Polydor’s heredity did not really thrill anyone at the beginning.
Even though the stallion’s offspring performed well in loose jumping, their manner of jumping was nothing special.
Then one day, the tables suddenly turned completely, with an impact like a bolt of lightning, just at the right time, bolstering the career of one of the finest sires of showjumpers worldwide, with the sorely needed impulse that was to leave its mark on horse breeding for a long time.
On that day, the horse breeding fraternity got a real surprise at the five-year-old and six-yearold showjumper competitions.
The winners of both events in 1984 derived from the Warendorf state stallion Polydor.
The names of the two ambassadors of their sire Polydor, who was already 12 years old at the time, were Pirat and Pirol.
No other stallion has managed to attain such a twin success at the unofficial „German Championship of Young Horses“ since that day. „From that day onwards, Polydor progeny were handled like gold,“ reports Spoo.
The successes at the Federal Championship were not to remain a one-day affair.
Polydor progeny unceasingly and inexorably pushed forwards to the advanced (S) class.
Tyrol had already caused a stir internationally under the Spanish flag, then Thomas Frühmann excelled in the saddle of the first class Polydor son Porter, before the bay mare Pamina became the best offspring of her sire for many years.
Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst initially rode Pamina before she became German champion with Otto Becker, winning the Luxemburg Nation’s Cup and finally attaining the best results of the German team at the 1990 World Championship, where she won the silver medal.
The mare managed the exceptional feat of winning the German Classics in Bremen and the Calgary Grand Prix, the two most highly remunerated equestrian competitions in the world, within one year, and was the most successful German bred horse in 1990. „Pamina was a horse with overwhelming possibilities and an outstanding preparedness to perform“, praises Otto Becker.
She attained Olympic fame under the Italian flag with Valerio Sozzi and participated successfully in the 1993 European Championship and the World Championship in The Hague.
The year 1992, in which Pamina started in the Olympic Games, was the year in which her sire’s half sister Padua also won her first advanced (S) class showjumping event in Neumünster.
Countless yellow ribbons were to follow in the advanced class.
Padua, ridden by Ralf Schneider, belonged to the winning Nation’s Cup team in Linz in 1993.
Following this, she was a placed World Cup finalist in 1994, won in Bremen in 1995 and decided the competitions in Dortmund and Mannheim in her favour in 1996.
Then, two years later, she was at the forefront with the German team at the Prague Nation’s Cup. „Even today, I still have passionate memories of that horse.
There wasn’t a day on which she did not do her utmost“; was the praise that Ralf Schneider had for his mare.
Padua, who was bred out of a mare with Holstein blood, by Aladin, produced the approved Zeus son Zandor Z, prior to her sports career.
Zandor Z successfully participated in the World Championship of Juvenile Showjumpers in Lanaken under Jos Lansink and won the 1999 Bordeaux Grand Prix.
The exceptional propensity for performance that was embedded in Padua’s genes, is attested by her full-sister Sonora la Silla ridden, successfully by Jan Tops in Grand Prix’ and Poor Boy, who attained international successes with Lesley McNaught and Beat Mändli.
Sonora la Silla was covered by Zeus and gave birth to the successful international sports horse Zodiac.
Padua won her last advanced class (S) showjumping event as a 17 year-old in Hagen in 2002.
The mare thus constantly had advanced (S) class successes for a period of 10 years.
This tally of successes underscores Polydor’s breeding propensity, the characteristics dominantly passed on by the stallion in his heredity: toughness and longevity.
The Warendorf state stallion Potsdam did not start in his first tournament until he was 10 years old.
Two years later, he was already the most successful Rhenic showjumper with a winnings tally of D.M. 96,653.
The stallion performance test winner Potsdam had a series of wins with the „Kaiser“ Heinrich-Wilhelm Johannsmann in 2002, winning in Münster, Neumünster, Nörten-Hardenberg, Redefin and Rulle.
The competition only saw the black stallion from behind each time.
In the year 2003, the life winnings of the Rhineland stallion comprised Euro 133,450. „Potsdam is a horse that wants to work incredibly hard, a horse that everyone dreams about, one with whom riding becomes a real delight,“ says Johannsmann enthusiastically about the black horse.
