Kannan was born in South Holland, on the property of his breeders, Wobbe and Marietje Kramer and was named after their foster child from India.
(I am indebted for this information to Jenneke Smit, and her article Kannan – A good advertisement for KWPN Breeding, in the KWPN International magazine, 2/2013)
According to Wobbe Kramer: “Kannan was an incredibly long-legged foal; he hardly dared to lie down. Sometimes it took a half-hour before he had his long legs folded up so he could lie down. Kannan was a very lively and energetic foal from the start, he really likes going outside and galloping full-speed around his pasture.”
Kannan is another of those top stallions that failed to impress the licensing commission and he did not get past the preliminary inspection. In fact, Kannan was not awarded KWPN status until 2011 when he was 19 years old!
Luckily for showjumping breeding, the Kramers kept the faith, and kept the horse in training, and he competed at the VSN free jumping competition for three year olds.
Again, Mr Kramer remembers: “At the pre-selection in Oosteind, he scored 9.2 for jumping and they praised his unlimited scope. As a result, he qualified for the final in Ermelo, where, unfortunately, the stallion before him jumped out of the viewing pen while we were standing there waiting our turn. Kannan also got loose and ran all over the parking lot before we caught him. Because of the incident, he didn’t jump as well as the other horses in the viewing pen.”
Kannan was also jumping well under saddle and Guido Bruyninx purchased a 50% share, and went on to ride him in the Belgian cycle for young jumpers, where he finished in equal first.
The deal was that the stallion was to be sold after the cycle, and there were plenty of willing buyers. The international dealer, François Mathy purchased the Kramers’ share, and Guido Bruyninx kept his share.
Kannan won the six year old Belgian cycle and qualified for the World Young Horse Championships in Lanaken, where he was ridden by François Mathy Jr – at least in the early rounds.
Wobbe Kramer remembers it well: “The first two days, Kannan jumped really great! Unfortunately, François got into an automobile accident and broke his arm, so he couldn’t show him in the final. But fortunately, Guido was able to take his place. Anyhow, it was a wonderful championship for us: our home-bred horse Kannan competed in the final for six year olds, and our other home-bred horse, Interest, who’s out of the same dam as Kannan, showed in the final of the seven-year-olds with Gerco Schröder.”
Interest who is by the Thoroughbred, Apollonios, went on to compete in the European Championships for Young Riders in Moorsele.
Kannan came second in the Belgian cycle as a seven-year-old, with Bruyninx before François Mathy took over the ride, and competed the stallion on the Sunshine Tour in Spain.
He was spotted by the wife of the top French rider, Michel Hécart and sold for a record price…
Hécart found him an easy horse to get along with: “Kannan is a horse who has been very well started, and, therefore didn’t pose a problem. He is a horse with all the character to do what is asked of him. He has good balance, a good mouth, he likes to work and therefore doesn’t pose any particular problems. The only thing Kannan is maybe missing is a little physical condition, a little power and muscle development. He is a horse who was spending too much time in his box. Today we are doing completely the opposite because he stays out in the paddock 10 to 12 hours a day.” (Annuaire Monneron, 2002)
He was also an instant commercial success and featured on the front cover of the Annuaire du Cheval de Sport et d’Élevage 2002 (that’s what Monneron used to be called) as the hot new horse on the French scene. He had already covered 270 mares in the 2001 season despite the high fee of ff8,000! He was already showing a profit with expectations that 2002 would prove even better…
Kannan is an interesting mixture – branded KWPN, he balances 6/16ths French (from Furioso II, and his full-brother’s son, Le Mexico), 6/16ths solid German – Gotthard and Farn, along with a touch of Thoroughbred, and a dash of traditional Dutch, Gelderlander.
His dam, Cemeta is also the dam of Gideon, who has been successful at a national level in Holland, and Interest, who was 10th in the 7 Year Old World Young Jumping horse championships in Lanaken.
Kannan won his first Grand Prix at the age of eight, with Hécart, and this was just the first of many.
In 2003 Kannan won the Deauville Grand Prix and In 2004, he won at Paris Bercy and Jardy. He was a regular member of the French team which won the Samsung Super League in 2003 and 2004. In 2005 he was French National Champion and competed at the European Championships in San Patrignano.
