By Claudia Fuchs and Ines Rathke / IYB
Photography: Brandenburg-Anhalt Young Breeders
To be a young breeder is much more than shared passion and being a good theorist. New generations of horsemen are learning their skills from former champions. Workshops, travels, and great experiences are key to building trust, friendships, and success.
No fewer than 17 times have the young breeders from Brandenburg-Anhalt succeeded in taking the victory sash at the German Championships, whether individually or as a team. In 14 cases, they celebrated with the runners-up title; a record achieved since the merger of the two breeding associations in 2007.
The foundation for this success was laid in 1995 when Gerhard Francke for Saxony-Anhalt and Jörg Kotenbeutel for Brandenburg were still working separately, but following the Hanoverian example. The passion and the goal have not changed since their first meeting over 25 years ago, which is to inspire all interested young people with great horsemanship and nurture great team spirit.
Unlike competitive riding, young breeders are not depending on great sponsorship and funds to reach the top level. Competitions are open to everyone under the age of 25. Having your own horse, being a member of the horse breeding association or coming from a breeding family are privileges rather than conditions to becoming part of the team. Likewise, the participation fees for the various events are often waived or, if there is a small charge, meals are included.
Regular workshops are organised throughout the regions, mainly in spring time. Most of the trainers are former young breeders themselves or still active as senior members of the team. The leaders and members of the organising team are also professionals, usually due to their own achievements as active young breeders. They are inspiring the up-and-coming generations of young breeders’ work through their passion for the cause, and are passing on their knowledge and experience as well as a great network from within the industry.
Reaching the age of 25 does not mean farewell, but rather a transition into a more supportive role. This gives the upcoming youngsters the chance to be trained by former National Champions and even World Champions; a recipe for success that still works today.
As everywhere in life, theoretical knowledge is the foundation of success. Topics range from general equine science, feeding, health, breeding, and husbandry. In order to convey this in an age-appropriate and playful manner, it is always adapted to the participants. For this purpose, toys are sometimes used to vividly convey horse color and markings, or the young breeders themselves slip into the role of the breed association employees in order to correctly register horses by means of graphics and verbal descriptions. In order to be able to practice at home and on the road at any given time, it will be possible in the future to conveniently access the theory from a cell phone via a quiz app in addition to the tried-and-tested theory manual... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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