Union, Ky. – June 23, 2016 – Four elite sport horse stallions owned by Leatherdale Farms have attracted a great deal of attention in their first season at their new home in Kentucky. The stallions – Fairbanks, First Dance, Hampton and E.H. Herzensdieb – made the move from Germany this winter to stand at Bridlewood Farm, offering an unprecedented opportunity to U.S. breeders.
“The Leatherdale stallions’ reception has been incredibly exciting,” said Barbara Schmidt, D.V.M., of Bridlewood Farm. “It has rejuvenated many breeders and their interest to produce the highest quality sport horses in the United States. The fact that these quality stallions are here with fresh, cooled semen has created a tremendous opportunity for American breeders.”
Among these stallions is the Trakehner E.H. Herzensdieb (Tambour-Herzensfreude, Tivano), who has a long list of achievements to his name. The licensing champion and crowd favorite at the 2005 Trakehner licensing in Neumünster, Germany, Herzensdieb finished his stallion performance test as reserve champion and, in the same year, won the Trakehner Championship for 3-year-old stallions. He is a Bundeschampionate qualifier.
The striking bay stallion’s intelligence and rideability allow him to flourish in his upper level dressage training, and his athleticism gives him talent over fences with beautiful scope. His correct gaits are expressive with the ability to collect.
“We are very fortunate to have one of the best Trakehner stallions in Europe come to the U.S. and add his qualities,” Schmidt said. “He is very in tune with his handlers and riders, and his offspring have willing and uncomplicated personalities. We can walk Herzensdieb with hardly a lead on, and he will walk with you and listen to everything you are communicating. His degree of attentiveness and focus is unusual for any stallion.”
Herzensdieb has a FN breeding value dressage of 142 points and is in the top 10 percent of German dressage sires. He was honored with the prestigious Elite Hengst title (E.H.) in 2013 by the Trakehner Verband, and he is currently one of the few E.H. awarded stallions that are actively breeding in the United States. Herzensdieb is approved by the AHS, HV, Trakehner, GOV, ISR/Old. NA, Southern Germany, Danish and Swedish registries.
Herzensdieb is the producer of outstanding dressage competitors, licensed stallions and Bundeschampionate finalists around the world, and U.S. breeders eagerly anticipate the arrival of his first crop since his move to Kentucky.
“I can’t say enough about the quality that Herzensdieb has produced,” Schmidt noted. “I’ve been breeding since 1988, and his offspring are some of the best foals that I’ve raised. I bred to him for two years with frozen semen while he was in Germany, and I am breeding back to him again because he adds a beautiful expression while enhancing the quality and elasticity of their gaits to Hanoverian and Oldenburg mares.”
When owners and breeders search for a stallion, they typically look for elegance and refinement in the offspring without compromising athleticism. Herzensdieb not only adds spectacular movement and confirmation, but he also passes along strength, rideability and a kind temperament.
“I am a big fan of Herzensdieb!” Schmidt said. “Herzensdieb has exceptional fresh cooled semen with excellent conception rates. From an equine veterinarian’s standpoint, he passes on balance, correct confirmation and soundness to last a lifetime, which is very important.”
Several daughters of Herzensdieb have become winners at mare shows in Europe. His 5-year-old daughter, Helmi (Herzensdieb-SPS Lady Lou, Lauries Crusador) passed her performance test, became the overall champion mare at Elmlohe and qualified for the prestigious Herwart von der Decken-Show. Several of his sons have been licensed in Verden and Neumünster. In all his offspring, a type, rideability and refinement can be seen.
Mike Suchanek, young horse trainer at Leatherdale Farms’ base in Minnesota, has been riding one of his offspring, Hannigan L (EH Herzensdieb-Pia Colada, Pik L). In 2015, he was the USEF 4-Year-old Champion and has many wins in his young show career.
“Hannigan L loves his job. You can see it in his expression and how he goes into the ring with such confidence,” Suchanek said. “He really lifts his shoulders and floats along the ground. His gaits are easy to ride because he is so soft and supple.”
International master trainer Johnny Hilberath has also been impressed since seeing the stallion in Germany and watching his offspring develop, calling them “extremely rideable and performance ready horses.”
Hilberath commented, “His offspring are making a splash. It is striking how many offspring of this stallion can be seen in foal markets, auctions and breed licensings. He is leaving an outstanding legacy in Trakehner breeding, Hanoverian breeding and overall in warmblood horse breeding.”
He added, “It is no coincidence that many reputable training facilities, such as those of Johann Hinnemann and Klaus Balkenhol, have stocked up with Herzensdieb offspring and been very satisfied with them. I think that we will be hearing quite a lot from his offspring in the future.”