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Breitling W, the 2014 Hanoverian stallion of the year, was put down at the weekend (13 December) after suffering from colic.

The 24-year-old was owned and competed in international grand prix by German trainer Wolfram Wittig.

The pair competed at Hickstead and in 2001 Breitling W was the winner of its CDI grand prix and Nations Cup, competing alongside his older full brother Meggles Biagiotti W (Marcus Gribbe).

That year Breitling and Wittig were also third in the mens’ German National championships.

Breitling is a son of Bismark who was by the Hanoverian foundation B line stallion Bolero.

Out of Maja by Maat he was bred by Wittig’s father-in-law and raised by Wolfram and his wife Brigitte.

Breitling started his career within competition. He was seven years old and competing in the young horse prix st georges championships when he licensed.

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It was not until he was retired in 2007 that his breeding career took over.

Although a late starter he has several grand prix offspring. The stallion Blind Date W was winner of last year’s Austrian championships with Victoria Max Theurer, Balmoral W is competing grand prix with Brigitte Wittig while Burlington FRH was a member of the German gold medal at the 2012 European young rider championships and now competing grand prix.

Wolfram Wittig has continued the line and Breitling W has several approved sons including Bertoli W currently competing with Wolfram Wittig and a full brother to the stallion Baron de Ley W, who was formerly owned by Southern Cross Stud and is now with Mexican Olympic rider Berna Pujals.

Breitling is the second prolific stallion to have died within the past few days. Today (Monday 14 December), Suzanne Lavandera’s Dimaggio — sire of British team horse Half Moon Delphi — was put down aged 20.