The Making of the Modern Warmblood - From Gotthard to Gribaldi is available exclusively in the USA through DressageDaily at Shophorsesdaily.com at the new price of $50 + shipping! Hanoverian Trivia: Laurie’s Crusador: One Of The Most Influential Thoroughbred Sires of The Modern Hanoverian Breed Got To Celle Through “Luck” And Travels Through Other Countries? Laurie’s Crusador (Welsh Pageant-Square Note) raced as a two and three year old in England. His sire’s progeny won almost 2 million British Pounds on the track and his dam was a winner over hurdles and on the flat, going on to produce five winners. One of these was Laurie’s Crusador. Dutch stallion owners, Henk Nijhof and Jan Greve were both Thoroughbred fans in the 1980′s, when Thoroughbreds were not popular among warmblood breeders. They traveled to Newmarket, England in search of a stallion for the KWPN breeding program.
They didn’t find “the stallion” they were looking for in Newmarket, but were told about a stallion for sale in a nearby barn on the way to the airport and decided to stop by. Nijhof stated, “When we arrived it was totally quiet, no human or horse visible. We snooped around a little and found, in a remote part of the stable, a row of box stalls where a horse was looking out.”
Nijhof was immediately impressed. “If that’s him, then we’ve found the right one!” he said to Greve. “His head, his eyes – I was immediately filled with enthusiasm.” We finally located a groom, who pulled him out of the box stall. Jan and I were convinced: the stallion had a lot of neck and a beautifully developed body with an impressive croup. “When he cantered forward upward with great ease in spite of his minor injury, we knew that we had found what we had set out to find,” said Nijhof.
When the horse arrived in Holland, he had missed the KWPN licensings for that year. The KWPN suggested presenting the horse the following year. Nijhof instead offered him to Maas J. Hell, the Director of the Holstein Verband. The Holstein approval committee rejected him. He was then offered to Dr. Burchard Bade at Celle. Dr. Bade leased him right away and his breeding career commenced in Celle in 1990, when he was five years old. Stationed at the Landesbruck breeding station, Laurie’s Crusador was met with suspicion that all “full blood” stallion faced in Germany at that time.
However, he convinced local breeders with his presence, quality and exceptional movement. His first son, Lancier, was licensed in 1993 and was purchased by the Celle in the “first lot” of stallions and stood for most of his life at Celle’s breeding station in Dorum. As of 2010, the Hanoverian Stallion Book list Laurie’s Crusador as the sire of over 507 competitors with winnings over almost $1,000,000. Quite a record for a stallion who passed through England, Holland and Holstein in his youth before finding a lifelong home at Celle.