Thoroughbred Stallion – Ladykiller

Ladykiller was born in England in 1961 and it is fair to say that he was no star of the race track, indeed some might harshly say he was a failure ! But what was the racing worlds loss turned out to be the German Breeders gain, notably the breeders of Holstein. He raced just three times in two years rating a handicap which was fortunately 0.5 kilos more than the minimum required for a thoroughbred stallion to be accepted into German breeding ranks, He went on to sire many notable horses  especially the two sons who became the twin pillars of Holstein, Landgraf and Lord.

Ladykiller’s breeding features all the attributes found in jumping thoroughbred pedigrees. He was average sized and a clearly masculine type with a beautiful head supported by a really heavy neck. He was nicely coupled with good shoulders, a rather flat loin and heavily muscled croup. He had first rate legs and feet for a thoroughbred and was an elastic mover. Out of the 35 approved sons and 195 approved daughters his best produce was those emanating from mares with some thoroughbred blood. He sired few dressage horses but never the less he must be considered one of the most important jumping sires of modern times, his offspring corresponding more to performance jumper type horses.

Despite the proliferation of C line horses in Holstein breeding, it has been  suggested that a horse carries Ladykiller xx  blood at least two or three times and it has been further suggested  that some horses in the first generation are inbred five or six times to this foundation stallion. Indeed anybody looking more closely at Holstein bloodlines or the pedigree of individual horses may be surprised how frequently the same name appears in the earlier generations.

Today, where fresh blood in Holstein does not take effect at all, continued inbreeding to the proven classic Ladykiller xx is a piece of brinkmanship that demands a great amount of sure instinct.

Referencing directly from an article in Z magazine  it is stated that Ladykiller passed on a good temperament although sometimes a little hot. In spite of some earlier injuries, he did not pass on any defects in his limbs. In founding his own wide branched stallion line, Ladykiller passed on specific characteristics such as a fine head, an often light brown colour with white on the legs. he forwarded a good powerfully correct bone structure but sometimes less coupled loins. He particularly passed on very good jumping qualities such as courage, power, good technique with a rounded back over the fences. His chestnuts were often a bit more ‘noble’ than his bay offspring.

Ladykiller died in 1979 at the not inconsiderable age of 18.

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