The second day of our German trip started with a feast of a breakfast which set us up nicely for our day at the Westfalisches Pferdezentrum in Munster-Handorf. The morning started with the Spring Licensing of the Trakehner Verband. This is a much smaller and more informal affair than the main Autumn licensing and is usually a mixture of 3 year olds that were not able to attend in the Autumn, older horses with a competition record and Thoroughbred stallions.
Trakehner Spring Licensing
This year there were 9 entries, the first 3 of which were 3 year olds. After a trot up outside on the hard surface, free running, loose jumping and a trot up in hand on the triangle, none of the 3 were approved. The older stallions faced a similar test, but some were also presented under saddle. The standout of these was the 4 year old Millenium x Perechlest son Freiherr von Stein who stands at Landgestut Moritzburg. Already approved by the Sachsen-Thuringen Verband and 14 day performance tested, he had beautiful type so often bestowed by his sire, an expressive trot, and a wonderful attitude. He could have had a little better step under with the hind leg in trot, but it was no surprise when he was approved.
A 17 year old eventing son of the great Caprimond was not approved, nor was a small Thoroughbred stallion called Konigsadler. He lacked bone and had a tight, choppy action. The other Thoroughbred stallion forward was Mount Etna, a 15 year old Irish bred son of Guineas winner Mister Baileys. Mount Etna moved well both in hand and under saddle. He was approved by the Hanoverian Verband in 2013 and added Trakehner approval to his CV.
Also forward was a very charismatic Arabian from the State Stud at Marbach, who jumped athletically and had a well shaped hind quarter for an Arab. However under saddle he was green and inconsistent. Finally a big black Polish Anglo Arab was presented. Although he really filled the eye at the trot up stage, and he quickly learnt from any mistakes he made in the jumping lane, he was a little earthbound in his loose paces and the canter needed more ground cover. Neither of these two final stallions were licensed.
Trakehner Stallion Show
For any breeder considering using a Trakehner stallion this show allows you to assess a lot of stallions in one afternoon. With the popularity and influence the likes of Gribaldi, Millenium and Hofrat have had on other stud books, there was plenty to consider among the 25 stallions that came forward.
The 3 year olds
The show opened with the Reserve Champion of the Autumn licensing, the grey Zauberreigen. The grandson of Gribaldi still has more development to do and was sensibly only shown in hand, but was always light on his feet and extravagant in the front leg. Shown together on the lunge (at either end of the arena) were the Saint Cyr son High Five and the Lossow son First Sight. High Five impressed the most of the pair, moving well through his whole body and retaining the elegance that had impressed at his licensing.
Shown under saddle were two 3 year olds whose sires were also on display later in the afternoon. The chunky little chestnut stallion Deinheart (by Durrenmatt) had a very good attitude and looks very ridable. Last year’s champion His Moment is now owned by Helgstrand Dressage and looked very accomplished under saddle. The canter was particularly correct and expressive. His Moment is a son of Millenium out of a Le Rouge daughter. He is typically stamped by his sire in type and in the lovely fore leg movement but it was nice to see that the hind leg carrying ability is improving under saddle.
The 4 year olds
Helium is another very typey Millenium son, out of an Induc mare and was Reserve Champion of his licensing. I had seen him under saddle at Neumunster last October and he had really impressed with his looseness and demeanour. However on this occasion he was ridden too strongly in the hand which lead to tension. His naturally big cadenced trot was still very evident and I will be following his career with interest.
The Champion of that same licensing was the Schwarzgold son Perpignan Noir. He was also shown under saddle here and although he looked ridable he didn’t show the same expression as Helium. The final 4 year old shown was a full brother of the 2014 licensing Champion. This was Sir Samoa, who looked easy but a little average in his paces.
The 5 year olds
There were two five year olds shown, both sons of Millenium. The first Ivanhoe stands at Horem and had a very eye catching trot but his neck doesn’t flow as fluently as you would like across the topline. He was rather outshone by the 2014 Champion Sir Sansibar who is now standing at Schockemohle. He looked lovely under saddle, with an open frame and a really nice attitude.
