by Ginny Smith

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The 16.2 bay KWPN 12 year old stallion Peppermill was bred by W. Verstappen and has been campaigned for the past 3 years by John Whitaker with outstanding success.
His sire, Burggraaf, has had a huge influence on the breeding of showjumpers – at the 2006 Super League Nations Cup in Germany all the UK riders were competing on KWPN horses, with Burggraaf having sired Peppermill, Tim Gredley’s mount Omelli, the French team’s Obelix, and being the grandsire of Michael Whitaker’s mare Insultech Portofino. Burggraaf combined two of the most successful Hostein jumping lines – Landgraf and Cor de la Bryere – in his pedigree. On his dam side he went back to the famous Holstein lineage 7126, a family which has produced the approved stallions Accord I and II, Acrobat I, and Chicago, amongst others. Burggraaf has produced not only an impressive number of approved stallions but also many top class broodmares, and is known for passing on his size, power, and jumping ability, all of which Peppermill has inherited.

Burggraaf :

Voltaire :

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ginny article burgraaf

Peppermill’s damsire Voltaire is one of those maverick examples of a horse that nobody wanted initially, which then grows into one of the great showjumping stallions! He was a bit small, had a problem with one hoof, and was rejected by the Oldenburg licensing commission. Jan Greve and Henk Nijhof heard that the young stallion was for sale, liked his technique, and took him home to The Netherlands. He just scraped a grading by the KWPN and went on to stand at the famous Watermolen stud. He seemed to have combined the best of the Selle Francais and German lines to produce an outstanding performance, and one that he passed on to his offspring, along with his easy temperament. Peppermill seems to have inherited many of the good traits from both sides of his pedigree - John Whitaker describes him as willing to take on anything, (“Nothing is too big for him”) and prizes him for the consistency of his performance. He does find that he’s expensive to keep, apparently having an enormous appetite, eating everything that he’s given!

Peppermill is regarded as an exceptional Nations Cup horse, and potentially one of the best showjumpers in the world. He has extraordinary scope, and has shone since the age of 3, when he won the 3 year old loose jumping championship competition in Holland, going on to be runner up in the Fox Hunter championships in the UK at the age of 6, and winning the best British Nations Cup horse award in his first international year as a 9 year old. He led the British team to a notable victory at the Rome Nations Cup in 2008, being the only horse to jump 3 clear rounds.
After a disappointment at the 2008 Olympics, having to be withdrawn as not 100%, he now seems to be back to his top form this year, winning the 95,000 euros winners purse in the Valencia Global Championship Tour Grand Prix in May, jumping 1m60. Stallion AI Services, through whom his frozen semen is available, describe him as having an outstanding and relaxed temperament, being able to compete at world class level and between competitions visit the stud, and be hacked out at weekends by his amateur owner, Becky Stones.

Peppermill and John Whitaker in action :

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