By Claus Koch
In 1998, Sitta Voigts of Zonjati Stud asked Cord Wassmann, the chief judge of Hanoverian breeding, to find her a colt out of the Holstein Contender line. As requested, he bought her a Concerto 2 colt from Doris Hafemeister, the mother of the Olympic rider Dirk Hafemeister.
Thus, Consuelo arrived in Namibia, but as the colt matured it became increasingly clear that he was not going to be bay in colour as expected – instead, he turned grey. As both his parents, as per pedigree, were bays, it was obvious that something was very wrong. Mr Wassmann raised this issue with the Holsteiner Verband, and it was subsequently found that the Verband had sent the semen of Corofino instead of Concerto 2. Consuelo was therefore in fact a Corofino baby!
This was one of the most fortunate mistakes ever to occur for southern African breeding. The Holsteiner Verband allowed Sitta to keep Consuelo and as compensation she was allowed to select another stallion, which was sent out at their expense.
In a very clever move, Sitta then allowed every Namibian breeder a free covering by Consuelo. When the first foals were born, the breeders all realised that Consuelo had serious potential, and continued to use him in the future.
Consuelo gives his offspring his wonderful jumping qualities, outstanding movement, good temperament, good type and conformation. The first spectacular breeding success was the licensing of NH Connoisseur as a stallion, where the German judge said he would have been licensed at any show in Germany. Again and again Consuelo has produced the winning mare at Namibian licensing, be it a mare of the Kendzia family, Efra Fabella (Ingemarie Plate), Heidis Lovely Girl, Locarno Musica, Locarno Antigone or one of the host of others.
For some years Consuelo stood with Gail Foxcroft in South Africa and produced many successful horses, with many breeders. His offspring excel with top riders. NH Connoisseur and Zonjati El Paso win the biggest events, having won Derby and FEI under their rider Nicola Sime-Riley against imported horses and horses bred by studs with unlimited funding. Voigtskirch Dunmore wins in the 1.40m classes under Hailey Preen. Frischgewaagt Montea goes in the 1.35m classes under Cheny Grytenbach. Seeis Aramis was exported. NH Castro is successful in 1.30m under Charl Kotze. Also in the YHPS you find Consuelo offspring again and again – for instance Zonjati Conquest won the Six-year-old Showjumping class in 2017. As dam’s sire Consuelo produced the winning stallion in Namibia, Heidi Stud Loewenherz who is successful in the 1.35m classes.
Consuelo’s offspring not only excel under top riders but even carry amateurs to success. They truly are spectacular horses and just last year, Consuelo was once again ranked as the top-performing stallion in South Africa. Originally purchased by mistake, Consuelo has to be one of the most important contributors to southern African horse breeding.
Thank you, Sitta. Thank you, Consuelo.
See the full article in HQ136, where Sitta, Gail Foxcroft and Dr Wolfgang Spaeth all pay tribute to this magnificent horse, and we put together a collage of Consuelo’s babies from across the country