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World Cup Final-sensation Cristalline: A horse of a lifetime!

Friday, 01 April 2016
Advertisement by 2016 Prime Selection Sales

Chris Chugg with Cristalline. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Chris Chugg with the 8-year-old mare Cristalline during the 2016 Longines FEI World Cup Finals. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

After the 8-year-old Cristalline's fantastic performances in the 2016 Longines FEI World Cup Final in Gothenburg, everyone is talking about the mare. Together with Chris Chugg, Cristalline ended 10th overall after jumping incredible throughout the final.

"Cristalline is a bit of a freak of a nature, and I'm really, really happy," Chris says after their fantastic performances.

This 'once-in-a-lifetime' mare belongs to Gabrielle Kuna, who bought her at the 'Prime Selection Sales' as a 5-year-old in 2013. "Cristalline was uncomplicated, had a great nature, was very easy and of course she could jump. We liked everything about her, so she was the obvious choice for us," Gabi explains.

"She arrived in Australia in April 2013 and then we started her up in the ‘baby classes’, but it didn't really take her long to step up. We have a championship for 5, 6 and 7-year-old horses in Australia and because our season is different and the horses turn one year older on the 1st of August instead of 1st of January – like in Europe – she was classified as a 6-year-old when she was in fact five. So she won the 6-year-old class and was the overall champion for 5,6 and 7-year-olds. And the year after she won again as a 7-year-old, and was once again the overall champion. One year later she won the World Cup at the same show."

Gabrielle has been riding the beautiful mare all the time, with Chris just doing some classes with her when Gabrielle broke a finger last year. Cristalline was brought to Europe to get some experience for the World Championship in Canada in 2018, but instead turned out to be the super star of the World Cup Final. To jump Cristalline in the World Cup Final, was a decision that was made after the preparations at the indoor shows in Europe over the six weeks leading up to Gothenburg.

"Both of the horses had a jet lag for the first shows, and wasn't in the best form. They came from 40 degrees to under zero and had a 50-hour trip to get here. We have a responsibility towards the horses, and these shows are still training shows for them – it is a part of their next years’ lives. Cristalline was in better form for the bigger classes than my stallion that I originally brought for the World Cup, so it was an easy choice. Cristalline has never questioned bigger fences and she likes a challenge. She likes the adrenalin of a big class," Chris says about the decision to ride the only 8-year-old mare for the final. "The horses always come first for us and the competition second. We are still educating the horses, and have a responsibility that the horses go out of every class and every show better than they began it. I would like to congratulate the course builder of the World Cup Final – Santiago Varela – who made such super job throughout the weekend."

Chris Chugg with Cristalline. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
"Cristalline is a bit of a freak of a nature," says Chris Chugg about the mare bought at the 'Prime Selection Sales' as a 5-year-old .

Now Gabrielle will get back in the saddle on her beautiful mare, and do some competitions in Europe with the CSI3* show in Lanaken as the first.

Gabrielle's phone has been very busy though, and the interest in the great mare is huge. "It should be, because there is nothing not to like about her! We have it in the back of our mind to sell, since I'm only 26 and if I want to continue in the sport I have to be able to support that. So, if it is life changing money and we can give her a good home – which is the top priority –  she might be sold," Gabrielle says and Chris add: "If we can match the rider to the horse, the person has a very good chance to go to a World Championship or Olympic Games with a horse that is ready for the Sunday. A lot of horses go to the championships, and they are ready for Thursday and Friday – but out of petrol for Saturday and Sunday. This mare jumps on her own ability on Thursday, Friday and Saturday – and on Sunday she is ready. Then she is relaxed, has seen the arena, has seen the jumps and she is not over-jumping as much but she will still give you a meter. She is one of those horses that can give you 100% when other horses are empty. I'm not trying to talk out of my hat, but she is a gold medal horse."

If Gabrielle and Chris leave Europe without Cristalline, they have some foals out of her waiting at home. "We are doing embryo transfer with our mares, so Cristalline has two yearlings on the ground –  one by Harrie Smolder's Emerald and one by Chris previous ride Conquistador. And this year another embryo by Emerald will be born as well as one by Chris' stallion Cera Cassiago. "We are hoping to be able to take some embryos now when we are in Europe, since we have more options on stallions here. We have some semen from For Pleasure, and then I guess we go for Diamant de Semilly and Chacco Blue – if they are still available. Cristalline never stresses about anything, so we are in a very blessed situation with her. She can do all the embryo transfers and still be competing at the highest level."

Gabrielle and Chris have bought more horses at the 'Prime Selection Sales', and the same year as they bought Cristalline they bought a 5-year-old by Baloubet du Rouet. He was just sold to a young rider in Australia and the one paying for the trip to Europe. Last year they bought a 7-year-old by Chacco Blue, that they have big hopes for. "It took a while to get her home, since no horses were allowed in to Australia for about six months. But, she is really smart and talented. We will take our time with her and she is something for us to go home to which is nice."

"We are definitely going back to the 'Prime Selection Sales' this year. Micha and Johannes have a great eye for horses, and they know what we are looking for. They are great people and we really trust them. We found Cristalline there, and she is the best horse in Australia – without a doubt – so of course we go back!"

Prime Selection Sales GmbH

Hauptstrasse 1

94094 Malching, Germany

[email protected]


Johannes Holzeder 0049 (0) 170 617 844

Micha Lampl 0049 (0) 151 253 095 04


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