Bloodlines, it is a topic that many books have been written about! You will see many names, and there is always the danger that you’ll get mixed up. Many years ago, others had the same feeling, that these names should be placed in a certain order: the offspring off a stallion should always start with the initial of the father. And so we have different bloodlines which you all know: D-line, F-line, and so on. A danger connects with that system: that you generalize too much. Bloodlines change over the years with each generation. Certain characteristics connect with each bloodline, but you must also see the individual stallion and not say, “How does a G-line horse or a D-line horse match?” Nobody can answer that question in general terms.
Today we have the following “old” bloodlines in Hannover: A (later E), F, D, and G. These old bloodlines were founded primarily by stallions of other breeds coming to the Hanoverian breed; most go back to Thoroughbred stallions. Then we have some “new” bloodlines: Semper Idem and Abglanz, both Trakehner stallions coming to the Hannover breeding area after World War II; Matcho xx, Der Lowe xx, and Pik As xx very good Thoroughbreds: and very recent and important, Bolero by the Thoroughbred stallion Black Sky xx and Matcho xx the French Anglo-Arabian used since 1983.
THE A- AND E- LINE: The A-line was founded by Adeptus xx used for breeding from 1884-1904. Most important was his grandson Alderman and through the Alderman son Alkoven this line produced the famous stallion Agram (1942-62) an outstanding producer of jumping horses. In Agram’s color and type, one sees the influence of Arabian blood through his Amateur I mother.The A-line through Alderman lost significance after 1950, unfortunately.
Today the A-line has changed to an E-line, with two main groups. One group goes back to the stallion Eindruck II. whose best known son is Einblick in his time a performance test winner and very good in dressage and jumping. Einblick has been used at stud since 1973. This group is considered mainly to be dressage horses, although Einblick himself was also very good in jumping.
The second E-line goes back to the stallion Eisenherz used in breeding since 1972. This group has a bigger influence on the breed than the Eindruck group. The best son of Eisenherz is Eiger 1 who is a very good type and very prepotent. His offspring have both dressage and jumping abilities, and his best son so far, I believe, is the young stallion Espri, used only since 1985. Espri’s first group of horses was very convincing.
THE F-LINE: The F-line goes back to Zemeboq, a Thoroughbred son who came from Pomerania and stood in the mid 1800’s. The line really began with his great-grandson Flingarth. who stood in the Verden area, 1909-1912, producing about 14 licensed sons. His best son was Fling, (1913-22), and all existing F-line horses go back to Fling.
The line was separated into the F and W lines according to the two Fling sons Fiener Kerl and Flavius: as of 1989, all stallions licensed in that year and going back to Feiner Kerl belong to the F-line; all going back to Flavius form the W-line.
First, the Feiner Kerl F-line. Feiner Kerl stood in Altenbrugge, and when he died the breeders put up a memorial to him because in his time (1922-43) he had the biggest influence on the Hanoverian breed, producing 114 licensed sons. Going back to Feiner Kerl is the very famous stallion Ferdinand.
In his time (1944-67) Ferdinand was perhaps the most famous producer of jumping horses in the world. Werner Schockeinoble once said of Ferdinand. “There has been no stallion known in the younger breeding history who passed on to his sons so consistently courage, confidence, and jumping ability”- and this against all other bloodlines. Ferdinand’s three State Stud sons were born relatively late in his career: Winnetou (1968-79), Wedekind (1970~83), and Wenderkreis (1971-80).
Of the Ferdinand sons, Wendekreis had the biggest influence, producing many stallions. Conformation-wise, his offspring are very correct, although needing some refinement on the mother’s side. Among his stallion sons some tend to the dressage direction like Wenderlin and Wenderberg while others arc more versatile. This indicates the mother’s influence.
Perhaps the best Wendekreis son is Werther, who has a Thoroughbred (Marcio xx) mother, influencing his appearance. Magjn xx became well known for producing dressage horses, so Werther has very good dressage blood on the mother’s side, very good jumping blood on the father’s side, and is a good stallion for both disciplines. One of this offspring achieving great dressage success in the U.S. is the gelding Willy the Great, ridden by Hilda Gurney. At the stallion licensing in Verden 1992, Werther was awarded the title Hanoverian Stallion of the Year – the first stallion ever to have received this award, which was sponsored by the Uetzener Insurance Company.
At the moment one of the most prepotent young stallions producing jumping horses is a son of Wagner by Wendekreis. Wagner has Gottard on the mother’s side, and Wanderer has Glander, a very good jumping horse, as his dam’s sire. A recent and very prominent son of his is Wanderbursch II reserve champion at the 1988 Stallion Licensing at Verden, and the top jumping horse in 1989 performance test at Adelheidsdorf. At the stallion licensing in Verden 1992, Fontainebleau a Wanderer/Wenzel son became champion stallion.
From another branch of the Feiner Kerl group is the stallion Watzman. An older stallion and more the older type, he has stood since 1972 and for a time was the most asked for producer of jumping horses in Hannover. His best known son so far is Walzerkoenig the Gold Medal jumper at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Recently some interesting Watzmann sons were introducd to the state stud: Willem’s Ass, Foxhunter and Fleetwood.