The winnings that Potsdam’s progeny have amassed are also quite considerable, amounting to Euro 64,150.
His approved son Pascavello, who was bred out of a Holstein dam, by Cor de la Bryére-Farnese, is covering in Warendorf as a state stallion.
Potsdam can also be a real hit on the dam’s side, as demonstrated at the 2003 NorthRhine-Westphalian foal auction, where the sum of Euro 30,000 was attained by Figo, who derives from Fürst Piccolo-Potsdam.
Potsdam is incidentally, not unique.
He also had a three-year younger full brother Paavo N, who was likewise approved, but later castrated.
Paavo N was small, but fast and nimble and of cat-like agility.
The Rhineland horse had Grand Prix placements an incredible 62 times.
In the year 2000, Paavo N, who was renowned for his fighting spirit, advanced to become the most successful Nation’s Cup horse, as he had been a member of the winning team four times.
The 1.61-metre gelding proved his preparedness to perform in competition sport under the Irish rider Jessica Kürten for a period of six years, before he went into retirement after winning the Flandria Queens Cup in Mechelem in Belgium at the end of 2003.
Thus, Paavo N similar to Potsdam, verifies the prepotency transmitted by his sire.
Potsdam is one of 32 approved Polydor sons.
There was silence for many years concerning an „upholder of the paternal bloodline“.
Of the 27 sons registered in studbook 1, only three were approved before 1991.
The very first, Palisandergrund, was bred out of a Frühling dam.
His progeny winnings were in excess of Euro 113,000 according to the 2003 FN breeding yearbook.
This makes him the second-most successful Polydor son per se.
His full brother Pacific Sunset, who performed covering duty in Canada, followed two years later.
Then nothing was heard of Polydor at approvals for a long time, until a further Polydor son, Polany was approved nine years later.
Bred out of a Foxtrott dam, the Warendorf state stallion attained the highest progeny winnings of all the paternal half-brothers, with a winnings sum of Euro 133,303.
The Rhineland horse was champion of the 1990 approval and won his stallion performance test with a score of 130.54 points.
Polany’s pedigree includes a high proportion of thoroughbred blood via his dam Fabel, who derives from the famous Vornholz mareline of the mare Finnländerin, through stallions like Usurpator xx, Ramzes xx and Sinus xx.
The stallion had successes in advanced (S) class showjumping competitions under Marcus Döring.
Polany’s son Polano, who likewise won his stallion performance test, caused the bidding to soar to DM.650,000 at the PSI auction.
Polano was placed in the dressage category because of his strong motions and rideability.
Following Polany’s approval in 1990, Polydor managed to present at least one approved son each year.
In 1991 this amounted to three: Potsdam, his one-year-older full brother Puschkin D and the stallion „Point“, who was bred out of a Feuerzauber dam and is stationed at the Moritzburg state stud (life winnings of Euro 26,000 in 2003).
The year 1991 was also the year in which Polydor led the „Federal League“ of Sires through the successes of his progeny.
A changeable period began two years later with the approval of Pontifex, who crowned himself with what until now, has been a never-ending story.
The stallion that was bred out of a Dialekt dam, moved into the state stud, and merely seven years later, moved out again.
It was said of him that he could not jump and had a poor heredity.
Pontifex was to prove such rumours to be gross untruths at his new home, the Gripshöver stables, where he first enabled the rider Oliver Schal to win the Golden Riding Badge and then celebrated international successes with Lutz Gripshöver.
When Pontifex’s progeny provided a great deal of publicity for their sire once they had come of age, the Gripshöver family opened up a covering station just for the stallion.
Polyfee is one such progeny, who permanently causes her sire to be the talk of the town.
As a nine-year old, she won the finals of the Youngster Tour in Münster in 2003. „She is incredibly ambitious and inherited the enormous capacity of her sire,“ reports Gripshöver, who had a World Cup placement and came third with her in the Dortmund Grand Prix.
In 2003, Pontifex’s offspring earned around Euro 47,000, with a rising tendency.