In 2006, he was retired from competition for a full-time career as a breeding stallion.
According to the promo: “Because of his size and strength, he is well suited to small to medium weight mares, who lack size, scope and power. His nature, character and mouth can be used on any mare.”
At the 2007 Fontainebleau, Kannan absolutely dominated the 5 year old classes, with 30 of his progeny competing while the best of the rest, Quick Star had 11, and Quidam de Revel, 10. However it was quickly pointed out that, there were some 170 Kannan foals of that vintage, so the ratio of success – 17.6% – put him into 5th place on the rankings adjusted for numbers – behind Darco at No 1 (5 out of 25 – 20%), Diamant de Sémilly (9/48 – 18.7%), Baloubet de Rouet (3/16 – 18.7%) and Lando, a Belgian Warmblood by Lancier (5/27 – 18.5%).
Writing in Monneron 2008 / 2009, Paul Dubost delivers his verdict on Kannan: “This stallion produces a good build and an ample locomotion, a stable temperament, a good foreleg action, but a sometimes weaker hindquarter, ‘a little like Voltaire’ (his sire) say the riders. We will see if the 7 year old plus generations of Kannan (with the aid of heavy hind boots) are well able for high level competitions.”
At the Fences 20th Anniversary Auction, in September 2008, the top price of €65,000 was paid for a three year old stallion, by Kannan out of a Quidam de Revel mare.
At the 2011 Great Week in Fontainebleau, the Seven year old Criterium was a triumph for Kannan since he put two horses into the final, a feat equalled only by the recently deceased, Quick Star, who was the sire of the Champion, Quatrin de la Roque, out of a Belgian bred mare by Kannan.
Kannan was also responsible for two of the 12 finalists in the Seven Year old final. In the six year old class, Kannan was the sire of one finalist and dam sire of another.
Kannan was with Michel Hécart until mid-2009, when he was sold to British stallion keeper, Kenneth Rehill. However he did not stay in England for long since watching from the sidelines was GFE head, Arnaud Evain who saw that Kannan was the perfect fit with his breeders’ group and the stallion returned to France to stand with spectacular success!
According to Arnaud:
“Every day there is a new Kannan showing up in the international results. When we bought Kannan a year ago, he had 120 international jumpers, and this morning it was 217. It is like a mushroom growing.”
Why is he such a successful sire?
“If you look at Kannan, he is not very represented in the four year old championship, but he is the largest represented in the seven year old, because the Kannans are scopey, careful and with a very good brain. There are a lot of riders participating in this week, and many of them are not great experts and the horses have to participate, and Kannans, like the Mr Blues, they have the brain of going through and doing their best and being clear. That’s why you see so many of them when it starts to get serious.”
Kannan has proven an exceptional sire, and on the 2013 WBFSH rankings, he is in second place with 68 representatives, headed by the Olympic gold medallist, Nino des Buissonnets (Narcos II) with over a 1000 points. Other top jumpers by Kannan are Quannan R, Baldo DS, Oh d’Eole, Bridget, Dazzle II and Kismet. It seems only a matter of time before he takes the top spot on the rankings…
And sure enough, on the 2014 rankings, there Kannan is, in number one spot.
On the 2015 rankings, Kannan has dropped to second place, behind Diamant de Sémilly, with his most successful competitor, Molly Malone.
On the 2015/16 KWPN standings, Kannan has a breeding value of 156 (81%) and in Holland has produced 142 four years and over, with 45 competitors – 31.69%. Interestingly he ranks very positively on the OCD scale, the third best score in fact – 106 (69%). 100 is neutral, stallions with a score of more than 100 are considered improvers when it comes to OCD.
And still they keep coming! Ben Maher took out the 5 star World Cup Qualifier in Wellington, Florida, in March 2015, riding yet another Kannan – Diva II. Maher started riding Diva II, a 10-year-old Anglo European mare oujt of aBerlioz mare, in November of 2014 and finished out last year’s Winter Equestrian Festival with a 1.50m win in week eleven of the circuit. Diva has developed throughout the year and came back even better in 2015, stepping up to the bigger classes and proving her talent in Saturday’s challenging World Cup qualifying event.