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Showjumping world mourns loss of legendary sire

The celebrated KWPN breeding stallion Kannan has died following a heart attack, aged 28.

The son of Voltaire x Nimmerdor passed away at the Groupe France Elevage (GFE) in France this morning (24 January).

GFE, which has managed the stallion’s breeding career for 10 years, said it was a difficult time for those who took care of Kannan daily, and sad news for the breeding world.

“We had just celebrated his 28th birthday, including 10 [years] spent on the most beautiful fields and among the best of the world champions rankings,” said a statement.

The stallion had an international career with French showjumper Michel Hecart and was crowned national champion in 2005. The combination were also part of the seventh-placed French showjumping team at the 2005 European Championships in San Patrignano, Italy.

Kannan topped the World Breeding Federation of Sport Horses showjumping sire rankings in 2014, and last year was ranked 16th.

The statement said Kannan’s progeny had shone internationally and made him a true legend of the breeding world, adding that a stock of semen will allow GFE to continue to produce future champions for at least one or two years.

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Among the stallion’s successful offspring is Swiss showjumper Steve Guerdat’s London 2012 gold medal-winning bay gelding Nino Des Buissonnets.

Others include British-bred chestnut mare Diva II who was Ben Maher’s ride at the 2015 European Championships in Aachen, where the team finished fourth. The combination also placed second in the same year at the Nations Cup final in Barcelona, Spain.

The famous grey mare Molly Malone V, who helped launch Irish showjumper Bertram Allen’s career, is also by Kannan. The combination won individual silver at the 2013 junior European Championships in Spain, finished seventh individually at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, and took third place at the 2015 World Cup final in Las Vegas. Molly retired from competition in October last year aged 15.

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