In 1988 a girl, barely 11, knowing nothing about dressage and just loving horses like many other children, saw dressage at the Seoul Olympics on television with her father. She liked it, but became completely fascinated by this equestrian discipline when she saw a huge bay horse with a lot of white. It seemed not really to touch the ground whatever it performed, which was so strange to this young girl. Corlandus, the horse which led to my love for dressage over 20 years ago, united unequalled power, elegance and expression. It is not his remarkable success, but the appearance itself and the personality he expressed that made Corlandus undoubtedly one of the greatest dressage horses ever.
The Holsteiner horse, bred by Hermann Kruse, was born in April 1976, the year the Holsteiner Granat won an Olympic gold medal in dressage. The bay colt was the offspring of Gustia, a quality bay mare by Landgraf I and her dam’s father was the great Consul, Granat’s sire. Corlandus sire was the now legendary imported Anglo-Norman Cor de la Bruyère, son of the thoroughbred Rantzau xx. Even in the 1970s this combination of bloodlines seemed to promise success in the show ring, though maybe rather in jumping than dressage.
Corlandus developed into a huge leggy gelding, standing 1,80 metres, and the outstanding quality of his gaits made him suitable for dressage, which still isn’t favoured in Holstein, although the breed society produced horses like Antoinette, Venetia, Waldfee and Granat before.