A comparison with his sire’s career seems quite realistic. The Westphalian Polygraf, bred out of a Joachim dam, was also part of the 1993 approval lot.
A total of 32 stallions followed, including Pronto, Poleander, Polidiktus van der Helle, who is stationed in Belgium as a sire, Polyfox and Pantormo, who was inbred to Pilatus, bred out of a Pilot dam and owned by Paul Schockemöhle.
The latest up to now, who was fittingly baptised with the name of Polydor’s Erbe (Polydor’s heir), was approved in Münster-Handorf in 2002.
He is a full brother of Pikachu and one of five further stallions upholding the paternal Polydor bloodline of the exceptional Warendorf hereditary transmitter.
Two of these upholders, Prado and the dappled chestnut Peking, derive from the Rhenic private stallion Polytraum.
The pedigree of the stallion, born in 1994, has Westphalia’s premium stallions on the dam’s side via Frühlingstraum II-Bariton-Angelo xx all in a row.
Polytraum, who belonged to the premium lot of his approval in 1996, already presented Prado, the vice-champion of the 2001 North-Rhine-Westphalian approval from his second age class.
Prado who was bred out of a Lancer II dam, caused a stir at his first appearance in the limelight: Martin Spoo praised the state stallion as „one of the best loose-jumpers of the 1999 German age class“.
Prado moreover completed his stallion performance test as overall third, in the forefront of his stallion performance test, with the score of 123.62 points.
Polydor offspring are world renowned for their outstanding jumping ability.
One of the most successful ambassadors of her sire in Grand Prix events was the mare Bellenuit.
The Westphalian Polydor-Adlerblick daughter had sensational successes under Otto Becker, with Paris 1993, Frankfurt 1994, Geesteren 1996 and Ascona 1997 being milestones of the pair’s career.
The progeny of a stallion that transmits its heredity in such a manner are much sought after.
Polydor offspring thus constantly caused their exhibitors to have satisfied faces at the NorthRhine-Westphalian auctions.
In the year 2001, three Polydor progeny enriched the auction lot of the spring elite auction.
Rhineland buyers paid Euro 40,000 for Placido, who was bred out of an Exstream dam, whereas Polytanus, who was bred out of a Lukull dam, changed owners for just Euro 9,000 less.
Several months later, the mare Paloma pushed the bids up to Euro 75,000.
The annual PSI auction which takes place in December, transforms the purchase of up and coming young stars into manyfacetted events through a little „more glamour, see and be seen and more glitter“.
The most highly priced Polydor son auctioned there was the Westphalian Prefectus of Kenya, in 2001, who took part in the Federal Championship of Five-YearOld Showjumpers.
Italian breeders paid DM. 470,000 for the champion of the 1994 Federal Five-Year-Old Showjumping Championship Polyfox, who was bred out of a Foxtrott dam.
One year later, Paladena, who was bred out of an Octavo xx dam, became federal vice-champion five-year-old and only let Uwe Heckmann’s rosewood mallet drop at the price of DM. 230,000.
The stallion Progress that likewise started in Warendorf, went to Spain for DM 120,000.
The hopes associated with Pozitano’s auction sale for the sum of DM. 440,000 in 1994 were more than fulfilled.
Beat Mändli, Pozitano’s rider described the gelding as „a dream horse with endless jumping ability“.
In 1999, the Rhenic horse, which won the Aachen Nation’s Cup and team silver at the European Championship in Hickstead, was vice-champion of the world ranking.
One year later, he was decorated with the team silver medal at the Sydney Olympic Games.
In 2001, the dark tan horse, which was bred out of a Waidmannsdank xx dam, was once more able to position himself as vice-champion in the phalanx of the world’s showjumping elite.
He was moreover, the Westphalian horse with the highest winnings.
A paternal half brother of Pozitano, Michael Whitacker’s PolydorFröhlich son Two Step was frequently a direct competitor of Pozitano in the jump off.
Following wins in Bordeaux, London and Betune in 1993 and winning the Dublin Nation’s Cup in 1994, Two Step led the world ranking in 1995, with wins in the Calgary and Rotterdam Grand Prix’.
