6yo Westfalian champion Brianna (Bulgari) ridden by Kira Wulferding

Analysis by Christopher Hector: It’s been a tough year for the horse breeding fraternity in Westfalia. The director of the State Stud in Warendorf, Susanne Schmitt-Rimkus and two other officials of the state stud, have been suspended for 12 months while on corruption charges, but life goes on, mares are inseminated, foals born. Obviously I am not in a position to comment on the charges, but I will say that Susanne has been a friend and valued source of information ever since she was appointed.

When she was appointed in 1996 Susanne Rimkus was a rarity – a ‘VOMAN’ in what was very much a man’s world, when you could identify the stud director by looking for the largest person in the room. Schmitt-Rimkus was seen as an inappropriate appointment by a feminist state minister for agriculture and there were plenty sitting back, ready to cheer when she fell. But she didn’t. Under her leadership, Westfalia went from strength to strength. Admittedly she was building on the impressive legacy of her predecessor, Dr Gerd Lehmann, who oversaw the transformation of the Westfalian from all-round agricultural to cutting-edge modern sport horse in his thirty years at the helm.

Still Schmitt-Rimkus was an innovator. She actually got on and rode the horses (the mind boggles at the thought of some of the more traditional directors in the saddle) and she made sure that the State Stud stallions got out and into the competition arena. The Westfalen Week that has just finished in the last week of July at Münster Handorf provided plenty of evidence of how successful Schmitt-Rimkus has been....

Nowhere more so than in the six-year-old qualifier for dressage at the Bunde- schampionate. The winner, the Westfalian-bred, Brianna, was ridden by one of Ger- many’s most stylish and tact- ful riders, Kira Wulferding. The mare is by Bulgari, a nice mix of Westfalia, Hanover and Rheinland, by Belissimo, out of a mare by World Magic (Warkant out of a Cardinal mare, and briefly touted as Ulla Salzge- ber’s next big thing after Rusty) and then out of a mare by the stallion – Susanne Schmitt-Rimkus dubbed her ‘milk cow’ – Florestan. Brianna is out of a mare by the best son of Rubinstein, Rohdiamant. With 8.6 Brianna and Wulferding are on their way to the Bundeschampionate, which is, in truth, just half an hour down the road...

TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE BECOME A SUBSCRIBER TO BREEDING NEWS - CLICK HERE