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Contender, one of the top stallions in the world, has died. Foaled in 1984, the Holstein sire would have celebrated his 30th birthday this year.

His showjumping progeny include Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum’s Checkmate 4, Nick Skelton’s former ride Carlo 273 and Ludger Beerbaum’s top mare Chiara 222.

Nick Skelton riding Carlo 273, sired by Contender

Nick Skelton on Carlo 273

Contender was one of the most influential sons of Calypso II — who was an advanced showjumper with Michael Rüping before retiring to stud.

He was out of the Ramiro daughter, Gofine, who was in turn by the great Thoroughbred sire, Ladykiller.

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

He leaves behind 127 approved sons, including Contendro I.