Herzensdieb: Refinement, Rideability and Quality

Dorum, Germany – December 15, 2014 – Herzensdieb was the licensing champion and crowd favorite at the 2005 Trakehner licensing in Neumünster, Germany. Breeding manager Lars Gehrmann commented on his basic gaits with the following words: “movement wouldn’t do it justice: he dances.” Herzensdieb finished the stallion performance test as Reserve Champion and, in the same year, won the Trakehner Championship for 3-year-old stallions. Successful qualifications for the National Championships were further milestones in his training. Meanwhile, he has trained up to advanced level. The fact that he is passing his natural qualities on to his offspring is reflected in the genetic evaluation of 142 points with 92 percent certainty. 


History and resilience

In the winter of 1944, only a few survived the dramatic eviction for man and horse across the frozen lagoon and the over 1000 km march to the West. Of the original population of 30,000 animals, only 1,500 horses were left. This was the saddest and hardest selection breeding has ever seen. The surviving mares and stallions were extremely stress-resistant, tough and willing to perform, parameters that guarantee a breeding advantage.

What does this history have to do with Herzensdieb? A lot. One of the most important stallions of the Trakehner breed was Totilas, born in 1938. The mighty dark brown horse was born in 1938 in East Prussia and, after flight to the west, was used as a sire at the Panker stud farm. This Totilas stock was successfully maintained over decades at the oldest Trakehner stud farm, Gut Panker (1947). This is where Herzensdieb was born in 2003. “In his day, Totilas was one of the most important stallions,” confirmed the stud manager, Ms Veronika von Schöning.

Only the best Trakehner genes

The father of the top athlete is the elite stallion Tambour. The noble black stallion combines the best Trakehner performance blood in him and is one of the most influential descendants of the dressage dynasty of dressage stallion Arogno. Besides Herzensdieb, Tambour delivered the stallion performance test winner and German National Champion of Versatility, Herzog. In the estimation of breeding value, Tambour is among the top five percent of all dressage stallions in Germany. Tambour descends from Hohenstein I, who himself was successful in dressage sport up to the Prix St. Georges. Insterbur TSF, Münchhausen TSF, Hochadel and His Highness are just some examples of the immense power of the inheritance refinement of Hohenstein.

Tambour’s mother is the state premium mare and elite mare Tänzerin V (by Consul), who was chosen as the best mare in Schleswig-Holstein and in Warendorf in 1994 at the German National Mare Show as Ia winner. She gave birth to the licensed stallions Travell and Thalys.

In the third generation, the Herzensdieb pedigree boasts the line founder and dressage sire Consul by Swazi xx. The DLG champion and elite stallion of the Trakehner Association delivered several licensed sons, such as the champion stallion Seigneur and Reserve Champion Rockefeller.

Herzensdieb’s mother Herzensfreude is one of the pillars of the breed at the Panker stud farm. This elite Herz lineage is known for the excellent riding characteristics of its offspring. The mother of Herzensfreude, Herzenslust, was champion mare in Schleswig-Holstein and winner of her mare performance test.

In addition, there have been numerous licensed stallions from the H line from Panker stud farm, such as Herzenkönig, Herzbube and Herzfunke. The champion stallion Donauruf bred by Panker should be mentioned in considering the H line. He was the undisputed champion stallion and crowd favorite at the 50th Trakehner licensing.

“Totilas was an powerful, energetic stallion,” confirmed the stud manager and contemporary witness of the expulsion from Trakenen, Ms Veronika von Schöning. This East Prussian sire is found three times in the pedigree of Herzensdieb, and this is what makes him so valuable.

Outstanding quality for dressage

“A dressage horse of the first order,” agreed Herzensdieb’s rider Steffen Frahm and stallion owner Jens Meyer. The stallion came to Frahm for training as a five-year-old. “He made a trusting bond with the rider and wishes to do everything right,” Frahm said.

Herzensideb in Verden, Germany
Herzensideb in Verden, Germany

Because of his charm, spectators, judges and breeders alike are enthusiastic about him. “With his intelligence and rideability, he learned the technical lessons such as flying changes and half passes very quickly. That’s why preparing him for the upper levels is so fun,” said Frahm about the training.

