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From youngster to international Grand Prix horse: Breitling LS

Tuesday, 09 February 2021
From youngster to international Grand Prix horse

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. “When we went to try Breitling at Jeroen’s stable, he was on the cross ties and I loved his look immediately," Beezie Madden says about her first impression of Breitling LS. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

 

Text © World of Showjumping

 


 

Next out in our series ‘From youngster to international Grand Prix horse’ is Beezie Madden’s World Cup Champion Breitling LS (Quintero x Acord II). 

Bred by the La Silla stud in Monterrey, Mexico, Breitling LS was discovered as a 2-year-old by Jeroen Dubbeldam and Joop van Uytert after he had displayed some impressive free jumping. Today, the stallion is one of the very best horses in the sport. In 2018, Breitling LS won the Longines FEI World Cup Final in Paris with USA’s Beezie Madden in the saddle, and the two have recorded big victories at venues such as Aachen, Spruce Meadows, Thermal, Toronto, Valence, Washington DC and Wellington during their time together. Breitling LS and Madden also jumped to individual and team bronze at the Pan Am Games in Lima in 2019. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. "You can sell good horses, but if it is not a good rider buying you will never see them again. With Beezie that is a different story…” Jeroen Dubbeldam says about Breitling, that actually wasn't for sale. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“I have been in close contact with Mr. Romo – the owner of the La Silla stud – throughout my career. I always had some horses from him, or we had some horses together,” Dubbeldam explains. “When Breitling was 2 years old, I was at Romo’s farm – which is one hour away from the La Silla’s sport stable – together with Joop van Uytert, to look at the young horses free jump. We were searching for potential breeding stallions. I’m not really a big fan of free jumping. Some horses jump good free, but not under saddle and also the other way around, so I think it is difficult to judge horses this way. However, Breitling jumped amazing and was really something special. We ended up buying him as well as Tamarindo LS (Dollar de la Pierre x Cash) as a package. In the end Tamarindo LS wasn’t as good as Breitling, but he has also been competing at a high level and Michael Jung rode him for a while.”

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. “He took a little longer than some horses to reach the top level, because he had to learn to manage his front end over bigger fences, but it has been worth the wait!” Beezie Madden says. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“We brought Breitling to the Netherlands where we showed him for the KWPN. He was then selected to do the stallion test,” Dubbeldams tells. “However, the first year he was not approved as he jumped so well that they didn’t really trust it was all natural. Even though he got refused at the stallion approval, the family from Team Nijhof had fallen in love with him and straight after they stepped in as owners together with Joop and myself – of course with the idea of using him as a breeding stallion. Shortly after we took him to Germany where Breitling was approved in Oldenburg, with a score of 10.0 for his jumping.” 

With Breitling being an approved stallion he could now compete in the stallion competitions in the Netherlands. “The first year, Breitling won all his classes and the KWPN could see that his jumping was for real – the year after they approved him,” Jeroen explains. “Every year, Breitling belonged to the best horses in his age category and he always jumped very flashy and spectacular.”

Photo © Leanjo de Koster/DigiShots. “Every year, Breitling belonged to the best horses in his age category and he always jumped very flashy and spectacular," Jeroen Dubbeldam says. Photo © Leanjo de Koster/DigiShots.

As a young horse it was mostly Jeroen Dubbeldam and his stable jockey Sjaak Sleiderink that rode the stallion, but for a short period during Breitling’s fourth and fifth year Hanno Ellermann took over the reins. “It was a time when I was very busy travelling to the bigger shows, so we had Breitling at Team Nijhof and Hanno rode him for a while. Hanno is a good rider, so it was a great solution for all of us,” Dubbeldam says.

“At the time Breitling was at Team Nijhof, I did the young stallions there,” Hanno Ellermann explains. “I only did a few shows with him when he was four and some when he was five. Breitling was really nice, easy going and had a great rideability already from the beginning. It has been great to follow him and Beezie and what they are doing together is impressive.”

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. "Breitling was really nice, easy going and had a great rideability already from the beginning. It has been great to follow him and Beezie and what they are doing together is impressive," Hanno Ellermann says. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

At the age of seven, Johan Heins as well as Beezie and John Madden had put their eyes on Breitling. Beezie remembers the try-our very well. “When we went to try Breitling at Jeroen’s stable, he was on the cross ties and I loved his look immediately. He was a beautiful light type and just looked so classy. I loved him when I rode him too. He was quite a special jumper and seemed to have a great temperament and way of going,” Madden explains. I am very thankful to Abigail Wexner, Johan Heins, and Jeroen Dubbeldam’s team for making it possible for me to have Breitling in my life.”

“It was never the plan to sell him though,” Dubbeldam says. “We had big hopes for him and he was also doing well as a breeding stallion here. However, we were talking about a lot of money and the risk to keep him was just too high. And it was Beezie – to sell a horse to Beezie is good marketing and the chance that he would be successful in the sport was big. You can sell good horses, but if it is not a good rider buying you will never see them again. With Beezie that is a different story…”

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. "To sell a horse to Beezie is good marketing and the chance that he would be successful in the sport was big," Jeroen Dubbeldam explains. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“Breitling was always spectacular, and it was a lot of attention around him,” Dubbeldam tells. “In the beginning he had a bit special technique, since he was jumping a lot with his body but he was a little long in the front end. So, when the fences were small he jumped quite high but didn’t put the front legs up. At that time we wished for him to be a bitter better in the front, but he was still always something special. He is a smart horse so he learned how to use the front end when the fences got bigger.”

Reflecting on Breitling’s jumping style, Madden – who has had the stallion for eight years now – says: “He took a little longer than some horses to reach the top level, because he had to learn to manage his front end over bigger fences, but it has been worth the wait!”

 

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