Sandro Hit is Dead at Age 28, One of World’s Top Sires–USA’s Olympic Silver Medalist Salvino, Germany’s Gold Showtime Among Offspring

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Sandro Hit. Photo: Dr. Tanja Becker

Aug. 18. 2021

Sandro Hit is dead at the age of 28, one of the top breeding stallions in the world whose offspring included Salvino ridden by Adrienne Lyle on the USA Olympic silver medal team and Showtime FRH, ridden by Dorothee Schneider on German gold medal teams at two Olympics. Of the other two U.S. Olympic team horses, Sanceo, ridden by Sabine Schut-Kery, and Suppenkasper, ridden by Steffen Peters, both are grandsons of Sandro Hit.

Sandro Hit was euthanized after an infection that veterinarians said would not improve the condition of the black stallion that was owned by Paul Schockemöhle and spent his entire life in Mühlen, Germany after being bought as a foal at the Oldenburg auction in Vechta in 1993.

“Sandro Hit was especially close to my heart,” said Paul. “He was something very special and the real founder of my now so large stallion station. His loss hits us very hard.”

Sandro Hit was bred by Reinhold Harder: a son of Sandro Song out of Loretta by Ramino-Welt As.

Sandro Hit began his sporting career in 1999 when he won the world championships for six-year-old dressage horses in Arnhem, Netherlands, under Dr. Ulf Möller and then did the double at the Bundeschampionate in Warendorf, Germany.

From then on, however, enormous demand made breeding the priority. Type, charisma, ground-hugging movement potential, rideability–Sandro Hit passed on his unmistakable features to his offspring. There was hardly a breeding area at home and abroad that did not make use of his genetics.

From 2012 onwards, Sandro Hit belonged to the illustrious circle of the world’s best dressage sires. In 2017 and 2018 he placed second in the World Breeding Federation of Sport Horse rankings of the most successful dressage stallions, and since 2019 he has been in third place.

At the Tokyo Olympic Games, eight offspring sired by Sandro Hit competed, including Showtime FRH that Dorothee Schneider rode on the German team and at the Rio de Janeiro Games four years earlier, and the team silver winner Salvino with Adrienne Lyle of the United States. Also, both Sanceo ridden by Sabine Schut-Kery and Suppenkasper, ridden by Steffen Peters were sired by stallions that were offspring of Sandro Hit.

Eleven Bundeschampions can be attributed to Sandro Hit, most recently Sisters Act MT OLD in 2016, who subsequently also placed at the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses and the Burg-Pokal under Dorothee Schneider. Other outstanding offspring were the legendary Poetin (2003 gold 5-year-old), Polka Hit Nexen (2008 silver 6-year-oldy), Soliere (2010 silver 6-year-old) and St. Emilion (2011 bronze 6-year-old) also stood on the podium at the World Dressage Horse Championships.

Sandro Hit has more than 200 licensed sons, including numerous licensing winners, premium stallions and stallion market leaders. Two of them are stationed in Mühlen: Sir Donnerhall I and San Amour.

“I am very happy to have quality sons of Sandro Hit on station, securing his wonderful genes. It is a very difficult farewell,” Paul Schockemöhle said.