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Royal Kaliber

Medal record
Olympic Games
Bronze 2004 Athens Individual show jumping
Gold 2004 Athens Team show jumping
Pan American Games
Gold 2003 Santo Domingo Team show jumping
Silver 2003 Santo Domingo Individual show jumping

Royal Kaliber was a horse that competed at the Grand Prix level of show jumping, and was part of the United States Show Jumping Team at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

  • Lived: 1992-8 October 2004
  • Color: Dark Bay
  • Markings: Large star, thin stripe, high socks on RF and both hind
  • Owners: Chris Kappler & Kamine Family



Royal Kaliber had impressive breeding. He was by the "Stallion of the Century", Ramiro Z, a prolific sire of jumping horses. Ramiro has contributed a son to every stud book which has the goal of producing a top jumper, as well as sired many excellent dressage horses. His bloodlines include Ramzes, Cottage Son, and Logenschlieser. Notable offspring: the mare Fatinitza (who was a great jumper and the dam of Almiro Z), and the stallions Rinaldo, Rio Negro and Ronald, and the great mare Ratina Z (olympic medalist and World Cup winner).

Royal Kaliber's dam sire was another notable stallion, Voltaire, whose bloodlines included the globally influential Furioso II and the great stallion Gotthard. Voltaire competed internationally in show jumping, and sired Concorde and other approved sons.

Pedigree for Royal Kaliber
1992 Dark bay<p>

Pedigree of Royal Kaliber
Ramiro Z
dkb/br. 1965


g. 1960


g. 1937


br. 1950


dkb/br. 1961


Cottage Son
blk/br. 1944


Young Lover
Wait Not


br. 1979


Furioso II
dk ch. 1965

Anglo Norman

Dame de Ranville
Gogo Moeve
br. 1975


Dutch Warmblood
dkb/br. 1973



Show jumping Career

American Chris Kappler first began riding the Dutch Warmblood when the horse was 8, after receiving him from Ben Boessen. Boessen made the horse totally ready for the big work. Kappler rode him to several impressive wins, and Royal Kaliber was named 2002-2003 AGA Horse of the Year and 2003 U.S. Equestrian Horse of the Year.

2004 Olympic Games

The stallion was a part of the US Show Jumping Team at the 2004 Athens Olympics, winners of the team silver medal. However, while jumping in the final round of the individual competition, the horse had an awkward landing from the 15th fence on course, a large oxer. Kappler felt his mount take an odd step and, with only two fences to go, pulled him up and dismounted. A diagnosis by the team veterinarian found that the horse had an acute strain to his superficial digital flexor tendon of his left foreleg[1]. This made him the third show jumping horse to be injured, which brought up questions of the suitability of the footing. Royal Kaliber was pulled from competition, but his previous effort had still earned him the individual bronze. It was decided to keep the stallion in Europe until he had completely recovered from his injury, before shipping him home.

Resulting colic

Royal Kaliber's leg was said to be healing very well following the Games. However, the horse began experiencing problems with colic, and an ultrasound was performed finding intestinal adhesion. The veterinarians Dr. Jack Snyder and Dr. Barry David (who flew in from the United States) and Dr. Edwin Enzerink deemed that surgery was appropriate, and on 27 September 2004, they performed the procedure at the Veterinair Centrum Someren in Someren, the Netherlands. Finding the intestine adhered to the spleen, they removed parts of both the large and small intestine. Royal Kaliber appeared stable after the surgery, but his health worsened on 6 October. The veterinary team performed another surgery, and found that further adhesions had occurred, which were non-repairable. The decision was then made to euthanize him on 8 October 2004.


By chance, a sample of Royal Kaliber's semen was collected for approval testing. Using the surplus, it was possible to breed a few mares, and the result was four offspring: one was sold to Europe, one given as a gift to trainer Frank Chapot, one to a client of Chapot's, and a filly was kept by the owners of Royal Kaliber.



  • Team gold and individual silver medal at the Athens Olympics
  • 2nd $60,000 Idle Dice Classic (Wellington, Florida)


  • Team gold and individual silver medal at the Pan American Games (Dominican Republic)
  • 1st Grand Prix at Devon (Devon, PA)
  • 1st $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational (Tampa, FL)
  • 1st AGA Show Jumping Championships (Wellington, FL)
  • Named U.S. Equestrian Horse of the Year and American Grand Prix Association Horse of the Year


  • 1st $175,000 Cargill Grand Prix of the United States (San Juan Capistrano, CA)
  • 1st $52,100 Bayer/USET Wellington Cup (Wellington, FL)
  • 1st $50,000 Bayer/USET Wellington Cup (Wellington, FL)
  • 1st $60,000 Budweiser American Gold Cup (Devon, PA)


  • 2nd $75,000 Ford Idle Dice Classic
  • 2nd $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational
  • 2nd $75,000 Kilkenny Internationale Cup (Wellington, FL)


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