‘She loved being a broodmare’: final farewell to star dam

  • Alice Oppenheimer has paid tribute to Headmore Stud’s star broodmare Rubinsteena, who has died aged 22.

    “Ruby” is mother to a dressage dynasty, with her offspring winning across the levels at regional and national level.

    “We didn’t buy her initially to breed from,” Alice told H&H. “She had a couple of foals before we bought her and the intention was to bring her back into work, but thank god it went the way that it did.

    “It didn’t matter which stallion we used, she always gave us an amazing foal — we were so lucky. She was so correct in her conformation and her movement, she was very special.

    “All [her offspring] have a fantastic work ethic, are very kind horses and love people, they genuinely want to do the work.”

    Sarah Oppenheimer bought Ruby from Julie Deverill at Half Moon Stud, who herself had bought the mare as a foal from Christian Heinrich.

    Her most successful progeny include Half Moon Frizzante, who won the 2012 elementary open title at the 2012 winter championships and won at small tour level. She is also the dam of Headmore Davina, winner of numerous national and regional titles who qualified for this year’s British Dressage National Championships at small tour.

    She had three offspring competing at the 2018 winter championships: Headmore Dirubinio (by Dimaggio), Headmore Davina (by Dimaggio) and Headmore Bella Ruby (by Belissimo M).

    Her 2008 foal, Headmore Wimoweh, made his grand prix debut in August at Bury Farm high profile show, finishing third on 67.57% at his first attempt.

    Her 2016 foal Headmore Valentina was awarded an elite premium at the British Breeders/British Equestrian Federation Futurity with a score of 9.7, the joint-third highest ever mark.

    “She was a fantastic mum, knew exactly what to do,” said Alice, adding it was almost as if she would say “take it away” when the foals reached six months old.

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    “She was quite bossy so the foals always had that herd instinct that makes them rideable as they were so used to having someone in charge, they look to the rider for guidance and support.

    “She loved being a broodmare, I genuinely think that was her calling in life.”

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