I have noticed that (when window shopping) when I see Pilot at all, I usually see him brought into a pedigree through a mare as a damsire or sire’s damsire, which seems unusual since his offspring notably won quite a lot of money. I just found this article, which basically confirms this preference by breeders: https://www.horsemagazine.com/thm/2010/08/pilot/

What is/was Pilot known to contribute as a damsire? Apiro is very popular on this forum - is there any identified impact of Pilot on the get of Apiro or other sires with Pilot as the damsire?

Apiro is noted for throwing ammy-friendly temperament, which is counter to the reputation of Pilot’s first generation offspring. Where does that come from? Argentinus? Or is that the contribution of Apiro himself?

I guess a more general question I have is how do you evaluate the impact of sires 3 generations (or further) back in a pedigree? I don’t necessarily mean as a mare owner, but also broader patterns that may appear across great-grandget. What patterns can you see at that depth of the pedigree? Are there still directly observable features that can be attributed to sires that far back (like temperament) that don’t necessarily show up in the intermediate generations?

I get a little bit cynical about how much direct influence any stallion has on babies 3 generations down the line. There are a lot of other animals on the pedigree by that time. What I find more interesting is that the best breeders look for classy surrogate mares, not any old nag, because the mares influence is there even when it isnt her genetic offspring she is carrying.


Savvy breeders know the great value of the mare’s influence on the foals and find the best mare possible and breed her judiciously. You see good producing or popular sires several times in a pedigree many times, which brings the bloodlines forward and enforces their impact on the resulting foal. That can be a double edged sword if used indiscriminately and if one is not knowledgeable about the placement in the pedigree and the strengths and weaknesses of that bloodline as well as the combination with the mare. Breeding is a crap shoot but taking the time to learn as much as possible is your best path as well as advice from other good breeders. It’s also a matter of taste, too.

Any input from anyone on Pilot as a damsire?

I think the answer is kind of just math:

630ish registered foals
430ish were mares
Only 7 stallions who jumped 1.60.

Shoot, thanks, I admit I did not think about the prevalence question this way.

Still does not answer the question of what attributes (if any) breeders expect/seek by breeding a pilot daughter though.

I’m not a breeding expert at all, so I don’t think I’ll have the specific kind of answer you are looking for. However, I know as a groom I had a couple of charges with Pilot in the pedigree (I believe as grandsire in at least one or two, but can’t actually remember details) and discussions that he could put a bit of a difficult streak in a horse. I think in some horses we saw this come out a little (nothing extreme or dangerous, just a bit tougher) and nothing of the sort in others.

Perhaps people became a little reluctant to put the effort into standing his sons because of the temperament reputation (and then the fact it sounds like the sons that did stand weren’t very well received). With a mare maybe it’s just a bit easier. She doesn’t need a lot of foals to make it worthwhile, and you can choose a stud known for tractability to counter any temperament issues.

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I think the answer is that Pilot died a long time ago and even though he had several successful sons and about 200 GP offspring it was a narrow group compared to other lines. Pablo was very popular with about 100 GP offspring of which quite a few in dressage too. About 7 approved sons. Also a bit hot however great compact type like dad and super mover. Pablito by Pablo from an A line mare was also versatile and great producer of eventers that topped the leaderboards and at one point unintentionally made me the #2 eventer producer in the US. Pretty sensitive but mostly easier going and lighter types without TB blood.

