‘You will leave a big void’: much-loved sire of top British horses dies aged 27

  • Leading dressage stallion Rubin Royal OLD has died at the age of 27. His death marks the end of an era for Germany’s Dressage Horse Performance Center Lodbergen, for which he was a founding stallion.

    The son of Rohdiamant, out of the Grundstein II mare Rumirell, was an international grand prix competitor himself, as well as a prolific producer of top grand prix horses, including those ridden by Laura Tomlinson, Lara Butler and Hayley Watson-Greaves.

    Operations manager at Lodbergen, Wolfgang Stagge, said: “We are infinitely sad to have lost this stallion, who gave us so much joy in our daily dealings and whom we would have loved to give many more retirement years. Thank you, Rubin Royal – you were very, very special! And you will leave a big void.”

    Rubin Royal was bred in Germany by Harli Seifert and having been champion of his licensing, was successful as a young horse under Dieter Weichert. He went on to compete successfully on the international grand prix circuit with Hendrik Lochthowe; the pair clocked up several top-10 placings at shows up to CDI5* level, between 2008 and 2010.

    Rubin Royal was also one of the founding stallions of Harli’s stallion station, which became the renowned Dressage Horse Performance Center Lodbergen. Known to  Harli as “Rubinchen”, he was standing at stud until the age of 24.

    He sired numerous international grand prix horses, among them several British stars of recent years. Rubin Al Asad, ridden by Britain’s Lara Butler, was travelling reserve for the Rio Olympics, European Championships and World Equestrian Games and crowned British Dressage national champion with Lara in 2018.

    Rosalie B is the successful former ride of Laura Tomlinson, who went to the youth European Championships last year with junior rider Sophie Wallace.

    Another son is the evergreen Rubin’s Nite, a stalwart of the international circuit under Hayley Watson-Greaves, and also crowned British national champion, in 2017.

    Rubin Royal also sired successful showjumpers and eventers, including the CCI4* (now five-star) event horse RF Demeter.

    In recognition of his superb progeny, Rubin Royal was third in the World Breeding Federation of Sport Horses sire rankings in 2017 and 2018. A statement from Lodbergen described him as “a brilliant sporting and breeding stallion” whose trademark talents were his movement and “boundless willingness to perform”.

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