Darco, one of the most influential show jumping stallions of modern times, died recently, aged 26, after an accident in his stable.

The Belgian-bred stallion was by Lugano Van La Roche came from a tough family of mares. His grand dam excelled in all disciplines, including three outings at the European Rural Riders Eventing Championships.

Darco won his first World Cup qualifier at Olympia in 1988 and finished seventh at the Barcelona Olympics with Ludo Philippaerts.

After retiring to stud, Darco sired more than 3,000 offspring. One of his sons, Unbelievable Darco, won the 2002 H&H Foxhunter final aged five.

“Darco started my career — he was one of the best stallions in the world and he made the Belgian breeding industry,” said Ludo.

  • This report was first published in H&H (29 June ’06)