"Songline" Makes Trakehner History!!!
Every year at the end of October, the world of horse breeders descends upon the city of Neu Muenster. It is the annual "Trakehner stallion grading and sales". More than 25 nations were present for this years big event, a MUST for any serious breeder of the noble east Prussian horse of Trakehner decent: better known as the Trakehner, the oldest European warm blood breed.
As stud manager for the Canadian "Troika Trakehner Stud" in Breslau, attending this important event is one of our annual highlights. This year would turn out to be a particularly important event for Canada.
A pre-selected number of 61 stallions, representing Europe’s best breeding prospects were presented. Carefully prepared and perfectly turned out, it was again an impressive demonstration, that the worlds once most successful performance horse breed was back at the top of its game. One could truly say the selected stallions that made it to Neu Muenster were all of superior quality.
Under the eyes of a very knowledgeable crowd of visitors from around the globe, the "hard surface" test on Thursday showed already an improved trot action, swinging backs, good use of the body and impressive quality in the walk and trot.
The following "free jumping" confirmed the success of an ongoing effort in the breed to improve the jumping ability, bascule and style over fences. The old rule seems to be valid still today: don’t breed a too specialized horse, as the market asks for a multi-talented horse for dressage, jumping and eventing.
The improved jumping technique seems to benefit the overall performance of the horses. The next days "free running " the stallions allowed the animals to show off to their full potential , powerful from behind, always trotting uphill, with good use of the body . Just a delight to see these wonderful animals, graceful but yet powerful.
The anxiously awaited grading with the approval for breeding left the judges this year with no easy task, particularly in the light of the fact, that all horses were between two and a half and three years, youngsters so to speak, with lots of growing and development ahead . Needless to say there were a few disappointments but everybody agreed at the end of the day, that the right decisions were made.
The hardest part for the judges was the selection of the Reserve Champion and the 2006 Trakehner Champion.
The auctioneer took over the scene on Sunday afternoon to sell a total of almost 100 horses
The bidding started for the Champion stallion "Songline". The price was steadily climbing , until it reached the 150.000 Euro mark, nobody was expecting what was to unfold in a tough" bidding duel". It got very quiet in the arena as Gus Schickedanz of Ontario steadily and quietly raised the bidding offer against an American breeder, determined to take the Champion horse home to the states. The determined East Prussian Gus Schickedanz, a successful business man and passionate breeder of racehorses and Trakehners, kept raising the bar. At 320.000 Euros the American contender bailed out of the race, and "Songline" changed ownership to Gus Schickedanz.
The arena was filled with enthusiasm and excitement as everybody was applauding this spectacular deal.
Immediately after the deal was signed, it was announced, that the Stallion would stay in Germany for one year, to complete his "stallion performance test" at the stud farm of Hubertus Poll in Hoerem. After this he will be shipped to Canada, to be available to the North American market for breeding services.
Never in the history of the Trakehner horses has anybody paid this amount of money for a two and a half year old stallion. The fact, that this stallion will make his way to Canada highlights the importance, that the Canadian breeders of Trakehner horses do not shy away from getting the best bloodstock for this breed into the country.
This is a clear signal that quality horses are not only bred in Europe.
This years Trakehner market did not only produce a record prize for the Champion. All other sales were considerably higher than the previous years. Foals were sold for up to 26.000 Euros, 65,000 Euros for a young mare and up to 26,000 Euros for none approved stallions and riding horses were sold up to 55,000 Euros.
President Petra Wilms,President of the German Trakehner Verband said, the success of the Trakehner horse during the World Equestrian Games in Aachen/Germany is probably responsible for the worldwide acknowledgement of this breed.
Total sales exceeded 1.8 Mill. Euros this year. A great success!
At Troika we are proud to be a part of this breed, and will continue to breed with our imported bloodstock for the north American market. We wish Gus Schickedanz and "Songline" the very best of luck for the future.
( Echo Germanica, German-Canadian, news, arts, entertainment, film, theatre )
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