Cor de la Bryère is the stallion that
revolutionised jumping horse breeding. His is the name astute
breeders like to see, especially on the mare line , for ‘Cord’ tends
to give great form over a jump.
His sire – the French
Thoroughbred Rantzau was bred to be a jumper , being a
descendent of the enormously influential Bay Ronald. A serious
racehorse, Rantzau was third ranked three year old of his year. In
nine races between 2000 and 3000 metres, he won two and was placed
five times. Purchased by the National Stud, he arrived at the
stallion depot of Saint-Lô on January 5th, 1951.
Contrary to legend, the breeders in the area were quite enthusiastic
about this well-bred, well-conformed and well-performed newcomer and
between 1951 and 1962, he bred between 40 and 49 mares a year. In
those days French state stud stallions were only allowed to breed 40
mares a year, plus the National Stud director’s cards used by him
‘in the interest of breeding’.
As late as 1976, when he had
been dead for five years, Rantzau was still 3rd on the jumping sires
rankings. By 1980 he had moved into 4th place. He remained for many
years one of the leading sires of broodmares.
On the bottom side, Cor de la Bryère was royally bred, out of
Quenotte B, by Lurioso a son of the most influential son, Furioso.
In French jumping circles, Furioso had been a sensation, siring the
1964 Olympic gold medallist, Lutteur B and the world show jumping
champion of 1968, Pomone B. Lurioso was himself a sire of
international show jumpers.
Cor de la Bryère almost never made it to the breeding barn. In 1970,
the selection committee of the Haras du Pin visited his owner,
Xavier Ribard and suggested ‘that is not breeding stock, he’s too
much of a sport horse. Better geld him; he’ll make a useful
The horse was now on the market – and it just so happened that the
Holstein Association was looking for French blood, having seen the
success of Furioso II and Futuro in Oldenburg.
(and show jumping ace) Alwin Schockemöhle was looking for a stallion
star, and leased the Furioso xx son Urioso – however he was prepared
to sub-lease the stallion to the Holstein Verband. Hence a Holstein
inspection committee travelled to France to evaluate Urioso and in
doing so, discovered Cor de la Bryère. Urioso ended up standing two
forgettable seasons in Holstein while ‘Cord’ left an indelible mark
on the Holstein breed, and jumping the world over.
He was not only a sire himself but a sire of sires. The full
brothers, Caletto I, Caletto II and III were stars, as were the brother
quartet of Calypso I to V. In the jumping arena, his handsome grey
son, Corrado has been a star for Franke Sloothaak, while Cordalmé Z
with Gilbert Böckmann has also been successful at international
In his first season, Cor de
la Bryère covered 70 mares at Siethwende and four colts from his
first crop were licensed.
He was a stallion of great vigour, and as late as 1977 served a full
book of 111 mares.
Although best known as a sire of jumping horses, Cor de la Bryère
was also the sire of Corlandus, a World Cup Dressage Champion in
1989, and his sons Calypso I and Calypso II have proven a useful
sire of dressage horses. Current German Olympic team member, Chacomo
ridden by Alexandra Simons de Ridder is by Calypso I, as was
Alexandra’s other FEI star, Champus.
In Australia the influence of Cor de la Bryère has been strong
through his son, Contact imported in 1976. Although subject to a
vicious campaign of vilification by established breeders (with
stallions of their own), Contact produced a number of international
level competitors: Corroboree (Grand Prix dressage) and the show
jumper, Talkind, ridden by Colleen Brook at the first WEG in
Stockholm in 1990, and sold on to Italy. The Contact son, Northern
Congress is the sire of Australian Grand Prix champion and World Cup
Calypso Classic (by Calypso II) was imported by Barbara Burrows, and
after quite a successful dressage career, he has now gone show
jumping. In Western Australia, Barrabadeen Stud imported two own
daughters of Cor de la Bryère.
In the latest WBFSH ratings, Cor de la Bryère is ranked 18th with
28 points earning progeny, but there are a staggering 20 own sons on
the rankings: Calando I, II, IV; Caletto I, II; Calvados I, II;
Calypso I, II, III; Cantares, Carneval, Carte d'Or, Casanova,
Cavalier Royale, Cinzano, Constant, Contact, Corrado I, Cortez 679,
Cosinus. There are also 12 grandsons of Cor de la Bryère in the
standings - not to mention important stallions like Cathago Z and
Burggraaf - who are out of Cor de la Bryère mares.