GERMANY (by Christopher Hector) It is always a joy to catch up with the director of the Westfalen State Stud at Warendorf, if for no other reason than it provides an excuse to walk through this most beautiful of studs, with its historic buildings and imposing trees. In fact, we are strolling in the direction of the director’s office when we come across the director herself, and one of her assistants, and it looks very much as if they are in the process of selling a horse to a couple of visitors.

Susanne Rimkus
Susanne Rimkus

Susanne Rimkus is ver y much the hands-on director, a contrast to the lofty god- like gentlemen who headed up the state studs before she became the first woman di- rector. Now with the appointment of 32-year-old Dr. Carina Krumbiegel to the position at Baden-Wüttem- berg, along with Dr Astrid von Velsen-Zereweck at Marbach, there are three women directors in the German State Stud system... and state stallions compete!

Rimkus has just finished judging a round of foal shows, and is aglow with en- thusiasm for the progeny of the new dressage star she has discovered. “The foals that have made our commission most enthusiastic, have been the foals of Sir Heinrich, a son of Sir Donnerhall from a Fürst Heinrich mother. Sir Heinrich is six years old now, and he has really really exciting foals, out of different mares. The gaits, walk, trot and canter, ever ything... conformation. The stallion himself is quite a small, tiny stallion, and when I bought him, the breeding commis- sion at the licensing said, ‘oh what do you want with this pony?’ But they gave him the chance. He won the performance test, second from all over Germany, then he was vice-champion at the Bundeschampionate at the age of five, and went on to the world championship. This year, he also qualified for the six-year-old champi- onship at the Bundeschampionate, and he is the first reserve for the World Championship.”...