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Press Release


World-Class Leatherdale Stallions Arrive From Germany to Stand at Bridlewood Farm in Kentucky

Carrie Wirth
Saturday, January 16, 2016 :: Posted 01:21:06 PM EST


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© Kiki Beelitz: Herzensdieb, pictured with Doug and Louise Leatherdale, Jens Meyer and Prince Donatus Von Hessen, receives the Elite title from the Trakehner Verband. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.Herzensdieb, pictured with Doug and Louise Leatherdale, Jens Meyer and Prince Donatus Von Hessen, receives the Elite title from the Trakehner Verband. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

Union, KY - Jan. 16, 2016 - Leatherdale Farms, Hengststation Jens Meyer and Bridlewood Farm have announced the arrival in North America of four acclaimed sport horse stallions from Germany. Leatherdale Farms' Fairbanks, First Dance, Hampton and Herzensdieb will now stand at Bridlewood Farm in Union, Kentucky, as a joint venture of the three top breeding entities.

Stallion owners Louise Leatherdale and her husband Doug, who passed away in December, have known Barbara Schmidt, D.V.M, for many years. Doug Leatherdale served as president of the American Hanoverian Society for 10 years alongside Schmidt, a long term board of directors member and the current executive vice president. The Leatherdales and Schmidt traveled extensively to Germany, educating themselves on Hanoverian bloodlines.

"We had the same philosophy; everything is about the horse," Louise Leatherdale said. "Everything we do is about the care, welfare and well-being of the horse. That's the connection we had."

"Everyone had a role at the stallion licensing prior to the auction, where the 2 1/2 -year-old stallions were sold to countries all over the world," Schmidt explained. "Doug and Louise would select their top choices of the equine athletes, the Meyers would add their years of expertise in training and riding, and I would add my equine veterinary knowledge and experience. We formed quite a good team."

Schmidt originally introduced the Leatherdales and the Meyers when they selected the world-renowned stallion His Highness at the Hanoverian Stallion Licensing in Verden. That event would change all their lives. From that time on, the Leatherdales and Meyers continued working closely, selecting, purchasing, training and breeding top sport horse stallions.

Recently, prior to Doug Leatherdale's passing, they collectively decided it would be a good business plan to bring the four breeding stallions to the U.S.. They agreed that standing them at Schmidt's Bridlewood Farm was the ideal choice.

© Kiki Beelitz: First Dance. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.First Dance. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

"These four stallions are so accomplished in performance and have had such successful offspring," Leatherdale said.

"I don't think we have ever had four stallions of this caliber - proven performance, proven successful offspring - enter into the United States at one time for breeding at one farm." Schmidt added. "I am grateful to Doug and Louise. This is an incredible opportunity for sport horse breeders in North America."

Since 1990, Schmidt and her husband, Frederick Abblett, have owned and operated Bridlewood Farm, a well-known and highly respected Hanoverian breeding operation and the base for Schmidt's equine veterinary practice. The location is less than 40 minutes from the country's finest equine veterinary hospitals and some of the world's most renowned equine specialists and surgeons in nearby Lexington, Kentucky.

Bridlewood has served as the host site for 13 annual American Hanoverian Society Mare and Foal Inspections and as home to eight Hanoverian breeding stallions. Currently, Elite Hanoverian stallion Dacaprio, who has more registered offspring than any other stallion in the American Hanoverian

Society 2009-2014, was also a very well-received stallion at Hengststation Jens Meyer before his purchase and importation to the U.S. by Schmidt and her husband.

For breeders, Bridlewood Farm will offer fresh cooled semen and provide a live foal guarantee. Schmidt shared, "We do everything we can to get the breeder's mares pregnant in an easy and uncomplicated way."

The four stallions sailed through their quarantine process at Holly Oak Farm, near Lexington, where Schmidt said that owner Dietrich Felgendreher remarked on the stallions' excellent temperaments.

© Kiki Beelitz: Hampton. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.Hampton. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

"For our breeders and riders in the U.S., it is important that we have stallions that create offspring with the highest quality of gaits for the professional rider along with the willingness and demeanor for the adult amateur," Schmidt said. "Herzensdieb, Hampton, First Dance and Fairbanks consistently produce offspring with that unique and very desirable combination of superior athleticism and talent along with exceptional trainability and rideability that will produce a real fit for North American riders and competitors."

The stallions are settling in beautifully at Bridlewood Farm. After many years of going from stable to arena or competition venue, all four stallions will enjoy turn-out. As a testament to their extraordinary character, the stallions have started the pasture turn-out process seamlessly. Leatherdale and Schmidt are enjoying watching them in their paddocks and thrilled with their rapid transition to their new life in Kentucky.

"They really like our grass, even in the winter," Schmidt said. "I think they will be really happy here."

"They will be very happy to live their lives as horses," Leatherdale added. "I believe Doug would be smiling."

