Home Breeder Profile Stefan Aust: “Breeding is the optimisation of chance…”

Stefan Aust: “Breeding is the optimisation of chance…”

Stefan Aust and his mare Donna Bella

By Adriana van Tilburg
Photography: Juliane Fellner/Verband Hannoveraner and Grasso/Tops

Stefan Aust bred this year’s Herwart von der Decken-Schau champion for jumping, Donna Bella (Don VHP Z - Flair Welcome x Cascadello I, Stamm 3615). Also the 1m55 jumping horse Cortes (Chacco-Blue - Singapur x Stalypso) who is currently competing under the saddle of Laura Klaphake comes from his breeding.

So far, Stefan Aust has bred a little over 100 horses, so what are his opinions and philosophies.

Q When did you first start breeding?
The first foal that was born at our farm was in 1966. This foal was by Duden II (Duellant - Loewenart x Der Loewe xx) out of a mare who didn’t even have proper papers. It was like this when we started with the whole horse thing, and we had a small farm in Stade. We still had horses for agricultural work and at some point they were abolished and we had a tractor. My dream was always to have a pony and to ride. When the storm flood came in 1962, our cows drowned and the pastures we had on the Elbe were no longer important. Then an eye doctor from Stade asked if his ponies could graze there. My father said ‘yes’, and that’s why we were allowed to ride them. Then we were all so crazy about it, I was 15 or so at the time, and we always rode on the beach and so on.
My father had just inherited some money and bought three mares which he saw in an advertisement in the Stader Tageblatt. A three-year-old, a two-year-old and a yearling filly. They were pre-book mares, nothing great. We raised them and bred them a bit, but it was nothing great. Then at some point, around 50 years ago, I said to myself: ‘A good horse doesn’t eat any more than a bad horse, so I bought a foal through the stud manager Wolski – who came from Trakehner horse breeding – from Oberndorf.
It wasn’t cheap back then, compared to today’s foal prices, it was really expensive. A filly by the well-known stallion Pik König (Pik As xx - Anna x Abhang II). I wanted to have an offspring of Pik König because the stallion was a half-breed. He was standing at the breeding station and I wanted to have a foal by him.
The filly, Prudenzia, came out Florette by Florentiner II, a son of Fluegeladjutant. She could move outstandingly well, but she could have been prettier: her head too big, legs a little too short, her back a little too low. Her front legs were not so correct and she wasn’t so tall. At the mare show she was placed somewhere at the end, but she could move. Even at 30 years old, she had an impressive trot. She was to become the basis of my dressage horse breeding... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber