Trakehner Stud Kesselfeld The Story of the Weinmann Family and How They Happened to Breed Trakehner Horses By Maren Engelhardt Isn‘t it the obvious dream of any breeder to see one of his horses in the Neumünster spotlight? This dream came true for the Baden-Württemberg breeders Nora and Eberhard Weinmann, when their beautiful chestnut mare HELIA was named champion mare in Neumünster in 1998. Premium mare Helia by Elan xx out of Henriette III by EH Rockefeller-Patricius xx after her victory in Neumünster in 1998.
Photo: Gräfin A.
Dohna Not long after that victory, Helia (by Elan xx out of Henriette III by the Elite Stallion Rockefeller), owned by Dagmar Pötters, returned to her home, the Kesselfeld Stud, in the beautiful Hohenlohe County in the South German state of Baden-Württemberg, to begin her breeding career.
The story leading up to that day is a long one.
When the young Weinmann couple decided to breed warmblood horses some 20 years ago, they first thought of Württemberg warmbloods. “We were just not able to find any nice horses, there wasn‘t a single mare that captured us from the beginning,” Nora Weinmann remembers.
Back then, both Nora and Eberhard owned two half-Trakehner riding horses, ANUSCHKA by Absolut and IGOR by Ingo.
So breeding Trakehners was the natural thing to do after the disappointment of being unable to find nice Württemberg horses. The first Trakehner mare was bought as a result of an ad in a local newspaper.
MEDEA by Lattich produced three foals, but none of her descendants are now on the farm.
The Weinmann’s foundation mare, TROIKA VI by the famous Donauwind, out of the DLG mare Tracht by Prince Rouge xx, was bought in 1982.
Troika VI was bred at the “Abdullah” stud Birkhausen, close to Zweibrücken, and the Weinmanns found her at the huge Equitana fair in Essen.
They were impressed by her outstanding temperament. “Troika VI had a huge head, not really pretty at all, but she was so calm and friendly, we didn‘t have a doubt about her qualities and bought her right on the spot,” Nora Weinmann remembers.
This mare traced directly back to Trakehnen‘s famous foundation mare TAPETE by Pythagoras.
Many very successful sport horses, especially open jumpers, have come from that particular branch of the family, established by the Tapete granddaughter TRAVIATA by Impuls.
The combination of the highly dominant Thoroughbred stallion Prince Rouge xx with the exceptional Donauwind were another reason to buy Troika VI.
Troika VI left a huge number of sport horses and important broodmares in the stud‘s herd, especially TROPE, a typical daughter of her famous sire Mahagoni, with extraordinary type and outstanding movement.
This small bay mare has so far produced nine foals; she was bred back to CHARLY CHAPLIN for 2001.
Among her daughters is the elegant chestnut TROPIC SUN by Ferrum who had five foals by ELAN xx, all of them special in their own way.
Two, TROPIC FIRE (now known as THE BOUNCER), foaled in 1996, and TROUVERE, foaled in 1999, were accepted for Neumünster as stallion prospects, another was sold at the elite auction in Medingen and her only daughter, TROPIC LEAF, is now keeping up that important branch in the stud.
With Tropic Leaf‘s 2000 colt by Monteverdi, the fifth generation of this family is in the barn, a truly outstanding achievement.
Another branch was established via Troika‘s daughter TROSSE by Harnisch.
Besides three successful upper level sport horses, Trosse established her own little family in the herd by producing TRISTESSE by Pour Le Mérite, the 1996 4-year-old Champion Mare of BadenWürttemberg.
TRIBUT by Elan xx, a 1995 stallion prospect in Neumünster, as well as TROYES, a daughter of the dressage sire Ferrum.
Troyes also produced the 2000 Trakehner eventing champion at Cologne, the Elan xx son TRIATHLON, who was sold to the Wahler family via the elite auction.
Triathlon also represented the Trakehner Verband at the 2000 National Young Horse Championships in Warendorf. Next to the mares of the “T family,” another major broodmare, LA BELLE by Insterfeuer, out of Luminiza by Hartung, was purchased in 1982.
She was an upper level dressage horse before her most important daughter, LAIKA by Matador, was born.
Laika had only four foals before Eberhard Weinmann found her dead in her stall one morning.
She is the dam of the only approved Ferrum son in the Trakehner breed, the impressive chestnut stallion LADAKH (who was later named LIONS CLUB). “We are very sad that Ladakh was never presented for the performance test; he lost his approval in Germany, and we expected so much of him,” Nora Weinmann regrets. “We thought he found a good new home when he was sold in Neumünster.” LIONS CLUB sired only two foals, but one, a colt, was sold for DM 40,000 to the USA, where he is ow a successful Training Level dressage horse under the name of MONDLICHT.
Last but not least, the third major mare in the stud farm is HENRIETTE III by the Elite Stallion Rockefeller, out of Hirsa by Patricius xx.
She is the dam of Helia and of another full sister to Helia, the chestnut filly HARFE, born in 1999, the last foal by Elan xx.
Henriette‘s family is also in the third generation now, since Helia has a 2000 Monteverdi colt by her side.
So, Helia and “Siegerhengst” (approval champion) Monteverdi, the two Trakehner champions of 1998, have a foal together…
A true “champion” foal! But what is a stud farm without stallions? Many incredible individuals have lived in Kesselfeld, beginning in 1984 with INGO, a very correct dark bay by Tornado I, out of Ikone by Komet, who was followed by FERRUM by Wie Ibikus, out of Fema by Mahagoni, the leading dressage sire, together with the Elite Stallion MARDUC, in 1996 (although he produced only a fraction of the number of offspring Marduc had).
Ferrum died suddenly at the age of six, and his loss was a great shock for the breeders.
