This year, Gerd Sosath did the reporting at the Verband’s mare show. Afterwards, Carolin Tassius-Diederich talked to the internationally successful jumping rider, breeder and stallion owner about the mare generation of 2017.
What was your overall impression of this year’s mare show?
“My impression had been absolutely positive. For me, this event had been the first step towards normal life following the restrictions due to the corona virus. The mare show and its great conditions at Herbert-Blöcker-Platz in front of spectators gave me a lot of pleasure. The same goes for the good cooperation eye-to-eye with the commission. Plus, we had seen a lot of interesting horses. Admittedly, it is easier for jumping horses in Holstein, but the dressage horses as well would have succeeded at other places as well. It was a positive surprise to see the extraordinary quality of mares sired by a young stallion.”
Was there one or several mares that did stay in your memory – even after some time has passed since we had the show?
“Very clearly, the two top mares did that: The daughter of Charleston who produced a nearly perfect overall package as well as the reserve winner by Cascadello I, who embodies the prototype of a modern broodmare. And I keep a positive recollection of the dressage mares as well, especially regarding her modernity and quality of movement. “
It is interesting that you encourage breeders to use young stallions. Can you explain your recommendation in a bit more detail?
“From my own experience as a breeder, rearer and keeper of stallions I can say that hyped pedigrees aren’t everything. Very often, foals with these pedigrees do not meet the expectations. Especially with jumping foals I have often observed that they could not show under saddle what the papers supposedly did promise. For me it is the healthy mix of international blood and the input of young or younger stallions that make the breeding success. In addition to that, it is my opinion that we can’t have breeding progress if we don’t use young stallions.”
For the first time Holstein had a ring especially reserved for dressage mares. Looking at the mares presented, do you think the breeders go in the right direction?
“Yes, I think so! Especially the mares that made it to the top could and should be paired with a sire of dressage heritability. For sure this could produce good Holsteiner dressage horses. In principle I advise breeders to be brave and patient because for years the Holsteiner dressage horse has been treated rather shabbily, even though there have always been some good quality dressage horses in the arena.“
More and more outside blood found its way into Holstein’s breeding books. What is your opinion? Is that a step in the right direction or does it mean giving up an identity long cared for?
“It is no secret that the idea of pure breeding can’t be kept up successfully. However, the use of outside blood should not be overdone in my eyes. It is a good idea to observe what the international market has to offer and to select from it what is suitable for yourself and your breeding. Oldenburg has had a lot of success with this liberal thinking in recent years – and it is well known that Holsteiner genes had a large part in that.“