The Holsteiner CASALL was born on 13 April 1999 at Drelsdorf in Germany, bred by Thomann Wilfried. His sire is the great CARETINO and his mother is KIRA XVII (LAVALL I x RAIMOND), born in 1995 and bought very young by Thomann Wilfried.

KIRA XVII belongs to the Holst Stamm 890, one of the most popular Holstein dam lines. In 2003 she also produced CLARENCE C (by CARANO), that with his talent was the real star of the Holsteiner stallion approval in 2005, where he was proclaimed reserve champion.

KIRA XVII also gave birth to two full sisters of CASALL. They in turn produced two young approved stallions, both from DIAMANT DE SEMILLY: the 5-year-old DIAMANT DE CASALL, licensed in Westphalia, and DIANO, 4-year-old approved in Holstein.

CASALL’s second dam, MALTIA, produced TAURA (by LORD), dam of the performer stallions RINGO STARR, CESANO I and II, and of the international jumpers in 1m60 competitions CROCODILE DANDY and CONALLY.

CASALL in the spring of ’99 was born with all the prerequisites to become an excellent horse, but not everything went as planned. During his approval in the free jumping, he failed to meet expectations and did not exhibit his ability of exceptional jumper, as you can see in the well-known video that I posted below. 

Nevertheless, the Holsteiner Verband decided to license him, and today we can say that investment couldn’t get any better for the Holsteiner Verband.

Everybody knows the story of the international success of CASALL with his rider Rolf-Goran Bengtsson in the most important show jumping arena all over the world. The first victory of this couple in a Grand Prix was in 2008 at Aarhus, but it was only the start of an incredible adventure of an extraordinary pair that thrilled crowds of fans. A long journey together that lasted until CASALL was 18, when the day of his farewell to the competitions was celebrated.

The accolades of this exceptional stallion are full of victories and important placings: CASALL ranked 6th with the team at the London Olympics in 2012; in 2013 at the European Championships in Herning, he won the team bronze medal and took the 4th place individually; in 2014 at the WEG of Caen, he had to give up the podium, despite an extraordinary championship. CASALL participated at 3 World Cup Finals, ranking 5th and 6th in 2012 and 2013.

He won 10 Grand Prix of the Global Champions Tour, and in 2016, at the age of 17, he was 1st in the overall ranking of the GCT.

Despite his incredible physical fitness, his retirement from the sport was decided at the age of 18 and took place during the Longines Global Champions Tour leg of Hamburg. Here, this immense champion greeted his audience with an extraordinary victory in the GP, to the applause and cheers of the crowd and the emotion of his rider.

In this article I don’t want to only talk about the story of the life of CASALL, but I would like to focus on the analysis of his offspring.

The results described in this work are obtained collecting the data about his progeny from publicly available databases (Holsteiner Verband, FEI, Horsetelex, Hippomundo, and other Studbooks’ open data). As usual, I tried to collect as much data as possible to have a detailed picture of the production of the stallion analyzed.

– Progeny of Casall –

The total number of offspring registered in different Studbooks from 2003 to 2019 is 3655 (Fig. 1).

After his first year of breeding, 56 offspring were born in 2003, with a growth trend over the years with few exceptions, reaching to 390 sons born in 2019. Until 2017, CASALL was able to balance his breeding career with that of a top-level sport horse.

Obviously, most of CASALL’s offspring, 2992 (82%), are registered in the Holsteiner Verband.

Follow the trend Zangersheide and, in the last few years, the Selle Francais, two Studbooks that used CASALL more than others.

Fig. 1 – Casall’s offspring born from 2003 to 2019

– Performance of offspring –

Arbitrarily, to analyze the performance of his offspring I decided to consider only those of 9 years of age or older. There are 1161 sons born from 2003 up to 2010 that were at least 9 years old in 2019. Considering the performances in CSI of these 1161 horses:
68 sons competed in at least one 1.60m class ( 5.9% )
20 sons competed in at least one 1.55m class ( 1.7% )
56 sons competed in at least one 1.50m class ( 4.8% )
Overall, 12.4% of his 1161 sons competed at 1.50-1.60m classes of CSI.

A percentage comparable to that of DIAMANT DE SEMILLY (12.2%), slightly lower than KANNAN (14.65%), and lower than FOR PLEASURE (19.2%), BALOUBET DU ROUET (20.7 %), CORNET OBOLENSKY (24.7%), and CHACCO BLUE (28.6%).

Considering all of his 3655 sons, regardless of the age, 151 of them compete in 1.50m-1.60m classes.
Separating them by sex, 39.1%
 are geldings35.1% mares, and 25.8% stallions (Fig. 2).

The mares (53), numerically comparable to the geldings (59), are the most represented in 1m50 level, while if we look at the more difficult categories of 1m60, the geldings are those with the highest percentage: 20.5% compared to 12.6% of stallions and 11.9% of mares.  Overall, there are fewer stallions than mares and geldings. Out of the 38 stallions, 19 of them compete in 1m60 classes and 19 in 1m50-1m55 classes.

Fig. 2 – Casall’s best offspring separated by sex

– Approved stallions –

There are 161 sons of CASALL that have been stallion-graded in different studbooks. Forty-nine are approved for the Holsteiner Verband, 8 of them awarded. His sons CASALTINO (dam sire CARTHAGO) and CANDILO (dam sire DIARADO) became champion stallions of the 2013 and 2018 Neumünster stallion grading. Two sons that were reserve champion were CATCH IT (dam sire LOCATO) in 2009 and CASCADELLO I (dam sire CLEARWAY), which sold for € 600.000 in 2011. CASALLCO (dam sire CONTENDER) was reserve champion during the OS stallion approval. There are 112 approved stallions that are at least 7 years old. Analyzing the sporting performances of these 112 horses, we find that 43 (38.4%) of them compete in 1m45 – 1m60 categories (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 – % of stallion sons of Casall over 7 years of age competing in 145-160 classes.

The great majority of the 161 approved stallions came from Holstein dam line. Particularly, 129 are registered in Holstein and their dams mostly descend from the founders of this breed. The sire lines of 63 broodmares go back to COR DE LA BRYERE, 42 to CAPITOL I, 22 to LADYKILLER, and 16 to ALME’ (Fig. 4).

The most represented sires of dams are CONTENDER with 12 daughters followed by CORRADO I with 11 daughtersCARTHAGO with 9 daughters, CASSINI with 8 daughters, CALIDO and LANDGRAF with 5 daughters.

Fig. 4

– Stallion rankings –

In the FEI-WBFSH stallion ranking of 2020 (drawn up considering the period from 1/10/2019 to 30/9/2020), CASALL was 5th, slipping down to the 3rd position of 2019 and 2018. 

Based on the WBFSH ranking statement “Stallion rankings are determined by adding all the points earned by offspring in FEI competitions. A stallion with many offspring in the international sport and which are successful in major competitions will earn many points and subsequently stand high in the ranking.“ In this case, if we have two stallions that produce the same percentage of offspring competing in 145-160 classes but with a different number of total offspring born, the stallion that produces more sons will stand higher in the ranking … in my opinion it is not the best way to evaluate a sire.

To calculate the points earned, competitions are divided into groups, mostly based on their prize money and type of competition. Each group has its own scale of points. The higher and more difficult the competition, the more points a horse can accumulate. 

CASALL appeared in the top 10 of the FEI-WBFSH ranking in 2015, reaching the 9th position from the 14th of 2014. A rise that continued over the years because CASALL conquered the 5th place both in 2016 and in 2017.
This trend confirms the undisputed quality of this stallion and in the next few years, also considering the increasing number of offspring, CASALL will probably remain in the top of the FEI-WBFSH ranking.

According to the Hippomundo stallion ranking based on the total earnings won by his offspring, CASALL in 2020 was 4th with € 794.554 earned by his 273 sons.

Hippomundo also produces a ranking based on the percentage of the offspring who are 8 years or older that compete at 1m45 level or higher (Black Type %). In 2020 CASALL was 12th with 66.4% Black Type. He has 144 of the 217 offspring (who are 8 years or older) who jump 1m45 or higher.

– Casall best offspring of 2020-

Also the rankings of the best offspring vary according to the different methods of calculating the scores. 

For the FEI-WBFSH ranking, the best in 2020 was the Holsteiner mare BEAUTIFUL RED (dam sire COLMAN), ridden by Salvador Oñate, with 605 points. In the Hippomundo ranking BEAUTIFUL RED is 4th with a total earning of € 42.505.

In the 2nd place of the FEI-WBFSH ranking we found CAILLOU 24 (dam sire CORRADO I), a Holsteiner gelding ridden by Karl Cook that according to Hippomundo is in the 1st place with a total earning of € 111.080. 

In 3rd position of the FEI-WBFSH ranking follows OAK GROVE’S CARLYLE (dam sire CORRADO I) ridden by Jeroen Dubbeldam. This Holsteiner gelding in the Hippomundo ranking is in 8th position with € 25.524.

CHESALL ZIMEQUEST (dam sire CONCERTO II) is in the 4th position in the FEI-WBFSH ranking and is in 3rd position according to the Hippomundo ranking with € 58.310 won withSimon Delestre. CHESALL ZIMEQUEST was the best horse in the world in the FEI-WBFSH ranking of 2016.

In 5th position of the FEI-WBFSH ranking there is the Holsteiner mare AUSTRIA 2 (dam sire CORRADO I), winner of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in 2019 ridden by Kent Farrington. AUSTRIA 2 is in the 2nd position in the Hippomundo ranking winning € 81.530.

In the Hippomundo ranking, we found in the first two positions two horses with CORRADO I as dam sire (CAILLOU 24 and AUSTRA 2), and in the first 15 positions there are also OAK GROVE’S CARLYLE and CLASSIC TOUCH DH, both with CORRADO I as dam sire.

– The dam lines of the best offspring –

Considering the 151 offspring competing at 1.50-1.60m level, the dam lines to which they belong have been analyzed.

The majority, unsurprisingly, come from Holstein dam lines. In particular, some lines are repeated in several sons, indicating not only the goodness in itself of a dam line that produced showjumpers at excellent levels, but the successful crosses obtained with CASALL (Fig. 5).

For example, we find 7 offspring of CASALL that belong to the Stamm 18A2, including two full brothers. Among the best are CASALLO Z, ridden by Piergiorgio Bucci, and CALORE VAN DE HELLE, ridden by Constant Van Paesschen.

Another dam line is the Holstein Stamm 730B that counts 5 horses. Three of them are full brothers: CROESUS ridden by the Swiss rider Beat Mändli, CARIGNO II, and CASELLO.

Four horses came from the Stamm 318D2, the most famous is certainly H&M CHILLI WILLI. Again with 4 representatives, we find also the Holstein Stamm 6879 to which belongs CHRONOS 31, ridden by the Canadian Elizabeth Bates, and the Stamm 4847 from which descend the stallions CASCADELLO I (one of the approved sons of CASALL) and CARLITO’S WAY 6, ridden by Rodrigo Pessoa.

Fig. 5 – Dam lines of Casall’s best offspring

– The best crosses with Casall –

I analyzed the sire lines of the dams of the 151 best offspring to understand which are the crosses that preferentially produced the best offspring with CASALL (Fig. 6).

Fig. 6 – Sire lines of the dams that produced the best offspring with Casall

CASALL x COR DE LA BRYERE dams’ sire line
The horses descending from this crossing are 54, a very high number, 36% of the total. Three of them are full brothers. Considering that CASALL was born from the COR DE LA BRYERE son CARETINO, in all of these horses we find an inbreeding on COR DE LA BRYERE.
In particular, 8 dams are daughters of CORRADO I and CONTENDER, 6 of CORONADO, 4 of CANTUS and CORIANO.

CASALL x LADYKILLER dams’ sire line
There are 34 horses out of this crossing, 2 of them are full brothers. Also in this case, all of the horses have an inbreeding, being KIRA XVII, the mother of CASALL, daughter of LAVALL I who was born from the great LANDGRAF.

Six dams are daughters of LANDGRAF10 are granddaughters of LANDGRAF: 3 are daughters of LIMBUS, 2 of LANDLORD, 1 of LA ZARRAS, 1 of LACAPO, 1 of LANCER II, 1 of LANDADEL, and 1 of LINARO.

CASALL x CAPITANO dams’ sire line
There are 27 horses from this crossing, in 1 case we find two full brothers.
Among the 27 dams from this sire line, there are 7 daughters of CARTHAGO, and 3 of CAPITOL I, CLAUDIO, and COLAMN.

CASALL x ALME’ dams’ sire line
There are 16 mothers who descend from the ALME’ sire line.
We find 2 daughters and 6 granddaughters of QUIDAM DE REVEL: 3 daughters of DOLLAR DELA PIERRE, 2 of QUINAR, and 1 of QUICK NICK I.

CASALL – RAMIRO dams’ sire line
There are only 3 dams who descend from this important sire. One is a daughter of ROMINO, 1 of RIVERMAN, and 1 of REBEL Z.

Fig. 7 – Damsire of best offspring of Casall

During an interview, Rolf Goran Bengtsson talked about the longevity of CASALL that was still competing at 18 years in the major equestrian competitions, declaring that the secret of his fitness lies in his structure. He told that CASALL is very proportionate with a very good conformation and a harmonious physique. This is the reason why he had had a very long sports career.
These words for a breeder are one of the strengths for the choice of CASALL: a sport horse with a crystalline class and a steel physique!

Ph: Rolf Goran Bengtsson – Casall –

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