Breeding expert Jens Meyer goes into raptures over the beautiful Trakehner – and not without reason. The three-year Herzensdieb daughter, Helmi (owned by Leatherdale Farm), has already been able to come away from the arena as winning mare at several breeding shows. Frahm has been training Helmi for only a short time and gushes that “she is our great new hope.”

Master rider Johann Hinnemann is equally enthusiastic: “I’m a Herzensdieb fan because I’ve already had some offspring from him and still do. What I’ve seen thus far in offspring from Herzensdieb is truly something special. “

Strong breeding performance

Herzensdieb is a refiner in the form of an elite stallion. In recent years, he has delivered outstanding foals. His very first foal crop has earned him an excellent breeding value of 150 points.

He passes his high rideability on to his children.  Herzensdieb’s daughter, Elfenzauber (dam of Budde Brock), yielded the best test result at the Hanoverian mare performance test in Elmlohe. Herzensdieb sired two mares presented in the Herwart-von-der-Decken Show. The Herzensdieb daughter Heartbreaker earned a very respectable second place for the proud owner from Australia.

Five daughters of Herzensdieb have become winners at mare shows. Two sons were licensed in Neumünster (Laxdoyen by Herzensdieb-Inster Graditz) and in Verden (Herzenswunsch by Herzensdieb-White Star). The father Tambour, a premium stallion and Trakehner elite stallion, sired two licensed sons. The mother St.Pr./ El.St. Herzensfreude earned her SLP with a record overall score of 9.11. The grandmother St.Pr./El.St. Herzenslust is half sister to the premium stallion Herzkristall (by Goldino). In all his offspring, a type and rideability refinement can be seen.

Master trainer Jonny Hilberath is impressed with Herzensdieb

“He is well along his way in training,” Hilberath said. “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. In young horse and novice tests, an improbably high number of Herzensdieb offspring are appearing. He is leaving an outstanding legacy in Trakehner breeding, Hanoverian breeding and overall in warmblood horse breeding.”

Herzensdieb, ridden by Steffen Frahm. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.
Herzensdieb, ridden by Steffen Frahm. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

When asked about Herzensdieb’s significant ancestors such as Hohenstein and the highly concentrated bloodlines from the Trakehner stallion Totilas, Hilberath responded, “Herzensdieb is a very tough horse and passes on his mental strength in a positive way. All the Herzensdieb offspring that I have seen so far make a very bold impression. In addition, they are extremely rideable and performance-ready horses. Precisely because he has this noble ancestry, he passes this nobility on to his offspring. He is an absolute refining stallion.”

Due to the attractive gaits of Herzensdieb’s in-demand offspring, the international master trainer is convinced that “the affable elite stallion is passing on the quality of the basic gaits but also their potential for collection.”

When asked about further siring performance, Hilberath said: “He is indeed very well received in warmblood breeding. He produces big horses with a very good and correct foundation, and they all move very elastically and uphill. Herzensdieb is also wonderfully uphill built. You can set him up and see how correct he is. And they can hardly make him more beautiful. So, as I’ve said, I’ve seen many very good Herzensdieb offspring.”

“It is no coincidence that many reputable training facilities, such as those of Johann Hinnemann and Klaus Balkenhof, have stocked up with Herzensdieb offspring and been very satisfied with them. I hear that the horses give glimpses of their talents very early on in the in-hand work. So I think that we will be hearing quite a lot from these offspring in the future,” said the Herzensdieb fan Jonny Hilberath.

About Leatherdale Farms
Situated 20 minutes from Minneapolis, MN, Leatherdale Farms is a privately owned farm owned and managed by Louise and Doug Leatherdale and dedicated to Hanoverian, Trakehner and Oldenburg breeding. The Leatherdale family owns several licensed stallions based in Germany at Hengstation Jens Meyer: Hanoverians Dorum, the premium elite, Damsey (Dressage Royal), First Dance (Florestan II), Rob Roy (Rubin Royale), Hampton (His Highness), Beltano (Belissimo M); the premium elite Trakehner, Herzensdieb (Tambour); and the Oldenburg Fairbanks (Flemmingh). Frozen semen is available in North America and Europe. Leatherdale Farms was also the owner of the Licensing Hanoverian stallion His Highness, who died in 2007 and whose progeny is much appreciated all over the world.

To learn about Leatherdale Farms stallions in Europe go to www.jens-meyer.com.

For more information, log onto www.leatherdalefarm.com.

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