It is through Sandro that the blood of Sacramento Song xx lives on and daily grows more influential in both dressage and jumping breeding. Sacramento Song was a classically bred English Thoroughbred who stood in Holstein from 1973 to his early death in 1979. He is described in Dr Dietrich Rossow’s Stallion Book of the Holsteiner Warmblood Breed as: "A classically bred English Thoroughbred with beautiful, smoothly harmonious topline. Beautiful head, rather low set on neck, impressive shoulder with good coupling to the croup. Well muscled, strong legs and feet, sufficient gaits. Tremendous jumping ability, very tight with front end and good with knees."

Dr Rossow was of the opinion that he bred: ‘Very good temperaments, keen, energetic dispositions. Top jumper sire!’ Alas as a private stallion he was only sparingly used by the Holstein breeders to their later regret. By 1990 with progeny earnings of DM696,000 he was the 8th most successful post-war Thoroughbred sire in Germany! Sacramento Song had 31 competitors with placings, 29 of which were showjumpers. After his death three exceptional sons were licensed on the grounds of their competition results: Sympatico, Sacramento Son and Sandro.

Bent Neergaard is a very respected Danish breeder, he is also the man who ‘discovered’ Sandro. "I first saw Sandro when he was two and an half years old. He was presented at the Holsteiner stallion selection and was not accepted. So with one of my friends we bought him and took him to Denmark. We presented him at the licensing and he was approved and then did a very good 100 days test. A couple of years later he went over to the famous eventing rider, Nils Haagensen. He did quite well with him, but he was probably better for showjumping, so he was handed over to my partner who took him jumping internationally."

"In Denmark, he was based at Fumen, but it wasn’t really the right place for him. There were a lot of old Oldenburger heavy horses – we thought it would be the right place for him but it wasn’t. Then he moved to the southern area of Jutland, close to Germany, a Holsteiner area. He covered some Holsteiner mares and with them, he was really good. But still he wasn’t accepted all over Denmark – he only had a few progeny from the first years and it wasn’t easy to get him accepted by the breeding association or the breeders."

"He was sold to Paul Schockemöhle, and he understood the quality of the horse. There is quite a lot of Thoroughbred in this horse, and they can be a little bit loose in front, but it was a modern horse. I think he was ten years in advance of his time, even in Denmark. Schockemöhle could see exactly the potential of that horse, the modern type with long legs, good riding capability – and he mixed him with the right mares, the mares with the German ‘G’ blood. Now you can see Sandro blood in all the major breeding associations all over the world."

"I had been in the army for many years, and also worked with horses for many years. I liked lighter horses than most of the breeders in those days. I liked his eyes and his beautiful head, I liked this very fine looking horse – and I liked the blood also, I thought he could be a very good performance horse. In those days, the breeders didn’t look enough at performance, and I thought he would bring in some performance."

"In a stallion the most important thing is performance. But as a breeder you cannot sell horses unless you have good-looking horses. So you have to look for performance, for a good-looking horse, and you have to look for a horse that is very calm and good in the head as well. You cannot say ‘only performance’ or ‘only beautiful’ or ‘only temperament’ – you need all these things."

When he moved to Paul Schockemöhle’s stud, Sandro also met up with Franke Sloothaak who continued his jumping career for lifetime winnings of DM55,000. As a sire, Sandro has also been a considerable success, with three of his progeny competing at the 1994 WEG in The Hague – Sandro Song (Ante Smlesa), Safari (Michael Abo) and Paradiso (Rolf-Göran Bengtsson). Sandro is the sire of more than 40 licensed sons, the most successful being Silvio 1 and II, Sandro Song, Sao Paulo, Sandro Boy and Salido Z. Successful competitors include; Salido Z (Debbie Stephens), Sagrat (Guy Goosen), Sakrus (Debbie Winkler), Sympathico (Ersting-Engemann), Silas M (Yanix Elad), Sheila and Sundance Kid (Franke Sloothaak) and Santorin F (Fritz Fervers) and of course, the World Cup Champion, Sandro Boy.

As a broodmare sire Sandro has also been exceptionally successful: Lasango (Kurt Reinacher), San Serai Funky Town (Björn Nagel), Lausano (René Tebbel), Risandro (Samantha McIntosh), Filias (Arnoldo Bologni), High Class (Royne Zettermann), Cappucino and Santa Fe (Marco Kutscher), Grand Soso (Markus Fuchs), Grand Soso II (Ulrik Kjaer) and High Stepper (Maria Gretzer) – all Grand Prix showjumpers, all out of daughters of Sandro. Sandro is unique in that he is the only stallion son of the cross of Sacramento Song and Wahnfried – a cross that has also been very successful in producing dams of stallions. The stallions Lavell I and II, Atlantas Z and Campione, as well as international jumping horses, Cathleen (Meredith Beerbaum – then Michaels) and Zigeunerin (Rodrigo Pessoa) all came from that cross. Sandro’s dam, Dürte is the full sister of one of the most successful Puissance horses ever – Wabbs. Durte is also the dam of Harvey Smith’s Salvador. Silvio I was the winner of the Performance Test at Adelheidsdorf in 1990, with very high marks for his jumping ability. Silvio has been the sire of a number of impressive stallion sons including Sunrise, Sir Lui, Sir Holtrup, Sergeant Pepper and Spider Murphy.

What is slightly more surprising is Sandro’s influence on dressage breeding. If we look at the stallions represented in the most recent (2004/5) Eylers’ German Stallion book, we find the jumping stallions, San Brasil (by Sao Paulo), Sandro Boy (out of a Grannus mare) and Santander H (out of a Contender mare) but there are more stallions promoted for dressage – all sons of World Young Horse Dressage Champion, Sandro Hit. There is Samba Hit (Reserve Champion at the 2002 Bundeschampionate in the 3 year old stallion class – and a full brother to World Six Year Old Young Dressage Champion, Poetin), Show Star (who was Champion in that 3 year old stallion class in 2002), the Westfalien state stud stallions, Sir Bedo and Sterling, the exciting young Danish stallion, Blue Hors Soprano, and Stedinger, a winner at the 2002 Oldenburg Stallion Days, and being out of a Landadel / Furioso bred mare, Stedinger might be that rare creature, an all-round stallion. Of his dressage performers, Isabell Weth’s Satchmo by the Sandro son, Sao Paulo, is the most successful.

Sandro – now re-christened Sandro Z – stood the last years of his life at the Zangersheide stud, where he died in August 2005.

In the survey of the world's top 75 jumping sires that appears in the French publication, Monneron 2007-2008, compiled by Bernard le Courtois, Sandro is 37th with 8 CSI winners incluuding World Cup Champoin, Sandro Boy. His best stallion son, Silvio I is 56th with 6 CSI winners including world number 11 - Shutterfly.

Info and photos from www.horsemagazine.com

 

 

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