Everybody is looking forward to the end of this odd and frustrating year. The equestrian world also suffered a complete halt of the competition season and even now shows are scarce. Although we must always look ahead into the future, it is also interesting to take a look back into this past year and see which horses stuck out in their performances. Hippomundo discusses the top ten highest-earning horses counting from January 1st 2020 until November 19th 2020.


To highlight the peculiarity of this year, the highest-earning horse so far in 2020 has won a total amount of ‘only’ €281,226, compared to H&M Christian K who in 2019 alone won an incredible amount of €1,350,616 with Sweden’s highest ranked rider, Peder Fredricson. It is however Killer Queen VDM who leads the way this year. The breeding product of Dirk Bruggeman and Ann Carpentier won a total of €281,226 under the saddle of the German rider Daniel Deusser. They had a very fruitful start to the year in Doha, Qatar by winning two consecutive five-star Grand Prix in March; however, due to the mandatory break in competition, we had to wait a couple of months to see this pair shine again. They did so in Saint-Tropez over the summer by coming second in the 1.60m 4* Grand Prix and seventh in the 1.60m 5* Grand Prix the following week. Not only has Killer Queen VDM been impressive in the ring, her motherline is one to die for. Her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother have all competed up to the 1.60m level! Currently only ten years old, we wonder what the future will bring for this mare.


The Selle Français gelding Victorio des Frotards too had a a very successful year. This gelding by Barbarian was bred by Christian and Julien Fortier and competed under the saddle of world number one, Steve Guerdat for Switzerland. In 2020 so far, the pair have collected €237,540 in prize money. They started off the year in style by winning both the 5* Grand Prix and the World Cup qualifier in Basel in January, followed by a win in the World Cup qualifier of Bordeaux in February. The pandemic didn’t seem to affect Victorio’s form much as he jumped to another 5* Grand Prix win in Saint Tropez in July.

Noche de Ronda, born as Ramba Zamba RT is a breeding product of ZG Richter-Irps & Tiefenthal. This mare by Quintender 2 won a total of €185,525 with USA rider, McLain Ward in the saddle. Impressively, this total amount was won before the pandemic kicked in. The pair took home the gold in two consecutive 5* Grand Prix held at Deeridge Farms in Wellington in February this year.

It is interesting to note that the highest earning horses of this past year did so without jumping a high number of international classes. Instead of picking up a lot of small placings in classes offering lower prize money, these horses seemed to peak in the “big money” classes, such as Grand Prix or World Cup qualifiers. This could be a testament to their rider’s management and planning abilities. Moreover, looking at the competition results of these ten horses over the past year, we often see several top three placings in big classes over two or three consecutive weekends.

We have also presented you with some statistics on the top ten highest earning horses of 2020 so far. Not only is Victorio des Frotards this year’s second highest earning horse so far, he also has the highest winning percentage amongst these ten horses. He won an impressive 25% of all international classes he jumped. Akuna Mattata won 20.8% of the classes she competed in under the saddle of Nicole Shahinian-Simpson from the United States. This mare by Quinar out of the 1.60m-mare SRF Dragonfly (by Landwind) not only has an impressive win-percentage, she also placed 62.5% of the time. This mare places in almost two out of three international classes she competes in! Although the Vigo d’Arsouilles son, Fasther, out of the Moerings-family breeding operation has not yet won any classes this year, the gelding racked up a placing in 58.3% of the international classes he competed in under his rider, Lillie Keenan.