This Hanoverian who led the FN statistics of his age group for the sum of prize money earned by his off-spring for an astounding seven years, is a true genius when it comes to passing on desirable traits. Only very few stallions have sired high performance horses that reached international level not only in dressage but in jumping as well. But for Argentinus, this was common place. In 1996, the son of the Celle stallion, Argentan I, became Germany's youngest millionaire measured by the prize money his off-spring won. Successful in advanced level jumping himself, this imposing sire has produced 28 approved sons and 48 State Premium mares. Horses such as the Oldenburg, Albano, who won team gold at the 2001 European Championships in dressage with Heike Kemmer, Isabell Werth's two-time German Champion in dressage, Amaretto, who unfortunately died too early, or Autogramm, ridden by Thomas Mühlbauer, who participated in 10 Nation Cups - all of these and many more are examples of the willingness to perform that Argentinus gave to his off-spring. Expressed in numbers: his children have earned more than three million D-Mark which comes to approximately 1.5 million Euros.
At the approval, the two and a half year old Argentinus presented himself so impressively that even Uwe Heckmann, an approval commissioner, got carried away with praise. However, the Waldlöwe son, Waldstern, became Champions Stallion and the new boy in Klein Roscharden received the Ib Premium. Two years later, based on Argentinus' stallion performance test and the evaluation of his first crop, he left all of his competitors far behind, ending on first place and thereby receiving the Main Premium. Unfortunately, his breeder, Jacob Büther, did not live to see Argentinus' glorious day. He died in 1984 at the age of 77, the year Argentinus' first crop was born.
Argentinus proved his versatility at the stallion performance test in 1983 in Adelheidsdorf. With a score of 126 points, he finished third out of a group of 54 stallions. The bay stallion entered his first show as a four year old - a novice level jumping test. Argentinus and his rider, Andreas Nienaber, sovereignly finished the course, taking first place. In those days, it was not common at all to enter breeding stallions in shows. A year later, the Hanoverian collected blue ribbons in elementary level jumping tests. His first entry with Heinrich's brother, Guido Klatte, who owns a worldwide shipping agency for transporting horses, was also a complete success. In the meanwhile, Argentinus was collecting ribbons in medium level. In 1987, Alexandra Klatte, who now lives in Australia, sat in Argentinus' saddle and the pair were also successful in fault and style and time score jumping. Whether with Alexandra, Guido, or later with Henrik, Argentinus proved his potential at shows until he was 11 years old, collecting around 4,000 Euros in prize money.
His willingness to perform - that is probably the most significant trait of this impressive sire. There really are stallions that radiate their exceptional potential, and without a doubt, Argentinus is one of these. With a proudly curved crest, Argentinus prances on the hand of his long time groom and insemination technician, Werner Venekamp, on his way to the breeding station. Majestic whinnying, excited tail swishing, veins that stand out plastically under his skin. "A stallion of excellent character" says Venekamp proudly. It's very rare that Argentinus brings pearls of sweat on Venekamp's forehead - usually only when Argentinus knows he has an audience. "A trot is no longer possible then - it's cantering on the spot, prancing, piaffing, whinnying, snorting - you know, the way we are all used to seeing Argentinus when he is presented at the Oldenburg approval, especially when he's marching in the Old Stallion Parade. Then he acts like a three year old who hasn't been outside for a year, forgets himself completely and does as he pleases." But at home, whether he's being groomed or ridden, and even when he's breeding, he's like a lamb. "Argentinus is always very gentle at home", says Venekamp. But he does have a quirk that he will probably always have: just as if he had a thermometer to read, Argentinus takes his blanket off - by himself, or course - as soon as the temperature reaches 15°C (60°F). It's amazing: "In the morning, the blanket lies in the corner, not torn or damaged, just neatly left there. We've never been able to catch him when he does this, and he does it so carefully and neatly, at first we thought someone had forgotten to but his blanket on", grins Ingrid Menne, Heinrich Klatte's life partner.
Character and charisma - Argentinus has more than his share of both. "He jumped out of his paddock into the neighbor's pasture once and the gate to the pasture was open. He just stayed put and started to graze. Any other stallion would have taken advantage of his freedom, but not Argentinus", remembers junior boss, Heinrich Klatte. In spite of his gentleness, there is one thing he absolutely insists on: being the number one in Klatte's manège. When visitors arrive at the farm and the door to the stallion stable is opened, if steps go past his stable without opening his door or, God forbid, they continue to another stable instead, his majesty is insulted and sulks with his head down in a far corner - his backside facing the door. If that isn't the airs of a star!
Info and photos from www.horse-gate.com