Born 1984, 1.70 metres
Breeder - Niko Detlef, Westfehmarn
Contender is proving to be one of the most influential sons of
Calypso II - who was himself an important transmitter of the genetic
heritage of Cor de la Bryère. Calypso II was an advanced level showjumper with Michael Rüping, before retiring to stud where he sired a number of good jumping horses, and also several top line dressage competitors.
Contender is out of the Ramiro daughter, Gofine who was in turn by the great Thoroughbred sire, Ladykiller (Her line goes: Ramiro x Ladykiller xx x Heidkrug x Loretto-First-Mirza-Rudolf-Defregger- Justinus-Achill-Fritz).
Gofine produced several top showjumpers including the international performer Ulina (by Chicago) who competed with Susanne Behring, as well as Largo, Frechdachs and Florenza.
Bred to Caletto I, Gofine produced Cornetto in 1989, who went on to be reserve champion of his stallion approval. A daughter of Gofine produced the stallions, Cassandro I & II. Cassandro I was a Danish Show champion, and as a gelding, was a successful jumper with Jerry Smit. Gofine's daughter, M-Loreen (by Leander) when bred to Caletto I, produced two international competitors: Fine Kiss (Michel Robert) and Caliskan (Candice King).
Contender won the 1987 Adelheidsdorf stallion performance test with a jumping index of 146.62. He went on to be the 1-b main premium vice-champion in Oldenburg on the basis of his excellent first crop of foals.He is now one of the most sought after stallions in Germany today. He has produced 80 approved sons, and 59 state premium mares including Riconda who won the Elite Mare Show at Rastede in 1993. As of 2006, in Holstein, Oldenburg, Hannover and Rhineland, Contender has produced 782 registered mares, 498 successful offspring in the sport.
Contender spent his first three years at stud in Oldenburg before moving to Holstein. An impressive number of his first foals went on to international careers: Niko (Geoff Billington). Copa d'Oro (Yves Houtackers) and Maria Callas (Ben Schröder) - there is also Herbert Blöcker's eventer, Chicoletto.
Contender sons include: Cantos (KWPN, damsire, Goodtimes), Koriander (Moltke I), Canabis Z (Silvester), Chellano Z (Cor de la Bryère), and Oldenburg performance test champion, Contango (exported to the USA), Continue, Caius, Clinton, Calvador, Camiros (1994 approval winner), Concerto I and II, Coleo and Concetto.
Contender has dominated German breeding values for many years now and continues to produce exciting young stallions like Contendro (premium stallion in the approval of 1999, and winner of the performance test at Adelheidsdorf the following year).Marco Kutscher is successfully riding three approved Contender sons in international sport: Contreo, Conterno Grande and Montender (German Champion of 2003, bronze medallist at the Athens Games and European Champion 2005). Toni Hassmann won the German Showjumping Derby with Collin, whilst Checkmate won on the Rider's Tour with Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and was her ride at the European Championships. The licensed Holsteiner, Controe (out of Amalva by Aloube Z) has twice been runner up in major classes at CSIs in Stockholm and Amsterdam. Another Contender, the 2004 world champion of sires, Con Spirito R (dam, Galaune by Caletto I) is based in Switzerland at the Ruetimann Stud, and has been successfully competed by Theo Muff - he too is proving a handy sire.
Contender's influence spreads throughout Germany, with his two sons, Cordobes I & II acquired by the Westfalien stud stud at Warendorf. Cordobes I was the winner of his performance test in 1998 - scoring almost exactly the same jumping score as his celebrated sire, 146.29!
Contender was ranked third in the list of the world's best showjumping sires in 2004.
According to Thomas Mohr, the director of the Maas J. Hell stallion station, like all good stallions, Contender needs 'his' type of mare:
"He has proven what he has for the breed, he gives lots of power. He is the sire of many horses on the international showjumping scene. He is a great stallion, you either like him or you don't like him, but he has set his footmark.He is comparable to Grannus in Oldenburg, or Pilot in Westphalia, but he needs a special mare, a blood type mare. Each stallion needs a special mare."
"That's the problem with the hobby breeders - if they have a good mare, they want to breed her to Contender, but everybody knows it doesn't fit, because the mare is heavy. That's the difference with the older breeders, you can say to them, 'don't do that', and they take the advice."
As one of the 'big three' stallions in Holstein, Contender is limited to a book of 350 mares a year - and last year over 700 applications were received!