocky most of all had like to have kept, we ask? "Lantinus is a horse I would have loved to have kept - he is the ideal horse for me and is that kind of horse that really suits me."