[Also from the Flavius] branch comes Widerhall a very good producer of performance horses who stood from 1968-1973. His son Wienerwald, standing since 1975, is one of the most asked for stallions to produce jumpers. However, as with Watzmann. we sometimes find conformation problems in the progeny (only two sons have made their way to the State Stud) so we need more good stallion sons to continue this valuable blood. Also from this part of the Flavius branch is Wolfsberg, standing from 1967-1982, who is another producer of jumpers.
A very important part of the Flavius branch goes back to Wohler (1953-72). Although relatively small, Wohler was very noble and a very good mover, and he founded mainly a dressage bloodline. His most important son was Woermann, but Wunsch II also produced very good dressage horses like the former European Champion and World Champion Woycek.
The Woermann group is today very much in demand by breeders. Standing from 1975-1988, Woermann was very good in conformation in all respects. and passes this to his offspring. An influential son is Wenzel I, a very prepotent stallion (you can always identify a Wenzel offspring)who has stood since 1980. He has sired many expensive auction horses, German National Champions in the riding horse competition, and one of his daughters is already the Finnish dressage champion. His offspring are pure dressage horses.
A second influential Woermann son is World Cup I, standing since 1981. He comes from a Sender/Lugano I mother, which proved a very good combination, with so far 16 sons licensed, five of them standing in Celle. These Woermann sons are producing very correct horses with very good movement. World Cup I is in third place in his age group in the national dressage horse ranking, and so far his best son is Weltmeyer. Weltmeyer won his stallion licensing in 1986; his 1987 performance test; the Three-Year-Old class of the 1987 German National Riding Horse Championship: and in 1989 he became the National Champion of the DLG Breeding Show, a competition of all German Breed societies. He comes from the same mother line as the Wanderer sons Wanderbursch and Wanderbursch II. From his first foal crop Weltmeyer produced Wittinger who repeated the successes of his sire: in 1991 he was champion stallion at me stallion licensing. In 1992 he was German National Riding Horse Champion and winner of his performance test at Adelheidsdorf.A recent licensed son of World Cup is Walt Disney who won his performance test in 1989.
Walt Disney I
The D-LINE: The D-line goes back to a Thoroughbred stallion Devil’s Own xx, standing from 1894-1906. His most important son was Dectectiv and all D-line stallions today go back to Detectiv, who stood from 1926-1943. The line then split, with the main branch being from the Detectiv son Dolman. and a small branch from the son Dwinger. Dwinger’s son Diskant sired the famous jumper Deister, one of the most remarkable horses ever produced in Hannover. Ridden by Paul Schockemohle Deister was the European Jumping Champion three times in a row and won 1.5 million German marks. Although we have few left from this branch, we have high hopes in the young stallion Dobrock also a good jumping horse, descending from the Diskant son Donnerwetter.
Dolman, standing from 1937-1953, sired the famous Duellant (1946-1965) who founded a big group of stallions, very good in conformation and movement, and with great dressage talent. His most influential son was Duft II. Duft II’s son Darling (1975-1987) proved to be a good producer of dressage stallions. Darling’s well known son Dynasty was, before his 1989 death, the best dressage horse in Canada. One of Darling’s sons used in Germany was Damnatz. Another very respected sire of dressage horses in Germany is the Duft II son Dueerkheim in the State Stud since 1973.
The stallion Dollart (1941-58) starts a different part of the D-line, more jumping oriented. His great-grandson Diskus sired the world famous US jumper, The Natural. His grandson Dominik sired Don Carlos one of the best known producers of jumping horses in Hannover. One of the several successful younger stallions produced by Don Carlos is Dynamo, whose daughter Dollar Girl is counted among the best jumping horses in the world today. Another Don Carlos son is Don Juan, standing since 1979, who produces consistently good jumping horses. Another promising Don Carlos son is Drosselklang II, a good jumper. The Don Carlos group is remarkable because you find horses of good “modern type ” conformation, from very old Hanoverian bloodlines with hardly any Thoroughbred influence.
THE G-LINE: Coming now to the G-line, it is Goldfisch II standing from 1939-58 on whom the important G-line horses center primarily through his influential descendants Grande and Gottard. The famous Grande, who stood for 25 years, 1962-1987, was noted for his inner values, which compensated for several conformational faults and resulted in his own high performance testing and the performance success of his offspring. With Graf by Goldfisch II more from the jumping side, and with a Duellant mother, Grande combined dressage and jumping bloodlines, and his offspring have been very versatile. His son Garibaldi II sired Gifted, for example, as well as good jumpers. His son Graphit sired the well-known (now deceased) U.S. dressage star Grundstein. While standing in Germany, Grundstein was a top producer of both dressage and jumping horses. Also Graslitter by Grande developed into a producer of show jumpers of international class. His son Grandeur was a three time winner of the German Derby. After being retired from the sport. Grandeur is a very sought after private stallion.
