From Gotthard to Gribaldi : The making of the modern warmblood
I can only congratulate you on creating this masterpiece. The Making of the Modern Warmblood is not only a book, it's a lexicon. I am very happy that I am the owner of one of these books. Often I will look into the book to read things which I don't know. It is very interesting and remarkable how much expertise, detail and investigation you unite in your book. Often historical developments in breeding associations or breeders are presented in a portrait, but I think - from the perspective of a trainer and judge - this is the first comprehensive compilation.
Furthermore the book is filled not only with unique knowledge, but also built up clearly and structured. It is a very pleasant reading, which we should recommend it to every horseman.
Irish equestrian journalist and commentator, Michael Slavin
Dramatically tracing the 50 year history of the modern sport horse, a massive 660 page study by Australian expert Christopher Hector has just been launched. Entitled The Making of the Modern Warmblood, it interestingly traces the main bloodlines that have brought about the top Continental competition horses like those we saw so clearly showcased during the recent World Equestrian Games.
With over 1000 black and white and colour illustrations Hector brings us into the stables and over the fences with now well known foundation sires like Alme, Ibrahim, Landgraf, Galoubet, Jalisco, Grannus, Argentinus, Lord, Marco Polo, Voltaire, Le Mexico, Ramiro, Pilatus, Caletto, Nimmerdor, Capitol, Narcos and more. These are not just mentioned; their background in Thoroughbred and Warmblood is traced along with the sons and daughters they produced. Just about every top flight jumping and dressage horse in the world today can trace their origins back to these sires who mostly began their competition and stud careers in the late fifties and sixties.
This book is not just a list of stallions and their progeny. Rather it is a crash course on the subject of how the European sport horse has arrived at the point where it now stands. And he does not shirk the thorny questions - like “are the top show jumping horses just a little crazy in the head?” You will have to read pages 506 - 510 for the answer to that one. He also asks “can you breed for the Amateur and the professional?” And with some top producers and trainers he debates the whole important area of the need for “good temperament”. On this last subject it is nice to see him devote almost 10 pages of his volume to the Irish Draught.
But the main thrust of the book is the historic development of the main European stud books in Germany, France, Sweden, Holland and Belgium. And all of this leads him to what appears to be the inexorable conclusion that a Pan European Stud book is in the making. And he clearly illustrates that some of its important roots spring out of many good Irish thoroughbreds. This is a must book for anyone sincerely interested in the breeding of Sport Horses. I cannot recommend it highly enough.