• 01/01/2022

    The breeder of a series of outstanding showjumpers, including the 5-year-old 2021 world champion Querido VG

  • Nadine Brandtner
    Jo de Roo

    Equestrian Journalist

  • Querido VG, what’s in a name? The Spanish word ‘Querido’ means ‘darling’ in English, the suffix ‘VG’ stands for ‘Van Gorp’. The stallion Querido VG was already the darling of his breeder Aloïs Van Gorp, his rider Christian Ahlmann and his owner, the Zangersheide family Melchior. During the last World Championship for five-year-old showjumpers, Querido VG gained thousands of fans thanks to his brilliant performance. Under the saddle of Ahlmann, Querido VG actually became world champion.

    Olympic performance blood in the dam line

    Belgian breeder Aloïs Van Gorp (°1955) enjoys a very good reputation as a breeder of international showjumpers. Besides Querido VG, he bred a series of top performers, such as Hidalgo VG (5*, 1m60 level), Jupiter VG (5*, 1m50 to 1m60 level, Jérôme Guéry), Alaska VG Z (1m50 to 1m55 level, Eleonore Lambilliotte), Atlanta VG Z (1m45 to 1m50 level, Fidel Segovia), the BWP approved elite stallion Leandro VG (1m45 to 1m50 level, Jeroen De Winter) and Caesar V.G. Z (1m45 level, Rebecca Lippi Bruni). Just like Querido VG, they also belong to the BWP dam line 115. Did you know that City Banking (ex-Kurt) also makes part of this breeding family? In partnership with Beat Mändli, City Banking won for instance the World Cup class in Dortmund, the GP of Paris and the Nations Cup in Sankt-Gallen. In 1996 the duo finished 11thindividually and 6th as part of the Swiss team at the Olympic Games in Atlanta. One year later, City Banking ranked 4th in the World Cup final. City Banking was bred by Aloïs’ brother, Jef Van Gorp.

    Who is Aloïs Van Gorp? ‘I worked in the construction industry for over 10 years and then 28 years at Pidpa, a water company. I started breeding horses when I was about 20 years old. In the past I bred one or two foals a year, this year there are four. I consider the approved sport stallions Leandro VG and Querido VG to be my best breeding successes so far.’

    Aloïs bred Querido VG by crossing Dominator 2000 Z (by Diamant de Semilly) with Corsica VG Z (by Chellano Z). The 11-year-old Dominator has already achieved great results at the highest level. In partnership with Ahlmann, he became in 2019 2nd in the 5* GP of Paris and 2nd in the 5* World Cup class in Madrid. In 2000 he ended for instance 2nd in the 5* World Cup class in Leipzig and 4th in the GP of Doha. This year, Dominator once again manifested himself in several 5* showjumping tournaments, winning in Doha, Prague and Madrid amongst others.

    Querido VG’s great-granddam, Odessa: a legendary showjumper with a top mentality

    Not only Dominator 2000 Z but also Corsica VG adds extra value to the pedigree of Querido VG. Corsica’s dam, Witness VG, is by the progenitor Darco out of Odessa. It would be a lack of respect and knowledge if we didn’t mention anything about Odessa in this article. Nick Van Gorp, a son of Aloïs, remembers: ‘Odessa has meant a lot to my career as a rider. I started riding her when she was four years old. In the world of rural LRV showjumping competitions, Odessa is a legend. My father has often been able to sell her for an abnormal amount of money, but has always refused every offer. She almost always remained faultless in all LRV competitions in which she participated. During nine or ten consecutive editions of the national LRV tournament, she was always in the front. I never became national champion with her, but twice 2nd and four times 3rd. I was a bit ‘the Poulidor in LRV’. Odessa was a brilliant showjumper. I also participated with her in heats of the classic cycle and even in the World Championship for five-year-olds in Lanaken. One year later she was finalist at the Belgian Championship in Gesves and became provincial champion LRV. Odessa had a top mentality.’ Odessa is the dam of Caesar V.G. Z and the granddam of outstanding showjumpers, such as Atlanta VG Z, Jupiter VG, Milton (1m60 level, James Brennan), Gitania V.G. (1m50 to 1m60 level, Olivier Philippaerts and Zhenqiang Li) and Matts V.G. (1m60 level, Bekzod Kurbanov).

    Nick Van Gorp says about Odessa’s granddaughter Corsica: ‘Corsica is our best broodmare. She always produces quality offspring.’ Aloïs adds: ‘All her descendants have many showjumping qualities. She herself was too careful in the sport. When she touched a pole and then had to jump a double obstacle, she jumped next to it. If she had to jump combinations, one could not finish a course with her. She wanted to try too hard.’ After her short sporting career, Corsica was used in breeding. Her first descendant, Leandro VG, was an immediate hit. This son by Gitano was presented at the BWP stallion selection and was approved.

    Just like Leandro VG, Querido VG was also approved as a stallion. ‘Just before the stallion selection Erik De Winter bought in for half. During the stallion selection Querido jumped outstanding and we were called by the Melchior family to ask if the stallion was for sale. The sale went through and Querido left for Zangersheide where he has covered about two hundred mares this year. He is very popular. Querido is a stallion with character. You don’t just get to him at the stable. We haven’t seen him much in competition yet. His rider, Christian Ahlmann, believes in Querido very strongly.’, Aloïs stated at the beginning of September this year.

    Christian Ahlmann: ‘We are convinced of the qualities of Querido. He is promising for the future.’

    Ahlmann’s belief in Querido VG is completely justified. In the final of the World Championship for five-year-olds, in which 55 combinations took part, Ahlmann and Querido showed their mastery. After winning the world title, Ahlmann stated during the press conference: ‘We are convinced of the qualities of this horse. He had a busy breeding season. He is back from the breeding season since four or five weeks. I did one training show. That was okay. Knowing his qualities, I am sure that he can make it, but you never know what is going to happen. He did it, step by step, day by day. In the jump-off he gave me a good feeling. So, I tried to do it as good as possible. Each jump was the same, very careful and intelligent. He was focused on me and the fences. The entire Zangersheide team is proud of Querido VG. He is promising for the future.’