Only a few months later, another Wie Ibikus son moved to the Kesselfeld stud, the chestnut KIEBITZ, out of Katanga VI by Ostwind, sire of the 100-day test champion BANDITENTRAUM.
Kiebitz was leased for only a short period of time.
He was succeeded at Kesselfeld by the bay POUR LE MÉRITE by Mahon, out of Popine by Marsuk ox, again for only a short time.
However, in the fall of 1991, a very special stallion personality found a final and loving home at Kesselfeld: the black bay Thoroughbred stallion ELAN xx, son of the famous WIESENKLEE xx, a stallion who twice finished the world‘s hardest steeplechase at Pardubice.
Elan‘s dam was ELISABETH xx by Vandale xx.
Elan is a direct descendant of the famous PHALARIS xx, foundation stallion of the world‘s leading Thoroughbred line that is especially known for NEARCO xx and his grandson NORTHERN DANCER xx.
Wiesenklee xx was a grandson of Nearco xx, which makes him interesting not only as a racehorse but also as a stallion. Elan xx at age 27 in Kesselfeld Elan xx was foaled in 1973 as a German Thoroughbred at the Czech National stud in Napajedla.
He was sold to the Netherlands as a colt and raced 27 times with 8 wins and 14 placings.
Later, his potential as an open jumper surfaced, and Elan‘s second career as an advanced level jumper began.
At that time, he was approved by the KWPN (Dutch Warmbloods) and soon was known as the sire of beautiful horses with great rideability and very good gaits.
One of them was his son EX LIBRIS, a dark bay Grand Prix dressage horse, who today stands at the Böckmann Stud, Germany‘s largest stallion station in Oldenburg.
Ex Libris produces one outstanding horse after the other, elite auction horses, riding horse champions, such as the National Champion EXUPERY, and so on.
In 1990, Elan xx was imported to Germany after Holger Heck, renowned horse expert and author of several books on warmbloods and Thoroughbreds, recognized his great potential.
In Elan, he saw the positive attributes that every warmblood breed needs so desperately, and the Trakehner is no exception to that rule.
Elan xx was stationed in Baden-Württemberg and was soon accepted by this registry as well as the Trakehner Verband.
As if this wasn‘t enough, at the high age of 17 years, Elan began his training as an upper level dressage horse and competed successfully in this discipline in Germany.
Today, at the ripe old age of 28 years, this incredible Thoroughbred stallion with his long gray mane still shows no sign of tiring.
His foundation is without a single flaw, his spirit is unbroken.
And he has found a wonderful place to age in grace with his mares all around him.
Elan was retired from breeding last year; a few straws of frozen semen are still available, and some select mares will certainly be chosen to produce yet another generation of Trakehner sport horses for all disciplines.
Although Elan xx never had a lot of mares, at the 2000 National Young Horse Championships, two of his sons (one a Trakehner, the other a Württemberger) competed in the event horse championships and an Ex Libris son participated as well. “Elan xx embodied exactly what we had been looking for in a stallion for a long time,” Eberhard Weinmann says. “He added great temperament and that certain willingness and beauty to our horses.
I get more requests for Elan xx offspring than I have for sale!” Eberhard Weinmann points out why he thinks Thoroughbred blood is so important, especially in the third or fourth generation. “All breeders want Thoroughbred blood in their horses, but only a few dare to cover their own mare with a Thoroughbred stallion.
Especially those that have proven performance over a long time should be a good choice for any mare that needs some sort of refinement.
Thoroughbreds generally add type, rideability, intelligence and often good jumping aptitude, all things needed in any breed,” Eberhadt Weinmann explains further.
The perfect model of a half-blood (Thoroughbred plus warmblood) horse, Nora and Eberhard Weinmann see in their 4-year-old chestnut TROUVERE by Elan xx, out of Tropic Sun by Ferrum. “He has the attributes mentioned above without looking like a racehorse.
His foundation is very strong and correct, and still we have the Thoroughbred blood we were looking for,” Nora Weinmann emphasizes.
Trouvere was presented for approval in Neumünster in 1999, and the negative outcome first caused a great deal of disappointment; but today, his breeders see the positive side of the story. “With an approved stallion, we would have been forced to sell him since all our horses now carry Elan blood.
We are much happier with the traits Elan left in our mares, since they will stay in the stud and will pass on his blood to many other generations,” Eberhard Weinmann resumes.
A new stallion will not come to the stud. “Elan is still the ruling chief and, besides, breeding horses is an experiment, and that calls for different individuals to cross with our mares.
If we stand another stallion, we would be forced to use him,” Nora Weinmann explains. And what exactly does she mean with “experiment”? Just take a good look at the stallions that were chosen for the mares in 2000: names like ALTER FRITZ (by Chardonnay), FRIEDENSFÜRST (by Rondo), POLARION (by Van Deyk), CHARLY CHAPLIN (by Mackensen), HERZKRISTALL (by Goldino), DONAUKAISER (by Hohenstein), CORNUS (by Ravel) and the Hanoverian DE NIRO (by Donnerhall) are testimony for a modern breeding program that also gives an opportunity to young sires that have yet to prove their abilities. Eberhard Weinmann and NMS stallion candidate Tribute by Elan xx-Harnisch. Editor’s Note: This article was written in 2000.
In 2001, Mr.
Weinmann very suddenly and unexpectedly died of a heart attack in his sleep.
One morning, he wouldn’t wake up…Kesselfed’s horses found new and loving homes in Germany, England, Austria, the US and Canada, and the last two remaining Kesselfeld mares, Laska and her 2003 filly Laska’s Lantana by Elan xx, now live at Teto Trakehner in Bavaria, Germany.
Elan xx died in the late summer of 2003, not of old age (he was over 30 years old!), but after a pasture accident left him with a broken leg.
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