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Although some super young horses went under the hammer at Brightwells European Sale of Show Jumpers at Addington Manor, Buckinghamshire (20 November), no records were broken this year. The top price was £31,000, with some bargains to be had for canny buyers, who included European visitors.

The horse who impressed a full house most did not appear in the catalogue at all. The three-year-old Hanoverian Classic, a tall, strong horse with a superb technique over a fence, was a wildcard entry.

There was strong competition for this Contendro stallion, whose damline is that of Paul Schockemohle’s great Deister, before he went to an anonymous local bidder.

Another German-bred horse, the two-year-old Holsteiner Capitall, impressed too and sold for £20,000. This strong Cassini I colt was light off the floor and showed huge scope.

The runner-up in the bidding stakes was another entire three-year-old. The flashy Casallo Z (by Casall out of a Carthago Z mare) is a lovely type with ample ability.

A big two-year-old Concorde colt, Acorde O was the subject of spirited bidding before being knocked down to an overseas buyer for £22,000.

Bidders had to wait until the end of the evening for the best mare. The three-year-old Westphalian Ilka, a daughter of the Selle Francais Its Me Du Mesnil, could have been a steal at £21,000.

The top gelding also went for £21,000. This was the Dutch-bred three-year-old Zantos (Cantos-Hamlet), who showed the biggest jump of the night.

Some horses failed to reach their reserve. These included a potential sales-topper Chabot Z (Calvino Z-Happy Wind D’Hof Bos) — unsold at £26,000.

Quainton Stud could have a good buy in Zingaro (Rash R-Grosso Z), who went for £10,000, while it would not be surprising to see the Quick Du Domaine-Atlantus mare Matildas Law at shows next year — a smart buy for international rider Lee Williams at £6,700.

This report was first published in Horse & Hound (3 January, ’07)