Grannus is another Graphit son, being 20 years old, he is already a legend in his lifetime. He became famous as a world class sire of show jumpers. In a dressage direction is the stallion Grenadier, a Grande grandson. Through his mother-line’s Thoroughbred influence (Valet xx), Grenadier shows improved neck, saddle, and shoulder position. His son Golfstrom belongs to the best German dressage horses.The famous Gothard, who stood from 1953-1978, is a Goldfisch II son but a very different horse from his close relative Grande. On his mother’s side is Amateur I, the same blood as Agram’s dam, and one sees again the Arabian characteristics of the Amateur I influence. In his time, Gothard was known as the best producer of jumping horses in the world and his influence continues. Type-wise, Gotthard descendants have continually improved over the generations, without losing the jumping ability. His best son was Gardestern who died early but is yet a leading sire of jumping horses in Germany. Gardestern had three sons in the State Stud. One of whom, Glueckstern, unfortunately died in 1987 after standing only three years. Glueckstern won his stallion licensing and the 1989 licensing nearly belonged to him. Four of his sons were licensed and two were taken in the first lot by the State Stud. There are also very high hopes for the Gardestern sons Gimpel and Goldfasan.
THE “NEW” BLOODLINES
SEMPER IDEM (1946-1959) AND SENATOR: The Trakehner stallion Semper Idem came to Germany after World War II and produced the famous Senator (1954-1973), a remarkable stallion who gave his name to the line. From his first year of breeding, only seven colts were born in 1955, six of whom became stallions in the State Studs, five to Celle and one to Warendorf. His son Sender (1959-1978) had the biggest influence on the breed in recent times as a very good producer of jumping horses. Sender’s son Servus standing since 1965. is well known for producing good performance horses, including the famous Slibovitz, and the winnings of his progeny total up to 1.4 million German marks. The only Servus son in the breeding business is Spartan, now standing in Germany as a private stallion and descending from an interesting mother line, his mother is a Gotthard daughter. Very recently Salvano seems to bring a fresh breeze into the suffering Semper Idem line. The Salem/Synamo son has been on stud since 1988. With his first crops of foals he sired already several class winners at mare shows and the impressive Sherlock Holmes (mother by Akzent I) who was reserve champion in the 1992 stallion performance test at Adelheidsdorf.
ABGLANZ (1946-1964) AND ABSATZ: Abglanz, also a Trakehner, sired the famous Absatz, who stood from 1964-1982. Absatz is one of the stallions who had the biggest influence in changing the appearance the of the Hanoverians within the last 20-30 years to a more modern, elegant type. His son Argentan for example, standing since 1971, consistently produces the good Absatz type and presence including three national champion mares in broodmare shows and, among others, the impressive young stallion Airport. The Absatz sons Akzent I and especially Akzent II and his son Acapulco are also very good stallions in Germany. Overall, the line appears to be very versatile in sports ability, including success in hunter competition.
MARCIO XX (1953-1955): The Thoroughbred stallion Marcio by Aventin xx influenced a newer bloodline which became well known for producing appealing dressage horses of good movement. His son Matrose, standing from 1969-1988, is notable in Germany. We will continue this line with Maat I. Also going back to Aventin xx through the Trakehner stallion Trautmann is the well known Trapper standing since 1977, a prepotent stallion producing many typey mares as well as stallion sons.
DER LOWE XX (1951-1973) LUCANO I – LUGANO II: Der Lowe xx was in his time the best Thoroughbred stallion used in German breeding, producing especially good dressage horses as well as cross country horses. His most important stallion sons were Lugano I and Lugano II. with Lugano II presently having the most influence. Through the Lugano II son Lombard we have today Lanthan standing since 1982. one of the most sought after stallions in the breed who produces very modern riding horses for all disciplines.
PIK AS XX (1953-1969): Pik As xx produced many good jumpers and his son Pik Koenig, standing from 1972.1984, although dying relatively early is on the lop ten list of jumper producers in Germany.
Pik As xx
The Pik Koenig sons Pik Bube I and Pik Bube II have produced both dressage and jumping horses.
BOLERO AND BLACK SKY XX (1979-1987): Bolero was much influenced by his Thoroughbred blood, his mother was by Sleep xx, and he was himself prepotent always producing the same type. His offspring have much suspension and elasticity, very good in movement, and have been successful in auctions as well as young riding horse and broodmare championships. Although he died early, he yet ranked third (1990) in the national dressage ranking of his age group.
Now his sons are starting to follow their sire’s career, namely Brentano II, who has been standing at stud since 1986.
MATCHO X (1983- ): The Anglo-Arab stallion Matcho X came from France, where the French Anglo-Arabian breed (not a direct cross breed between Thoroughbreds and Arabs) was almost a breed of its own. After he was bought by the State Stud, he won his performance test against Hanoverian stallions. He is important as a refinement stallion, with larger framed mares. His offspring are all very good in temperament and rideability, with good gaits, sometimes also with some show-jumping talent.
If you want to breed performance horses you must consider the blood lines very carefully, but the bloodline or pedigree does not “jump alone.” The best pedigree in the world is worth nothing if the horse does not prove, does not correspond to the quality you seek, or fulfill you expectations.
by Dr. Ludwig Christmann, Verband Hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter e.V.