Even though none of my horses carries a Westfalian brand I am Westfalian myself, through and through. my very first lasting experience with respect to Westfalian horse breeding was the "day of open door" at the Westfalian State Stud in Warendorf many many years ago. back than the stallion heroes of Westfalian breeding culture under the saddle were Frühlingstraum (sire to worldchampion Fire/Norbert Koof), Paradox, Goldlack, Romadour II, Argwohn, Rendant, Angelo xx (sire to westfalian worldchampion Ahlerich/Dr.Reiner Klimke), Debütant and many many more .. but the most prestigous highligt that day was when one of the state stud guys put me on the back of grey Nippes, THE heavy cart horse in Westfalia, a living legend himself those days. I still remember the trouble i ran into with my mum since I refused to wash myself any further hoping dignified Nippes' dust would stick to me forever...

Meanwhile the dust has been washed away and a lot of former values with it.

My business career took me to Frankfurt (federal state of Hessen) for ten years, I travelled abroad a lot and just how it is once you are away from home: only than you learn to value what it really is that makes your "homeland" so prestigious to you... in my case this ceratin prestigiouseness had a lot to do with Westfalian horse breeding - even more so since Hessen didn't seem to have a lot to hold against that itself. Florestan was a well bespoken stallion even there.
the most significant event to me was when all of a sudden a certain Fidermark under Michael Farwick caused a lot of furore and made sure Westfalia became well known again far beyond it's country borders.  after all those already faded pictures of Ahlerich and Fire these two made sure that Westfalian horsebreeding relived a renaissance of its own. that's how I came to my Fabrice after all and that's how I later on I found my introduction to active sportshorse breeding with her. and even my commence of later horse show competing with Shannon was heavily influenced by Michael, as much as all my initial breeding experiences and ideas were influenced by the developments around Fidermark and Michael in the first time.
had I still been heavily influenced by Westfalian national pride with respect to sports horse breeding while living in Hessen this idealism got lost more and more with every year once I had moved back home to Münster, Westfalia, in 1999. the awareness that even complete licensing crops (we are talking 80-100 stallions a year) didn't even deserve the label "Westfalian" any more since Westfalian blood covered less than 40% in them within the first few generations was bitter and hurt. how come such a mighty traditional heritage could have gotten lost and spoiled within the last ten to twenty years?

But as everything, even this coin has gotten two sides to it:
had i initally thought I wouldn't be travelling a lot anymore while back home in Westfalia this turned into the complete countrary in due course: in order to watch stallion shows, licensings, foal inspections, mare shows, auctions, championship qualifiers etc etc I spent thousands of kilometers on the road visiting the neighboured breeding areas such as Hannover, Oldenburg and Trakehners over the last years. "neighbourhood" in this context streching out as far as Neumünster which is a good 4 hours drive from my hometown Münster (these two only sound alike but have nothing to do with each other).
so i learned to look beyond my own established breeding area's borders and i have established my very personal view on nowadays sports horse breeding  in general, very, very effortfull. positives and negatives can be found everywhere, horses of good quality and less quality, too, highlights are very rare, no matter where you are, some less, some more. just my identity turned out to be a real problem: since my intial equestrian breeding identity had gotten lost somewhere along the way. 

I love my Holsteiner Shannon dearly - but if I want a Holsteiner I go to Holstein and I wouldn't ask for Westfalia to re-envent the wheel. and if I am looking for well consolidated damlines these days I go to Hannover. or maybe Oldenburg. unless it is about those black&beautiful fashioned stallions these days... and if I judge a horse with respect to his performance or a stallion with respect to his heritage transformance power nowadays I really don't care where he comes from - as long as there is enough critical mass provided with respect to his offspring in order to enable a reasonable judgement about him  in the first place. which takes us right back to those many highway kilometers that are necessary to travel in order to get to foal inspection X or championship qualifier Y... 

the next big awarenss than was the understanding about the necessity of thoroughbreed in warmblood breeding in order to maintain and strengthen all those features we desire in a modern sport horse. a severe need and lack in any w.b. breed, no matter where you look. a huge problem in nowadays sportshorse breeding since everybody talks about t.b. but noone wants to touch it within the first generations. it is a present challenge -if not THE present challenge- of each and every (german) w.b. breeding verband these days in order to maintain their traditional and well recognized superior position in worldwide w.b. breeding. the more I have dealt with t.b. influence in w.b. breeding (and results of this are hard to find and even harder to judge due to a lack of critical mass of t.b.offspring within w.b. breeding) the more i developed the desire to face the challenge on my own by using a t.b.mare myself to cross to w.b. this is how i finally came to buy my mare Ionia xx just recently. I consider it a huge personal challenge, "my" challenge Ionia, and I am well aware that this might take me close to any borders, no matter what, with respect to consistency, sucess or financial abilities, but still  - it must be pure idealism that's driving me right here and now.
and for the sake of w.b.breeding and equestrian sports i can only hope that I will be able to feed and maintian this idealism for as long as it takes.

Sabine Brandt,
in July 2005

July 2008:
Three years have gone by since this webside has gone online - time for an update.
Sport Horse breeding and Sport horse riding - my very personal logistics...

In order to afford such an extensive hobby (... inclined to say: obesession...) it takes a full time job, of course. Usually I spend the evenings after work in saddle of my riding horse Silas, every once in a while I have a second young horse to ride and further train, currently that is the 4 year old Rotspon-daughter "Rübe" owned by my mare barn owner Ingrid. 

That tight schedule has it that only the weekends are available to spend time with my mares and foals. In spring however, when the foaling season starts, I certainly spend more time at the mare barn than at home with Silas - usually you can tell by his growing belly:
"Marshmallow" is the title he gained during the last foal season due to my permanent absence since he spends more time at home on the pasture than under saddle - he never complains about it, though.
Home of my mares and foals is the Hof Altepost located about 20 kilometers north of Münster. Here I know my mares and foals in Ingrid's best hands and over the years the Hof Altepost has become my second home, too.

The succesful combination of sport horse breeding and competing, as I did back than with Shannon and Fabrice, even more so in all three disicplines (note: eventing as such is an extremly timeconsuming discipline) hasn't yet been repeated - the day only has twentyfour hours...
And if you own three or more broodmares who not necessarily get pregnant on the first strike, you consequently spend a lot of hours in the car and on the autobahn to collect fresh semen from your desired stallion every second day... And since heat cycles and ovulations simply can't be planned and most certainly do not cooperate well with official office hours or training dates you often find yourself back in the office later at night since job comes first in order to afford training, horses and foals...

However, I view it as personal challenge to also show Silas in competitions in the future and if I do so it won't be dressage only, even though he is an outspoken dressage talent. I have trained and shown all my horses in the past in all three disciplines as it is selfunderstood to me that any horse can do and will do good in any discipline if only given the chance to do so - according to the nature of the horse, that is, at last in basic levels. Time will tell if I will be able to master the triple challenge of sport horse breeding, competing and job in the next year - I will do my very best to work off Silas' marshmallow lable, for sure!


    pastell painting of Shannon and Fabrice
                  by Christina Boetzel