Callaho’s Lissabon
Photography: Tracy Robertson

Callaho’s Lissabon

Callaho Stud’s fabulous foundation sire and current ‘King of the Hill’, Callaho’s Lissabon turned 21 last winter.

The combination of Lissabon’s own record as an exceptional all-round sporting athlete and showing horse; his innate beauty, flawless conformation and temperament; as well as his unfailing ability to reliably pass these traits onto his offspring is arguably unmatched anywhere in the warmblood breeding world. Sire of countless top showjumpers and dressage gems, in Germany and here at home in South Africa, his real worth, as a maker of superior broodmares, is only just beginning to reveal itself. This is truly a one-in-a-million warmblood sire.


It doesn’t take much hunting to find the evidence of this stallion’s exceptional achievements and promise.

Born in Germany in 1999, Lissabon won both sections of his performance test in Oldenburg under Heinrich Döwe as a three year old, before going on to win eight out of the nine classes for young horses, including the esteemed Damhuis Cup. Lissabon continued on this winning streak up to the Bundeschampionate Finals in his sixth year, where he was awarded a dream score of 9.3 for his jumping style under Johannes Ehning. His serial winning career in Europe culminated in 2007 with a victory at Vechta in the 1.50m youngster tour with Jens Baackmann.

It was in this same year, that several favourable circumstances conspired, which enabled Callaho to negotiate a successful offer to purchase this magnificent stallion. Lissabon was shipped to his new home in the Kalahari at Callaho Stud, whereupon he immediately recommenced his breeding duties before the breeding season ended.

Callaho Luca Vella (Lissabon x Raphael x Watzmann) with Chatan Hendriks

It wasn’t long before Lissabon’s looks, generous splashes of colour, his lovable personality and gentlemanly demeanour earned him the respect and admiration of all and sundry in warmblood breeding and sport. Continuing his success in the off-season as a 1.50 showjumper, he consolidated his grip on the warmblood sport community’s hearts with many successes in the open classes. Ending his sporting career with placings in two Derbys and several World Cup Qualifiers, Lissabon had now more than proven his worth as a top showjumper. Semi-retired to debut as a showing horse, he was, however, yet to add the final cherry to the top of his prodigious career. With Claire Marcus, this true gentleman went on to win the Champion Warmblood Stallion in Hand, Supreme Warmblood in Hand as well as Overall Supreme Breed Horse at the HOY Show in 2017.

Callaho Lincoln Rose (Lissabon x Rotspon x Matcho AA) with Dawn Newman

Content on the farm enjoying his retirement from sport, Lissabon now serves his true calling in life as a breeding stallion. Happy in himself and living the good life with hacks every week, he remains a true gentleman and the perfect picture of the ideal, modern sport horse.

Callaho Libertine Love (Lissabon x Cassini I x Alme Z) with Chatan Hendriks

Lissabon’s European breeding record

Lissabon’s breeding record in Europe is remarkable considering that the focus of his owner was on his performance as an athlete. He bred only 136 registered offspring in Germany. From this tiny pool emerged no less than ten 1.50m-1.60m jumpers in Europe including Lisa (2004 Weinberg x Frueling mare with Björne Kuwertz GER), Liss Royal (2005 Royal x Suedwind mare with Alexandra Erikkson SWE) and Lissbonia (Polydor x Paradox I mare with Hendrik Griese GER). In August 2011 at the Hanoverian Auction for Elite Riding Horses, the Lissabon son, Let’s Go HRH, was sold to Rolf Göran-Bengtsson for an auction record of €130,000. In addition to these achievements Lissabon also produced ten state premium licensed daughters, multiple champion foals and remarkably, ten licensed sons of which two, Lissacor (Westphalia) and Lissaro van der Helle (Hannover) were awarded Premium Status. Lissaro has followed in his father’s footsteps and has an equally exemplary young horse performance record. Starting his career as a three year old in 2008, Lissaro won the Three Year Old German Championships for Riding Horses. He then returned in 2009 to win the Four Year Old Dressage Championship. The following year, in 2010, Lissaro proceeded to rewrite the history book with his third consecutive Gold Medal at the Bundeschampionate.

From his limited breeding career in Germany the statistics generated by the German National Federation in 2010, placed Lissabon within the top 1% of jumping sires and top 5% of dressage sires. These scores combined, define Lissabon as the best dual-purpose sire of all warmblood stallions for that year, in the entirety of Germany.

South African breeding record

Here in South Africa Lissabon’s exceptional breeding prowess has been unquestionably underpinned by the quality of his Callaho offspring. This is succinctly illustrated by his most recent accolade; the SA Showjumping Award as the Top Ranked High Performance Sire of 2018 with a whopping 24 offspring currently competing in the open classes, and more moving up rapidly through the ranks. To highlight just a few of these offspring, we have:

  • Callaho Lexington – Recent competitor in the 1.50m division with Jeanne Körber.
Callaho Lexington (Lissabon x For Joy x Raphael) with Jeanne Körber
  • Callaho le Cadeau – Recent competitor in the 1.50m division with Desiree Pienaar.
  • Callaho Lansink – Winner of 10 (yes, ten!) National 1.30m-1.40m Championships with Ray Korber.
Callaho Lansink (Lissabon x Pilot x Paradox) with Ray Körber
  • Callaho Lorenzo – Winner of 2019 1.35m South African Championships with Laurence Mowatt.
  • Callaho Liantos – Winner of the 2019 1.30m Championships with Tamara Rueda.


Callaho Lucetto (Lissabon x Cassini I x Caletto II) with Paige Goetsch

Lissabon’s legacy is tightly woven into the very fabric of Callaho’s third generation broodmares. It is here that his greatest gift to warmblood breeding resides. All endowed with their sire’s refinement, athleticism and superb temperament, Lola Vella (Lissabon x Raphael Watzmann), Lissina (Lissabon x Cassini I x Caletto II), Lorna Calypso (Lissabon x Calypso II x Werther) and Lindessa (Lissabon x Heartbreaker x Indoctro) are an integral component, the actual vanguard, of Callaho’s ambitions for the future. Beautiful and feminine, they are all directly descended from Callaho’s best foundation dams, who have been tried and tested several times over. Between them they have produced scores of superior offspring, proving many times over why having Lissabon in the pedigree of a warmblood damline is so precious. The future looks bright with these mares.

Callaho Le Padre (Lissbon x Padinus x Calato) with Zdenek Muchna

Callaho’s King of the Hill

Every horse lover who visits the Callaho stud farm, without fail, requests to see Lissabon immediately upon arrival. You will find him in the midst of his comrades in the spacious paddocks of Callaho’s stallion block, where he is always eager to come up to meet his fans, make new friends, sign autographs and smile!

Lissabon. Photography: Tracy Robertson