Which Double Olympic Gold Medal Winning Hanoverian Horse Placed 15th At His Stallion Performance Test at Medingen, Has No SPS Mares in His Mare Line & Was First Licensed in Oldenburg? For Pleasure!
At the age of 20, For Pleasure's fans said goodbye to this jumping legend at a moving ceremony held at the 2006 Aachen CHIO. The Hanoverian stallion had injured a tendon the previous year and although it healed well, it was decided that For Pleasure should be retired to stud. For Pleasure finished his career with staggering lifetime earnings of 1.8 million Euros (almost 2.5 million US dollars), ahead of British jumping legend Milton, who won 1.6 million Euros and over thirty cars. In addition to winning two Olympic gold medals, he won 75 Grand Prix level classes, his last at the age of 18, at the Leipzig round of the World Cup over a massive course. "The highest track I have ever jumped him indoors", said Marcus Ehning.
For Pleasure was born in the last foal crop of his sire, Furioso II, in Germany. Over the years, Furioso II was the highest paid total earning sire in Germany with versatile transmission in breeding and in sport. Many showed promise from his battalion of sons (about 60 in Germany alone) and there were some valued sires in the group, but in the end, there were only a few who could hand down his genes as impressively as For Pleasure did. For Pleasure has the rare distinction of having competed at Grand Prix level against two of his progeny; the stallion, For Keeps, and the mare, Farina (a Verden auction horse), in the Grand Prix at Wiesbaden in 2005.
For Pleasure's dam, Gigantin, a 1980 chestnut Hanoverian mare by the show jumping millionaire, Grannus (Graphit - Odessa by Ozean) and out of Goldi, a Goya-Fernjaeger daughter. Her pedigree clearly carried consolidated strains of G-blood, so vital for Hanover, and was bred with a focus on jumping. Her owner, Robert Diestel, originally based in Braunschweig-Rueningen, and later in Adelheidsdorf, maintained this mare line for generations.
Mr. Diestel first bred Gigantin to Wittenberg (Woermann - Pinturischio xx), producing a chestnut colt in 1984 that went on to become the approved stallion, Winterstar. Winterstar was sold at the Verden auction to South Africa, where he was used frequently for breeding. Her second foal, For Pleasure, a striking chestnut colt with extensive "chrome" (including a blaze, four white stockings and a belly spot) was born in January 14, 1986. Mr. Diestel then bred her to a series of jumping stallions; Acord II, Caletto I, Quidam de Revel and Sandro, and the fillies from this cross were bred back to For Pleasure whenever possible, producing the approved stallions Fly High (leased to Landgestüt Celle and Dillenburg) and For Life's Memory. In 2001, Gigantin produced Fortuna, a bay full sister to For Pleasure. Fortuna was later bred to Stakkato and produced a striking bay colt that went on to be the approved stallion, Stylus, successful shown in jumping classes by Ralf Litz.
For Pleasure sired over 20 approved sons, including Faraday (Grand Prix winner for the Czech Republic), Fatalis Fatum, Federalist (USA), Fly HIgh, For Feeling (leased to Celle and Sweden), For Future (UK), For Germany, For Joy (Argentina), For Keeps, For LIfe's Memory, For Paragon (USA), For Play (leased to Celle), For The Moon, Forrester, Forsyth, Freshman, Futurist (USA; shown under the name Faberge in USA), For Kids Only (leased to Celle) and others. For Pleasure was the first privately owned stallion to be awarded the title of "Hanoverian Stallion of the Year" by the German Hanoverian Verband in 2000.
For Pleasure passed away on February 18, 2011, at the age of 25, while In his field at the stable of his last rider, Germany's Marcus Ehning. "He was in the best of health and for years he enjoyed going outside with his pony friend Max. We are grateful to have had such an exceptional stallion in our stable for such a long time and will never forget him", Marcus Ehning stated on his website.
You Tube Video Link: Marcus Ehning and For Pleasure
(Source: C. Schridde, "Hannoveraner Stutenstämme", Sandra Asmussen Publishing, Gelting, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, 2008, pp. 214 & C. Hector, "From Gotthard to Gribaldi: The Making of The Modern Warmblood, Sporthorse International, Australia, pp.330-333)