Joop Aaldering under the spell of Olympic Champion Classic Touch

They are not world-class embryos this time, but even Olympic-class. No fewer than five embryos go back to Olympic champions Classic Touch and Explosion W, and Olympic team gold winner Sapphire can also be seen in an embryo. From Classic Touch, two implanted embryos are offered in this auction. The legendary mare can rightly be called one of the best jumping mares ever.

And that is also the opinion of Joop Aaldering, the man who stood at the basis of the very well-breeding Grand Prix stallions Untouchable and Hors la Loi II, and who also has a very special link with Classic Touch’s Holstein lineage. With Ludger Beerbaum, the unbeatable Caletto II daughter won individual gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. In this auction, she is granddam to a mare embryo by Untouchable and an embryo by Baltic VDL from her granddaughter will be auctioned.

“Never seen a horse jump like that before”
”In 1990, I saw Classic Touch jumping at the Bundeschampionat,” says Aaldering. “She was still young, but I had never seen a horse jump like that. It turned out she had already been sold for a huge sum to Ludger Beerbaum’s sponsor. Talking to Ludger, he said Classic Touch was the horse with the most scope he had ever ridden. When someone like that says that, it does have meaning.”

“She could really compete in this day and age”
”Classic Touch won the World Cup qualifier in Gothenburg ahead of Ratina Z. Two months later, she became German champion. After that, I went to the Barcelona Games. I was the only Dutchman hoping on Sunday that Classic Touch would win instead of Ratina Z. Classic Touch was a very special mare in every way. As a three-year-old, she was at the front at the mare inspection in Holstein. She was a modern horse with a lot of blood. She could really compete in our sport in this day and age.”

Only daughter of Classic Touch
Totally captivated by this special mare, Joop Aaldering bought from Classic Touch’s breeder her only daughter, the Capitol I mare Cantate Touch. ”At the time, Cantate Touch was four years old. I later sold her to Wim van de Vorm, because I did a lot of business with them. With Ben Schröder, she later entered into the sport. At a young age, she stayed double clear in the Nations Cup in Lummen. She became a very good horse. When she was 17 and went out of the sport, I bought her back.”

Way ahead of time
“She hadn’t been pregnant for three years. I had her covered with the young stallion Con Cento S, via the natural route. Then she was pregnant right away. That horse jumped with Simone Blum in Aachen. Her second foal became Untouched.”
Untouched (by Untouchable) was a spectacularly good jumping GP stallion under the saddle of Ben Maher. Unfortunately, this top talent died at a young age. Of Untouched, Aaldering naturally had high expectations. “His sire Untouchable and grandsire Hors La Loi II jumped 1.60m. His dam Cantate Touch jumped 1.60m and his granddam Classic Touch is Olympic Champion. We were way ahead of our time. Back then, there was less emphasis on dam lines and performance. Untouched has always been my favourite.”

United Touch: Sensation of the moment
Via embryo transfer, a filly by Lux Z was then born, Touch of Class, which Aaldering sold to German breeder Julius Peter Sinnack. “Touch of Class became the dam of United Touch, Zypria S and Deauville. That was really a hit.”
Perhaps the sensation of the moment is United Touch. The abnormally powerful jumping stallion by Untouched has Classic Touch as granddam on both sire and dam’s side. “United Touch has been a special combination. He is very heavily inbred, as the sire is Untouched and the dam is the Lux mare Touch of Class out of Cantate Touch. He has a big somewhat slow canter, but a lot of blood. You rarely see his scope. He is super careful. I arranged for United Touch to be trained by Willem Greve at the age of five. Now he is successful with Richard Vogel. The Americans were absolutely crazy about him at the World Cup final in Omaha this year. Peter Sinnack could have sold him there for a record sum, but didn’t.”

“They always go on”
You can hear in everything that Aaldering still loves Classic Touch and Cantate Touch. Does he still have any of this lineage in his stable himself? ”I have four 1.5-year-olds in the stable from Classic Touch’s lineage. I have these together with Julius Peter Sinnack. They are all out of the Lux mare Touch of Class, the daughter of Cantate Touch. They are all beautiful horses with size. The Classic Touch line gives horses with a lot of power, who never want to stop, they always keep going. This line goes back to the mare Sevada, Classic Touch’s dam, a Landgraf mare who also competed at 1.45m level. With a show jumper, I think it is important that they have scope and quality, but the most important thing is that they want to jump. They have to want to do it for you. You need fast, athletic horses who are careful. And a top rider who manages it,” concludes Aaldering.