This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
About Martin Richenhagen

Martin Richenhagen is a top FEI judge notably at the German Bundeschampionat and was the chef d'equipe of the German Dressage Team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong. He also judges at the Grand Prix level and has been on the panel at the Bundeschampionat and many CDIs, especially in the United States, for many years. He lives in Ostbevern, Germany and Duluth, Georgia.

The 56 year old judge and busi- nessman took some time out of his extremely busy schedule as chairman, president and CEO of AGCO, the world’s third largest agricultural equipment manufac- turer, to meet with Warmbloods Today in April of 2009 at the com- pany headquarters in Duluth. He is a highly accomplished business- man and has managed several multinational companies such as Forbo International SA, a flooring material business based in Switzerland; Claas KgaA mbH, a global farm equipment manufac- turer and distributor and Schindler Deutschland Holdings GmbH, a worldwide manufacturer and dis- tributor of elevators and escalators as Senior Executive Vice President.

As successful as Martin Richen- hagen is as a business leader, he is as passionate for horses. After studying romance languages and literature, philosophy and theolo- gy, he started his career as a teacher in the mornings while running a horse training business, plus he managed to fit in judging and organizing horse shows. Eventually he switched to a busi- ness career while continuing his involvement with horses.

who is a bit of a Baroque type in conformation crossed with the sire Lauries Crusader. They have high hopes for the combination of this Thoroughbred stallion and a mare that has proven herself up to S level (4th – Prix St. Georges) in Germany.

“There are some general tendencies that I have noticed over the years; the basic quality of our horses has improved tremendously. Since the 1970s, horses with severe anatomical problems have completely disappeared; they are lighter in their basic gaits and have a very solid foundation. There are hard- ly any bad horses anymore in Germany or Europe in general.”

The judge further explains that Germany is a traditional horse country with ideal conditions for breeding as opposed to the United States where it is more difficult to catch up with an “industry” that has existed in Europe for a lot longer. Also, in his opinion, here in the U.S. not enough emphasis is put on the quality of the brood mares.

Martin Richenhagen at the beautiful Applewood Farm in Milton, Georgia, where Martin and his wife Brigitte board and train. Applewood Farm is a full resource dressage facility which hosts many trainers. Learn more at www.applewood-farm.com. Photo by Brad Thatcher.

BuCha Observations

A “performance review” of German breeding is what Martin labels the Bundeschampionat. The qualifying young horse competi- tions demonstrate the high stan- dard of German breeding year after year. “The qualified horses are certainly amongst the best in the world in their age group and the BuCha has global recogni- tion,” Martin remarks. He further believes that 90% of the breeding is determined by the quality of the mare.

“Our [German] horses today are so much more uphill; they have beautiful necks, shoulder angle, etc. Certain valuable attributes that were tem- porarily neglected in favor of extraor- dinary movement are now regarded again as very important; breeders focus on rideability, suppleness and good character.” Mr. Richenhagen has noticed that stallions have been taken out of breeding programs if their offspring are not desirable. “The market self-regulates that,” he explains as picky buyers – riders, trainers and fellow breeders – tend to stay away from less than ideal prod- ucts. With semen readily available from high quality stallions through artificial insemination, the selection of high quality mares is even more important than ever.

Three Trakehner Bundeschampions in 2004. From left to right: Seacookie TSF by Helikon xx, Champion 5 Year Old Event Horse; Kaiserkult TSF by E.H. Van Deyk, Champion 6 Year Old Dressage Horse; and Grafenstolz TSF by E.H. Polarion, Champion 6 Year Old Event Horse. Photo by Beate Langels.

Additionally, Martin Richenhagen points out, the way of riding and training young horses has changed. “At the Bundeschampionat as judges we put great emphasis on horses being presented in their natural gaits. We strictly sort out horses whose

The Richenhagens themselves are striving to breed a few successful dressage horses with a mare by Pik Senior,

32

rhythm is off.” This is achieved by clearly communicating to the riders and trainers that a suitable basic rhythm is required and that horses with tense backs and gaits are not desired. He continues, “We discuss frequently just 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
Produced with Yudu - www.yudu.com