The perfect example of an event horse, Sam may not have had the wow factor but his results record is scintillating, says Kate Green
TORVILL and Dean, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Michael Jung and La Biosthetique-Sam FBW – partnerships made in heaven, effortlessly bound by the slenderest of threads. The status quo in eventing changed forever when a smiley, compact German rider met an unassuming bay gelding; two stars who arose in alignment to become the most successful combination in the sport’s history.
It began 21 years ago when a colt foal was born to a Czech thoroughbred mare, Halla. The pedigree was immaculate. The foal’s Irish thoroughbred sire, Stan The Man, was to be responsible for another Olympic champion, Leslie Law’s Shear L’Eau. The dam was by Heraldik XX, sire of Ingrid Klimke’s Beijing Olympic team gold medallist FRH Butts Abraxxas and Sam Griffiths’ prolific CCI5*-L horse, Happy Times.
La Biosthetique-Sam FBW’s cheerful, honest and businesslike way of going would remind many people of a champion of three decades earlier, Ginny Elliot’s (née Holgate) Priceless. But as a two-year-old, the verdict on his stallion potential was “nondescript” and “has a funny jump”.
Also published in H&H magazine, on sale Thursday 18 July
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