A stallion I had not seen before, but who impressed me from an eventing breeding point of view was Kros. Resident at Landgestut Warendorf he is Polish bred and carries over 60% blood. He was exuberant with a good jump and a very easy balanced way of moving. He was licensed for the Westfalen stud book initially before adding his Trakehner approval last year. He is by the same sire Ajbek as the licensed eventing stallion Avatar.
The other 4 year old that was shown over fences was Edmonton, who carries the blood of two Grand Prix jumpers in Horalas and Abdullah. He has a good frame and hindquarter angles, with a very good attitude for such a young horse. He did make minimal effort over the fences but with an eventing career looming with Sara Algotsson he is certainly worth watching.
A year older was the black stallion Donauabend by Abendtanz out of a Lauries Crusador mare. He was careful over his fences and had a balanced canter with good rhythm. His sire Abendtanz was also there, along with grandsire Hirtentanz. Abendtanz is heavier in the body than his sire, but has a nice technique over the fences. The strikingly marked Hirtentanz is always a crowd pleaser, jumping to the top of the wings and he looks to have a great partnership with Philip Hartmann.
The other three jumping stallions should really interest eventing breeders. The 6 year old dapple grey Adorator is a lovely type, neat in front over the fences and looks so adjustable and ridable. He scored very highly at the Trakehner Championships to be crowed eventing champion of his age group, and is also show jumping at M level. The black Avatar is the year older half brother of Adorator, and already has a Bundeschampionate performance under his belt. He also has a very god brain and a big ground covering stride. Finally the chestnut Thoroughbred stallion Asagao who had a young girl riding him. His little horse is a real athlete and got his inexperienced rider out of trouble a few times and as a result perhaps did not impress as much as he has done on previous occasions. Asagao is competing at M** level.
The Blood Stallions
The State Stud at Marbach brought their approved Arabian stallion Said who gave a charming demonstration firstly under saddle and then un-tacked was allowed to run loose in the arena. He tends to have quite a rushed stride. The other Arab shown was Is Orlow who is a good height for a purebred, with a nice rhythm to his canter. The trot could show more joint flexion in the hind leg.
The well respected stud Klosterhof Medingen brought their Thoroughbred stallion Lucarelli, a son of an English Derby winner in High Chaparral (sire of the Cheltenham Festival favourite Altior) and a grandson of a German Derby winner in Acatenango with Shirley Heights in the next generation. Considering he raced till the age of 8, he moved very well under saddle and must be an interesting choice for breeders looking for blood.
The Older Stallions
It was interesting to see the very commercial sire Millenium come to the show under saddle. He was sympathetically ridden as he did show signs of tension when the audience got too noisy. The canter work was very good, with clean and expressive tempi changes up to 2 times and a cadenced and athletic trot.
The 8 year old stallion Herakles who we had met the day before at Lodbergen, gave a super demonstration with the highlights being his excellent walk and cadenced trot work. He has a very well shaped hind quarter and the only thing that is stopping me using him myself is the straight under neck. He was followed by the workmanlike Durrenmatt, who appears to be very solid in his training but lacked expression to match that of Herakles. Interestingly he actually has interesting jumping and eventing blood, being a son of Hirtentanz out of an Exorbitant mare.
Finally we were presented with another riding star of the Trakehner breed – Schwarzgold. The son of the German Olympic reserve Imperio has retained his suppleness and charisma as he has progressed through his training, and only the walk was marred by a little tension today. As a finale to the event, Schwarzgold was joined by Herakles, Durrenmatt and Sir Sansibar in a rousing display with each trying to out do the next in bigger and bigger auction trots down the centre line.
As soon as the Trakehner stallion show finished, it was a quick dash north to Vechta for the Sosath Stallion Show.
TO BE CONTINUED