Relevant Passed Away

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 13:20
Oldenburg Breeding News

The 26-year old Oldenburg licensed breeding stallion and U.S. Olympic team horse Relevant has passed away. The chestnut sire spent his retirement with Silva Olsson-Ellis at Constancia Stud in Great Britain, where he was euthanized on 16 May 2017 due to difficulties of old age.

Born in 1991, Relevant was bred by Heinz Lüers and discovered as a youngster by Gudula Vorwerk-Happ. He was by Rubinstein I out of Havanna (by Goldloewe x Venator xx).

He was licensed at the 1993 Oldenburg Stallion Licensing and approved to breed for the Hanoverian society only in 2002. Relevant did his 100-Day Stallion Performance Test in Medingen in 1994 and scored 104.23 points to finish 23rd out of 53. He got 121.91 points for dressage and 81.09 points for show jumping. 

His competition career started in 1995 when Friederike Peters began showing him in the A-level dressage horse tests. In 1997 Martina Hanover-Sternberg took over the ride for a few months, after which Canadian Leonie Bramall climbed into the saddle and took the horse up to M-level.

As an assistant trainer at Gestut Vorwerk and coached by Ernst Hoyos, American Lisa Wilcox made her show debut on Relevant in October 1997 at the Helle regional show. They contested an L- and M-level dressage test, which they won and placed second. In 1998 Nicole Uphoff climbed on board, won the 1998 Nurnberger Burgpokal Finals for Developing PSG Horses with him and took him to Grand Prix level. Wilcox got the ride back in 2000 when Uphoff resigned as head rider at Gestut Vorwerk. 

From 2000 till 2004 Wilcox and Relevant became one of America's strongest performing Grand Prix combinations. They won team silver at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera and finished fifth in the Kur to Music. At the 2003 Open European Championships in Hickstead, Wilcox finished second in the Kur to Music. At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the pair won team bronze. As fourth U.S. team rider Wilcox was not eligible to ride the Special in Athens.

Lisa and Relevant did their last show together at the 2004 CDI Oldenburg, where they won the Grand Prix and Special. Wilcox lost the ride on Relevant when she decided to take up a new job in Switzerland and leave Gestut Vorwerk behind. The Oldenburg stallion was Wilcox' career maker. 

"Relevant was so sensitive, that was what made him so special," Wilcox told Eurodressage. "He was very soft spoken, shy. Reli relied on my confidence for his own confidence."

The American cherishes fond memories of all big Championships with Relevant, but listed her victory in Stuttgart as the most special one. " All our championships were memorable and special; but I was very proud of our win in Stuttgart. To see his and my name on the wall with the American flag amongst all the German flags will be something I'll remember the rest of my life."

The stallion moved to Johann Hinnemann's yard to continue his Grand Prix level training and Hinnemann arranged that the ride was allocated to Dutch Marlies van Baalen. 

Van Baalen and Relevant made their show debut in 2006 and contested the CDI's in 's Hertogenbosch, Hansbeke, Aarhus, Maastricht, De Steeg, London and in 2007 in Amsterdam, Zwolle and 's Hertogenbosch. The latter was their last show together and the stallion's last CDI in his career. 

In 2009 the FEI recorded the stallion as owned by Van Baalen, but by October 2009 the ownership had changed to Peter Bedding of Constancia stud in Great Britain. Gestut Vorwerk had closed shop and the property sold to Sissy Max-Theurer. The majority of the stallions were sold too and Peter and Silva Olsson-Bedding (now Olsson-Ellis) bought Relevant. 

As a breeding stallion Relevant was remarkably never very popular. He has no licensed offspring in Germany and only four mares received State Premium status. His most successful offspring in sport, however, are the now retired German Grand Prix horse Rockport vF (Johanna von Fircks) and the Hungarian Grand Prix horse Ready for Impossible (Viktoria Nebel).

Photos © Dirk Caremans - private

Related Links
Eurodressage Photo Database: Relevant 
Slings Music Cast Freestyle for Marlies van Baalen and Relevant
BMC to Sponsor Marlies van Baalen and Relevant
Relevant to be Competed by Marlies van Baalen
Lisa Wilcox Leaves Gestut Vorwerk to Work in Switzerland
"Relevant" Saddle by Passier Unveiled at Gestut Vorwerk
Lisa Wilcox On the Road to the Olympics
Nadine Capellmann, World Champion Dressage
Scores - 2002 World Equestrian Games
U.S. Short Listed Team for 2002 World Equestrian Games
Relevant, 2002 WBFSH's Best Dressage Sire 
A Day in the Life with Nicole Uphoff: "Cappeln, My Salvation"