Ocala, FL – This week’s Ocala Sunday Spotlight shines on an extraordinary stallion that wows the crowd with his impressive jumping style and huge presence. Despite being blind in one eye, Chacco Blue II (Chacco-blue x Naiti Rouge) has had a storybook career having competed at some of the world’s most prestigious international events. He is so popular, he even has his own social media. Olympian Santiago Lambre took the reins in 2022 and together the pair have earned numerous top placings throughout the United States. We caught up with Lambre to learn more about the stunning 16-year-old Oldenburg stallion and his laid-back personality.
WEC: When did you first begin riding Chacco Blue II?
In 2021, Chacco Blue II came to me for the season. I rode him for three or four months and went to Europe to try to qualify for the Olympic Games. The owner decided to keep the horse in Europe for six months with a Dutch rider. He came back to me in 2022 and I showed him throughout the year. I am very grateful that his owner trusts me with him. He focuses on breeding, and I focus on riding. I’ll have him until he retires, but he has so much blood I hope he jumps for a couple more years.
WEC: He’s a breeding stallion. Tell us a bit about how that works.
He bred while he was in Europe and when he came over last year, he bred a lot too. I think some of his babies in Europe are now seven years old. At first it was a bit of a learning curve to figure out a breeding and riding schedule, but we found that he can collect one week then show the next. He never gets rowdy – he’s always been a laid-back stallion. He can get a little fresh at times, but can walk right next to a mare without any issues. He has the same demeanor every day.
WEC: Tell us a bit more about Chacco Blue II.
He’s an incredible horse. When I jump a 1.60m it feels like he’s popping over a 1.30m. It’s that easy for him. He jumps so well each and every time he steps into the ring. Next week, I will show him Saturday night to prepare for the FEI week during week IX and then show at Live Oak shortly after. Then we will do the final five-star in Wellington. The goal right now is to try and qualify for the World Cup™ Finals.
WEC: How do you prepare Chacco Blue II for a Saturday night Grand Prix?
He doesn’t need much preparation. We do a class in the beginning of the week to warm him up and then he’s ready to go. During the week, he just gets a lot of conditioning, which is why we love World Equestrian Center – Ocala so much. I hack him out on the trails with the nice footing each day or I go to one of the big schooling rings. He’s a very big horse so he needs to stay fit.
He loves competing here on Saturday nights. He always jumps well, but when he goes into that arena, he’s electric. If the rider before us goes clear and he hears the crowd cheering and clapping, he gets very excited and jumps even better. The footing and the jumps at World Equestrian Center are incredible and all of my horses jump their best here. It’s my favorite venue and I am looking forward to the FEI CSI3* competition during week IX.
Thank you, Santiago, for taking the time to chat with us about Chacco Blue II! We can’t wait to cheer you on next week and during the CSI3* competition.
Learn more about Chacco Blue II and his breeding at http://www.chacco.blue/.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.