Alabaster the Hanoverian Stallion Who Was the Pride and Joy of the Great Breeder, Werner Schockemöhle

Alabaster Photo: Bernd Eylers
Alabaster Photo: Bernd Eylers

Source: C. Hector, “From Gotthard to Gribaldi: The Making of The Modern Warmblood" , Sporthorse International, Australia, pp.192-199 & Photo Credit: Bernd Eylers
Alabaster was the pride and joy of the great breeder, Werner Schockemöhle, and the stallion stood at his private stud until Mr. Schockemöhle’s death in 2000. At that time, Alabaster was transferred to Landgestüt Celle, where his still resides today at 24 years of age. “My idea as a breeder is to have a horse with the ability to both, top dressage and top showjumping in one horse. I think the complete horse should be able to do both. For example, Grundstein produced top dressage horses and top showjumpers. That’s breeding,” stated Mr. Schockemöhle. When Werner Schockemöhle bought Alabaster, he was looking at the total pedigree in a very sophisticated way.

“I prefer some lines, no, not so much “lines” as progeny of some special stallions. When I know the stallion, I know his pedigree and I know his progeny, and I have a good idea of what his progeny will be like. With Alabaster, it is combination of several genes. The special factor with Alabaster is the clear influence of Abglanz, but he doesn’t have some of the mistakes that are usually associated with the Abglanz pedigree,” said Schockemöhle.

“For twenty years, I have judged foals in the areas to the north, near Bargstedt, where Argentan stood. Then he was the most important stallion – for type – in Hannover. He made fantastic types, but he had the mistakes of Abstatz/Abglanz. He was not so good in the shoulder, and often was not good in the front legs, especially the fetlocks and pasterns. The fetlock was often not large enough, it was too light and the pasterns too short. Together that shortens the life of the front leg when it is used hard in sport.”

“Alabaster doesn’t have this fault. He has a top front leg and that is the influence of several other genes in his pedigree. For example, Busoni, the Thoroughbred horse, who is Alabaster’s great grandsire on the dam’s side, was also the grandsire of Gigolo. He was not discovered while he was a breeding stallion; he was never even discussed because he didn’t produce the best types. When he was gone, suddenly came Gigolo, and suddenly Busoni was interesting.”

“Alabaster is also influenced in his pedigree by the famous horse, Ferdinand. Ferdinand was a great producer of showjumpers, but sometimes he also produced very good dressage horses. The first Olympic horse of my brother, Alwin, who won a team gold in 1960 in Rome, was Ferdl by Ferdinand. Also, Reiner Klimke’s Olympic dressage horse, Mehmed, was by Ferdinand,” added Schockemöhle.

As of the 2010 Hanoverian Stallion Yearbook, Alabaster had produced 278 competitors with winnings over 450,000 Euros. He had produced seven licensed stallions, including Abanos. His most famous offspring in the showring is Isabell Werth’s Grand Prix dressage horse, Apache.

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