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trainer’s point of view

Behind the Scenes at a Southern German Auction

By Kim Schisler

A

s a young dressage trainer in America, imagine receiving a call requesting

that you fly to Germany to be an auction rider for the Süddeutsche Reitpferdeauktion (that’s the Southern German States Elite Sport Horse Auction held in Marbach.) Now imagine a place where over 35 pre-selected, pre-vetted, impeccably bred, beautifully turned out young Warmbloods are offered for sale…a place where some of Europe’s best jumper and dressage prospects can be seen and tried all under one roof! Does it sound too good to be true? Fortunately, this is exactly

what happened to me in the fall of 2009. Having studied dressage in Germany in 2005– 2006 with Wolfram Wittig, my German was getting rusty and I thought, why not take advantage of this unique experience to ride a couple of nice horses at an auction? Having attended three other auctions in Northern Germany, I had a good idea of how these events worked. But I must admit, working behind the scenes was an unexpected, eye-opening experience completely altering my opinions of sport horse auctions. If you’ve ever considered buying at auction, I hope that sharing my experience from an “insider’s point of view” will ease any potential buying anxiety. Remember that in Europe, elite sport horse auctions

are commonly held all over Germany, Holland, and a few other countries. These auctions make purchasing a talented young horse an efficient and effective process. What normally takes days, months or even years to find that special horse could potentially happen in a matter of hours at one of these auctions. It truly is the epitome of the horse shopping experience. When else would one have the opportunity to view so many carefully pre-selected and pre-vetted sales horses under one roof?

66 March/April 2010

Presentation of Belini, the top selling horse at the 2009 Marbach auction.

Photo by Olav Krenz

TREK TO MARBACH

After a nine hour flight, a quick walk through customs, and finding my baggage, I exited the Stuttgart airport to find Roland Metz, the head of Sales and Marketing for the Württemberg breed registry (the organizer of the big event) awaiting my arrival. The brisk morning air quickly awoke me and reminded me that I had arrived in Germany! Within an hour we were in Marbach touring the main Stud Farm. Later that day I was taken to a nearby farm to ride one of the horses that would be in the auction, and I was able to test a saddle that I would use for the remainder of my stay. The following day, Wednesday, all the auction

horses were scheduled to arrive at the main training stable. These young horses from age’s three to six had already been pre-selected by Roland Metz and his auction committee. Out of 127 horses brought in by the breeders, only 37 were selected by the committee for the auction. They also had to pass an extensive vet check before being accepted into the auction. We spent the morning before the horses’ arrival setting up a hospitality room and arranging flowers around Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76
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