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All I can contribute to this is that Quilot Z (by Quickstar) is out of a Pilot dam and he is one of the sweetest stallions I have ever handled. I have also worked with some of his offspring (Quilot z’s) and found the same…easygoing and quiet overall.

interesting topic!
and a good idea, accessing it via numbers.
the german FN yearbook offers an “extended” function of really valuable information (german breedings only, horse telex does not compatre)

665 succesful sporthorses by pilot, top five: ( intl breedings not included - numbers from horse telex do not compare)
priamos (ludger beerbaum), pialotta (rolf göran bengtsson/edwina tops), poker (otto becker), power light (alois pollmann schweckhorst)

if you research PILOT as a damsire it gives you unlimited hits (stats are limited at 2.000 entries, though, in this case it means:
there are far more than 2.000 registered horses by damsire pilot, but we can’t say, how many exactly.)

however, you can search for pilot damsire minimum 1 euro winning money, meaning:
show all horses who have been succesful in sport, if only they won a single dime…

sucessful pilot damsire horses: 1.759. ( intl breedings not included, numbers of horse telex do not compare)

now list for winning moneys > 1000 euros: 697 horses
(for any horse to win 1.000 euros and more even in basic national horse shows, already means a lot of shows and wins over time -years to run- in lower classes)

these are only the top-ten german horses (and you may know most of them):
plot blue and funky fred (both markus ehning) (plot blue is included since he competed and bred in germany)
cornet’s cristallo (marco kutscher)
giorgio (lars nieberg)
lorenzo (christian ahlmann)
warren NRW (kurt gravemeier/markus merschformann)
grandilot (otto becker)
georgenhofs lausejunge (toni hassmann)
pironella / CDA (stepheX stables)
laceful (toni hassmann)
forest gump NRW (hubertus schmidt/GPdressage)

numbers speaking, his value as a damsire is evenly high (679) compared to his value as direct sire (665).
now think of pialotta, power, poker - ?
they were “efficient” movers. no big canter but quick inbetween fences.

that is what people were looking for, when breeding their mares to him.
keep the pilot “spirit” and fasten up the classic “big holsteiner canter/jump”.

when i was looking for a cornet obolensky son to breed my half tb mare to, the hottest “nick” was CO x pilot.
easy to tell:
breeding goal was to speed up the CO canter/jump in the offspring. most certainly the idea, when breeding mr.blue to ilotte and the result was plot blue…

thus, “extended search” - sire: CO; - damsire: pilot
65 horses, amongst them:
cotopaxi (jan philip weichert)
cornet’s stern (PS Lewitz/clarissa cotta)
capistrano (ldgst warendorf)
Cornet’s Cristallo, Marco Kutscher
Corbinian, Steve Guerdat
Copperphild, Henrik von Eckermann
Cosma Go, Aniek Poels, Ndl.
Camilla, Adrian Schmid, SUI
Caesario (full sibling to Cornet’s Cristallo), Emanuel Gaudiano, Ity.

bear in mind, pilot was active in the 70’s and 80’s, even his daughters have meanwhile died out.
thus, his influence cannot be compared to nowadays popular stallions with frozen being shipped all over the world. when thinking of pilot, the stallion mainly lived from local value and so did most of his daughters/grandchilds.
the kannans and diamants de semillys of the world came 20 years later and most certainly with different numbers and multiple breedings compared to a domestically kept stallion of the 70s/80s.


Thank you for adding your insight. Pilot is in my mare’s pedigree so this is very interesting to me.

sorry to derail topic, but is Pilot’s name pronounced
Pee Lo
Pie Lot (like one who flies airplanes?


Always heard it as pee lo

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Thank you for the excellent post! The quoted is the type of info I was especially hoping to learn, and also about nicking, e.g. to CO. I had not heard that before.

My personal experience with a handful of closely related wb’s with Pilot a few generations back (through Pidgley as sire) was that there were some strong similarities in the way of going of these horses. The gelding I rode from this group, I was told, had a “typical” Pilot personality, which was quirky/challenging on the flat. However, once he started jumping, he was 100% a trustworthy sporting partner.

I can definitely see what you mean about quickening the canter if these horses were representative, even being a few gens removed.

Re: pronunciation, pee-loht is the german pronunciation afaik. Not sure why the t would be dropped though…

The only people I’ve heard say pee-loh are American non breeders.

Everyone else say

Pilot like who flies the plane or Peelot cause accent, but most people I know with accents still say Pilot.

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