Legendary Stallion Contender Passes Away

Contender granddaughter, Valonia. Contender granddaughter, Valonia.

Very sad news in the horse world today: Contender, one of the top stallions in the world, has died. The gorgeous Holsteiner, foaled in 1984, would have turned 30 later this year.

Some of Contender’s famous show jumping offspring include Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum’s Checkmate 4, Nick Skelton’s former ride Carlo 273 and Ludger Beerbaum’s top mare Chiara 222. Contender was one of the most influential sons of Calypso II, an advanced showjumper that Michael Rüping rode. Contender was out of the Ramiro daughter, Gofine, who was by the Thoroughbred sire, Ladykiller.

Contender was reserve champion at his 1986 licensing and won the 1987 Adelheidsdorf stallion performance test with a jumping index of 146.62.

When Contender won his 100 Day Test, these were some of the remarks: “Significant sire with fabulous lines, good expression and great presence. Overall sire of exceptional class. Top conformation. Very well balanced, regular strides … Jumps as his pedigree would dictate with great ability, form and skill. Produce: Really good foals of his type.”

He leaves behind 127 approved sons, including Contendro I.

I feel lucky to have a Contender granddaughter, Valonia (Contester x Parlona), show above. Here’s a short video of the amazing stallion:

Rest in peace, Contender.

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