On the morning of the 11th October 2017, one of the most successful dressage sires had to be put down. The Hannoverian De Niro v. Donnerhall turned 24. He was not just a successful sire, but the equestrian world will also remember him as a dressage Grand Prix champion. De Niro, produces talented dressage horses. More than 70 licensed stallions originate from him. His offspring are sought after all over the world and they are always successful. He also ranked fifth among the world’s best dressage sires. The in foal rates of De Niro are 90% with both chilled and frozen semen.
De Niro has very successful descendants. Among them are World Cup winner, German Vice Champion and Medien Cup winner , Dablino, ridden by Anabel Balkenhol. Another offspring, D’Agostino under Fabienne Luetkemeier is a three time EC gold medal winner in the class for young dressage rider.
Furthermore, Deveraux OLD ridden by Sanneke Rothenberger is also a EC gold medal in the class for young dressage riders. Other than that he is also German Champion and World Champion of young dressage horses. The talented young Grand Prix star, Delgado, ridden by Beatriz Ferrer-Salat/ESP is also one of De Niro’s offspring.
De Niro is also the sire of the famous Desperados who was the winner of the German Dressage Derby ridden by Falk Rosenbauer. Now Desperados is ridden by Kristina Sprehe, and was on the short list for the German Olympic Team 2012. In 2013, Desperados and D’Agostino, helped the German dressage team win the gold medal at the European Championships in Herning. De Niro is also the sire of countless auction horses that raise top prices such as the stallion performance test winner, Duke of Oldenburg who was sold for 300,000 Euros.
His father Donnerhall, the legendary stallion has shown his talent right from the start. In 1984 he scored 131.92 and became second in his performance test in Adelheidsdorf. Donnerhall’s competition career is absolutely outstanding. He represented the highest combination of breeding and sport successes. In 1986 Donnerhall was honored as DLG champion stallion, in 1994 he won team gold and freestyle bronze with his lifelong rider Karin Rehbein at the WEG in Hague. This result was repeated at the European Championships at Verden in 1997, witth Gold in the team and bronze in the individual category. In 1998, he won another team gold medal and an outstanding fourth place in the individual results at the WEG in Rome. Donnerhall also won the World Cup European League and he was also crowned stallion of the year in 1997 and 1998.
De Niro may no longer trot or canter down the center line, but his offspring do and they do it with grace, elegance and so much talent. His legacy lives on. Rest in peace De Niro.