In 1996, the Westphalian bolstered the British team and once again won the Calgary Nation’s Cup, before taking part in the Atlanta Olympic Games.
In 1998, Polydor unequivocally demonstrated his qualities when he ranked at the very forefront of sires of showjumpers worldwide.
Then in 1999, he was vice-champion, after Capitol I.
At that time, Polydor had already long been first choice among breeders with a sports orientation. „Initially, the stallion did not have very good chances, but when his progeny demonstrated what was in him, Polydor became very popular, even though his semen was not that good anymore in his later years“, reports the Westphalian head breeder Dr.
Even in recent times however, Polydor still managed to produce bombshells. „The rocket is igniting again“, was a headline for the „Westphalian of the month“ in May 2003.
The former auction mare Pershing, bred out of a Watzmann dam, returned to advanced competition sport under the Irish rider Peter Charles.
The ambitious mare was part of the victorious Irish team under Charles, in the 2003 Aachen Nation’s Cup.
Prior to that, she had amassed successes under Ray Texel and been nominated for the Swiss Olympic team in 2000, before she was sold to the USA for allegedly DM. 4.8 million.
Pershing is closely related to Paramo K and stems from the same studfarm.
In the year 2000, Paramo K was fourth in the ranking of the greatest NorthRhine-Westphalian money earners, under the saddle of Franke Sloothaak. „The D.M.120,000 that Paramo K won in sporting events in 1999, made him the record holder of seven-year-old showjumpers with the greatest winnings“, reports his breeder and owner Werner Kegel.
Paramo K, who was bred out of a pure thoroughbred damline, is meanwhile enjoying Grand Prix successes under the saddle of Joachim Heyer.
His son Provocateur ended the Federal Championship of Six-Year-Old Showjumpers by winning third place in 2004.
His score was 9.0 prior to the jump off, which speaks for itself.
Pa’s Hope, a further Polydor son, ridden by Edith Beine, won in another discipline of the equestrian sport, which also requires jumping ability, and above all, enormous willingness to perform: the Federal Three Day Eventing Championship.
Pink Power moreover demonstrated that a number of dressage horse by Polydor also managed to make it to the very top of the dressage sport.
The steed won the Hamburg Dressage Derby with the Canadian rider Christilot Hansen-Boylen in 1991.
Polydor, who was trained up to intermediate (M) class dressage level, also excelled at stallion parades in the big quadrille. „It was a great pleasure to ride him – he had the ability to present himself well and had an incredible attitude“, applauds his rider of long standing, the ex-principal senior saddle master Klaus Tönsfeuerborn respectfully.
Yet, should a rider sit in his saddle who was not so strong or who lacked experience, then „the stallion would give him a very hard time.
A small portion of stubbornness certainly belonged to his character“ remembers Susanne Rimkus.
Still, Polydor was popular throughout the studfarm. „He was always there when he was needed – always hardworking, never tired, always keeping an overview, without going crazy.
Polydor had long transformed his erstwhile relatively inconspicuous, ordinary exterior,to the radiation of his own very special, enormous personality. „He had a certain dignity in his glance,“ says Rimkus.
He certainly deserved it.
Few stallions that were so underrated, still managed to develop to exceptional sires. „At the beginning of his career, few people had any idea of the calibre of the stallion that stood before them,“ states Horst Ense, chairperson of the Breeding Department of the German Rider’s Association (Bereich Zucht der Deutschen Reiterlichen Vereinigung).
Polydor’s life ended through colic, coupled with cardiac-blood-circuit collapse on the 18th of April 2000. „That was one of the most dreadful moments of my career,“ reflects Rimkus. „It is no simple matter, to determine the end of such a legendary stallion that had welcomed groups of visitors, fit and radiant, just a day earlier.
His condition was so bad however, that we decided to spare him further pain and had him put down. „A taxidermist stuffed Polydor, who can now be seen at the Münster Horse Museum, where he greets every visitor.
He was most certainly a special horse with an exceptional character…
Read more about Chestnut : Two of these upholders Prado and the dappled chestnut Peking….: