My stallion licensing adventure: choosing the right trainer

  • In this series of articles, Francesca Newman shares her first-time journey to get her talented young stallion licensed for breeding in Germany

    So Velvet Dancer (Peanuts) had been backed, ridden away and had a break, then it was time for him to head to Germany for licensing.

    There are two tests a stallion needs to take in Germany before being approved for breeding. They need to be licensed to a breed society (for example Hannoverian, Oldenburg or Westfalian), and they need to have successfully completed a performance test.

    There is no specific order that these need to be completed in.

    In 2016 the Hengtsleistungspruefung (the central stallion performance test body) changed their approach to testing.

    Now, young three-year-old stallions can take a 14-day performance test, while older three-year-olds up to seven-year-olds do a 50-day test.

    The 50-day test is split and specialised towards either dressage or jumping.

    The stallions are tested for their movement, their trainability, personality, willingness to perform and jumping ability. Over the 50 days they are worked hard, and prepared for two testing phases.

    The first, mid-way through, filters out some stallions that were not going to make the grade, while the second, at the end of the 50 days, gives the final scores.

    ‘I didn’t want him broken’

    Sending Peanuts away to another country — away from my care — was a big step and took very careful consideration. So, finding the right trainer was at the forefront of my mind. I wanted someone who would give him time to develop, was not going to rush things, and had Peanuts’ best interests at heart.

    After all, this is my future competition horse and I did not want him broken.

    I contacted the Westfalian Verband and they suggested three trainers, one of which was Christian Baune. I selected him as he was the only trainer who didn’t claim to be able to transform my horse in just four weeks (from a rather fat four-year-old who had taken the winter off) and make him ready for the initial licensing (korung) at the end of February.

    Follow Francesca’s journey:

    Christian placed emphasis on correct, slow training and getting Peanuts fit enough physically and mentally for the test. He acknowledged that it was a big ask for any young horse.

    He had also produced the following stallions for their licensing which reassured me: The dressage stallions Don Kennedy, Beltoni, Dresdenmann, Ehrendorf and First Final, as well as the jumping stallions Vulcano and Stakkato Gold.

    So after agreeing the terms of his livery, I booked Peanut’s transport to Germany.

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