‘I can hop on and ride grand prix movements in a headcollar’: eight things that may surprise you about super-sire Fidertanz

  • Find out more about this superstar dressage stallion...

    1. The great stallion is 16 years old now, but looks fantastic for it — he enjoys daily turnout at Böckmann Stud in Germany and is still ridden or lunged each day too – he gets bored if he doesn’t get to play with some piaffe and passage at least once a week.

    2. The stallion has been partnered by Portuguese grand prix rider Antonio do Vole for eight years, since he was at small tour. Antonio is still his regular rider now.

    “I have the absolute certainty that, if he had been allowed to concentrate exclusively on sport, he would have gone to the Olympics — he was that good,” reflects Antonio.

    3. For a top stallion, Fidertanz is surprisingly laid back at home.

    “I can hop on in my jeans and trainers and ride all the grand prix movements in a headcollar,” says Antonio.

    4. Fidertanz is by the late Florestan I stallion Fidermark, whose other offspring include Charlotte Dujardin’s double world bronze medallist Mount St John Freestyle, and the breeding stallions Fürst Piccolo and For Compliment.

    5. Among Fidertanz’s own offspring are the approved stallions Foundation and Franciskus — both starting their grand prix careers — and the British para champion C Fatal Attraction, winner of many medals under Sophie Wells. Fidertanz is currently ranked number 24 in the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses sire rankings.

    6. Fidertanz surprised his breeder, Hermann Schult, by his impressive early performances.

    “Fidertanz was a nice stallion prospect, but we didn’t realise quite how good he was until two years later, when he went to the first selection for the Westphalian licensing and he turned out to be spectacular,” Hermann explains. “We had so many offers and we sold him to Böckmann stud during the licensing itself.”

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    7. He suits a wide variety of mares, but in particular, modern, long-legged mares who have a longer frame and don’t necessarily need extra height.

    8. When Fidertanz came on to the breeding scene, he marked a shift in warmblood breeding, being shorter and more compact than other popular stallions at the time.

    “I think of him as the stallion who changed the warmblood world,” says Antonio.

    Additional reporting by Selene Scarsi

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