May 25, 2023

Over the years, the collections of Elite Foal Auction Borculo have already yielded many international sport horses and approved breeding stallions. One of the latest highlights is the newly KWPN-approved stallion Toledo VDL (Tobago Z x Chellano Z), that was named Tavi Z at birth by breeder Rudy van der Bruggen of Poppel, Belgium. Four years ago, this grey stallion emerged as top seller of the jumper foals at Elite Foal Auction Borculo.

In the KWPN spring performance test, the stallion Toledo VDL (Tobago Z x Chellano Z) was granted his breeding license. He obtained 81 points in total and was rewarded with solid marks. He received an 8,5 for the technique and mindset and an 8 for his canter, reflexes, scope, rideability and perspective as a jumper horse.

Top seller 

Four years ago, the stallion of VDL Stud made his first public appearance under the studbook name Tavi Z. The colt fetched a top price at Elite Foal Auction Borculo as the auctioneer’s gavel dropped at 35.000 euros. “It is difficult to tell if a foal is an extraordinary horse in the making, but he looked great from the beginning”, recalls Rudy van der Bruggen. “I have been attending the Borculo foal auctions for many years now and sold foals here on a regular basis. I am very pleased with this auction.”

Modern stallion

Toledo VDL fell into American hands at the auction. Van der Bruggen kept following the stallion closely: “I later heard he had moved to VDL Stud and that he was doing very well there. When Toledo commenced his training, the people that produced him sent me videos every now and then. They had a lot of confidence in his progress and were fans of the stallion. When he was stationed in Ermelo for the performance test I was also kept up to date. Fantastic! As a breeder that makes you very happy. I also visited Ermelo to witness it first-hand. The stallion immediately enthused me and left a good impression. Since I have bred him myself, there is a change I am looking through rose-coloured glasses, but I think he is a modern and light-footed stallion. He is big, has a rectangular frame and can easily changes gears. On top of that has a great mindset and an excellent jumping technique.”

Tobago Z 

Toledo VDL is one of the first breeding stallions sired by the phenomenon Tobago Z. In hands of Daniel Deusser, he won last year’s Grand Prix of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Global Champions Tour of New York and the Super Grand Prix of Prague. “I was one of the early birds when I picked Tobago Z. It is a beautiful stallion with great instincts. He is of good origins and breeding. It was only after I had covered the mare with Tobago Z that I found out he traces back to a thoroughbred six generations further. And that horse is related to the granddam of Iron Man van de Padenborre of Gregory Whathelet. A fun trivia, since the stallions Tobago Z and Iron Man van de Padenborre placed first and second in the world cup of Bordeaux four years ago.” Van der Bruggen primarily lauds the mindset of Tobago Z. “In the end that is what matters the most. If you have a horse that can jump it all, but is not eager to do so, it will never work. If you have one that is slightly less capable, but is very keen, everyone is happy to ride it.”

Caroline Z 

Van der Bruggen bred Toledo out of the mare Caroline Z. “She was bred by my father, and I later took her over. Caroline is 22 years of age now and in foal to Toèmme de Regor Z (Chacco Blue x Cento). If she gives birth to a filly, I want to keep her. If it is a stallion, it will probably be sold in an auction. The foal is due late in the season, so I have to wait and see how it goes.”
In her younger years, Caroline participated in the IBOP test and several competitions. “Simply to see what her mindset was like. She is a very careful jumper and a cooperative mare in general. She has plenty of length, size, and a good mentality. She passes those traits on to her offspring.”

Leading line

By now, Rudy van der Bruggen bred fourteen foals out of Caroline Z. One of them is the Oldenburg-approved stallion Castellani Z (s.Canturano) that competed at 1.30m level with Christian Ahlmann. She is also the dam of Contour Z (s.Canturano I), that jumped 1.40m with Sebastian Adams, and Contour II (s.Canturano I) that was active at 1.35m level with Great Britain’s Daniel Mosely. Caroline Z is furthermore the granddam of the international showjumper Eloy and the great-granddam of the 1.50m horse Action Man Ask, that was approved in Denmark, at Hannover and at Zangersheide.


Caroline Z inherited her excellent genes from her dam. Her exquisite pedigree starts with her preferent prestatie mare Larthago (Carthago x Caletto I). She was bred by Klaus Göttsche-Götze out of the Caletto I-mare Daisy IV, a descendant of the Holsteiner line 8749. Daisy IV produced the Cassini I-son Casino 14, that was active up to 1.50m level in Germany.

Rudy’s father, Martien van der Bruggen, purchased Larthago as a foal at the foal auction in Holstein. Larthago jumped at 1.50m level with Mathijs van Asten and clearly left her mark on breeding. She is the dam of five approved stallions: Harley VDL (s.Heartbreaker), Cevin Z (s.Coriall), Dimitri Z (s.Diarado), Casago II (s.Casall) and the KWPN-approved 1.60m stallion Casago (s.Casall). Larthago additionally produced eleven international showjumpers, including Hopes Are High Z, Soren Z, Einstein, Casago II, and Dimitri Z.

A pleasant collaboration

Rudy van der Bruggen is a small breeder. “Each year I breed one to two foals, never more. Caroline is the only mare left. Naturally, I am secretly hoping for a filly, so I can keep her as a successor to our lineage. And should I have a mare in the future that would suit Toledo, I would love to breed with him.” Will we see Van der Bruggen back at Elite Foal Auction Borculo? “The collaboration with Borculo has always been a pleasant one. I have frequently attended the auction, to my complete satisfaction. So why would I change that? If I have a suitable foal in the future, I will certainly come back!”

Toledo VDL is one of the many topliners sold at Elite Foal Auction Borculo. For many years, this auction has been known to offer the finest foals out of exclusive lineages. Do you have such a remarkable foal in your stable, and would you like to present it to our selectors? Sign up your foal now!

Photos: Elite Foal Auction & Brevink-van Dijk 

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