I became known in Germany for my breeding horses long before anyone recognized me as a competitive rider.
In 1997 I bought my first broodmare from a well-established breeder of both Oldenburg and Hanoverian horses, Ewald Grotelueschen in Wardenburg, Germany. He had a famous mare line originating from the old blood Efendi and Goldstern that he had crossed with Figaro, a descendent of the famous Furioso II.
|Elfenschein (Figaro x Goldstern x Efendi)|
I bought Elfenschein (Figaro x Goldstern x Efendi) from Mr. Grotelueschen the only way that was going to work—by pushing cash across the coffee table one afternoon and asking if I could put his mare on the horse trailer. Mr. G was difficult, Rita, and notorious for asking a hefty price for his horses, parting with them grudgingly and changing his mind after agreeing on a deal, which is what he had tried to do on that day. We had agreed on a price in the spring and that I could pick up the mare after her foal was weaned in the fall, but when I showed up that day, he was trying to change his mind.
I counted the bills slowly as I laid them on the table one by one. We sipped coffee. He waffled. We nibbled on cake. He said it wasn’t enough money. I reached for the stack of bills. His wife gave him an elbow in the side. She took the stack of bills. I left with the mare.
Elfenschein became my Stammstute (source broodmare), and it was with this mare that I was able to produce three notable offspring. The first was a mare by De Niro that I named Elfentanz in the Oldenburg tradition of naming the female offspring after the mare line, not the stallion line. The next was De Kuyper, another De Niro, but this time a stallion. He was the most expensive foal sold over the Klosterhof Medingen auction in that year and later became an approved stallion.
The third was Razzmatazz by Raphael. The Oldenburg Verband saw my choice of stallion as a bit old fashioned and risky, but out of this pairing came a fantastic athlete with super gaits and impressive jumping abilities. He was approved in his 2-year-old year as a stallion prospect and given a premium by Oldenburg before being sold to a rider in Austria.
|Razzmatazz (Raphael x Figaro x Goldstern)|
It was after the approval of Razzmatazz that I was given the Silver Pin from the Oldenburg Verband for my achievements in breeding.
In the meantime, I kept breeding with Elfenschein while her daughter, Elfentanz, matured, passed her mare testing and began producing amazing sport horses.
Her first foal, Pentimento, a colt by Prince Thatch xx, matured under my training program and went on to do his first Grand Prix with Casey Dornen at 9 years old.
|Pentimento (Prince Thatch x De Niro x Figaro x Goldstern)|
The next remarkable horse was Raureif, a filly by Ramiros Bube, whom I shipped to the United States as a yearling. She is now 4 years old and the new mother of a lovely Don Principe colt called “Damascus.”
|Raureif (Ramiros Bube x De Niro x Figaro x Goldstern)|
I was forced to sell all my established broodmares (I had another successful mare line that I may write about later) before returning to the USA in 2012. They were all EVA positive, making import difficult. So I sent their best three fillies to the States before they turned 2 in order to keep the produce of my best broodmares while avoiding quarantine charges in the USA. Raureif is one of these mares.
And last fall, I bought her half brother, a colt out of Elfentanz by Blu Hors Romanov, at the Westfalen Stallion Auction following the Inspection in Muenster Handorf. It was this colt, Romanesque, that I went to visit last week in Warendorf at the Nordrhein Westfalen Landgestuet. He is leased to the Landgestuet and will stand at stud there through the summer of 2015.
After inspection of his offspring next year, I will make the decision to either leave him there at stud or bring him home and pursue a sport career with him. The important thing for me right now is that he is kindly broken in, well ridden, well handled and kept sound throughout his first two breeding seasons.
Here you can find a video of the Landgestuet and Romanesque at 3 years old under saddle.
I’m Catherine Haddad Staller, and I’m sayin’ it like it is from Warendorf, Germany.
Training Tip of the Day: The Germans say: “You cannot ride the papers of a horse.” But it helps if the pedigree is rideable!