Contact Bridlewood Farm:
Barbara Schmidt, D.V.M.
11698 U.S. Hwy. 42
Union, Kentucky 41091
859-485-6000
bschmidtdvm@fuse.net

About the Leatherdale Stallions at Bridlewood Farm

© Kiki Beelitz: Fairbanks. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.
Fairbanks. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

Fairbanks (Flemmingh-St. Pr. St. Identify, Inselfürst)
Fairbanks was the undisputed Champion of the 2009 Oldenburg Stallion Licensing in Vechta, Germany. He quickly became the crowd favorite with his spectacular performance, extravagant gaits, impressive jumping ability and willing temperament. Fairbanks completed his 30-Day Test very successfully. In a field of 49 stallions, including Bundeschampionate winners, licensing champions and top-priced stallions, he placed third with an overall score of 8.74. (Rideability 9.25, Jumping 8.75)

He repeated this success in 2011 at his 70-Day Test and in his 100-Day Test he was the only stallion to score over 100 in both jumping and dressage, showing his great versatility and willingness under saddle. He has gone on to be successful to the advanced levels.

In 2011, Fairbanks presented his first outstanding foal crop which were very representative of himself: large expressive foals with long lines, beautiful heads and necks and outstanding movement. At the 2011 Oldenburg licensing, Fairbanks was awarded the 1c-Premium due to his exceptional Stallion Test results, impressive foals and his overall development as a top breeding stallion. This was especially remarkable as he was not primarily breeding in the main Oldenburg breeding region and therefore had to stand up to strong competition for this award. Currently his older offspring just beginning their under saddle careers are exceeding expectations. Fairbanks is registered GOV and ISR/OLD NA.

© Kiki Beelitz: First Dance. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.First Dance. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

First Dance (Florestan I-SPS Dorina, Donnerhall)
First Dance captivated both the audience and the licensing commission in 2006 in Verden. The combination of Florestan I and Donnerhall is a guarantee for world-class dressage horses in sport and breeding contexts.

At the European Championships in 2013 in Herning, Denmark, a pedigree analysis showed that among the participating dressage horses, five direct offspring of Florestan I and 15 finalists all carried the blood of the Oldenburg Donnerhall. All horses of the German silver medal team at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games trace back to Donnerhall: Damon Hill (Donnerhall son), Desperados (grandson) and Diva Royal (granddaughter).

German national trainer Jonny Hilberath confirmed the stallion's qualities. "From the very outset of his basic training, he showed the riders three beautiful basic gaits that were also highly rhythmic and regular. Now we have begun to do everything with Grand Prix elements."

First Dance has made a name for himself as a talented stallion, with offspring bearing his hallmarks of beauty and strength of movement. He finished his 30-day test with flying colors, receiving a score of 9.0 for the walk, an 8.75 for rideability and a score of 8.5 for character, constitution, trot and canter. This, together with qualifying for the German Bundeschampionate in 2009, represents the full recognition of the Hannoveraner Verband. He was victorious in dressage tests in the elementary (Class L) level and, in 2010, repeatedly won dressage tests at the medium (Class M) level. Meanwhile, he was shown successfully in the Prix St. Georges. He is the sire of three licensed sons, States Premium mares and auction foals. First Dance is approved AHS, HV, GOV and ISR/Old. NA.

© Kiki Beelitz: Hampton. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.Hampton. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

Hampton (His Highness-SPS Red Chili, Rotspon)
Hampton is the carbon copy of his famous sire His Highness. His Highness was the Champion of his Hanoverian stallion licensing, his stallion test and the Danish stallion licensing. He was a successful dressage competitor and sire, producing 17 licensed sons, over 20 St.Pr. mares and successful offspring to numerous to mention.

Hampton's dam, SPS Red Chili, was a two-time winner with her dam SPS Carina in the Mare Family class at the prestigious Herwart von der Decken mare show.

Hampton, as a 3-year-old, was Reserve Champion of his 70-Day Stallion Test in Schlieckau with the overall score of 134.24. He competed and won several young horse classes with high scores. In 2009 Hampton qualified for the Bundeschampionate in highly competitive shows. Hampton was successful up to Inter. I and qualified for the finals of the 2013 Nürnberger Burgpokal.  

Hampton's offspring have exceeded expectations, producing elegant types with seemingly endless potential. Hampton has sired winning St. Pr. mares, auction horses, and his son, Hampton's Junior was licensed and competed successfully in young horse classes as well.

For two consecutive years, Hampton placed within the top 10 percent of German dressage sires with a score of 148 points in the estimated breeding evaluation by the FN. Hampton is approved AHS, HV, GOV, ISR/Old. NA, Danish and Swedish registries.

© Kiki Beelitz: Herzensdieb. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.Herzensdieb. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

E. H. Herzensdieb (Tambour-Herzensfreude, Tivano)
Herzensdieb was the licensing champion and crowd favorite at the 2005 Trakehner licensing in Neumünster, Germany. Herzensdieb finished the stallion performance test as reserve champion and, in the same year, won the Trakehner Championship for 3-year-old stallions.

Herzensdieb is a Bundeschampionate qualifier and an advanced level dressage competitor.He is the producer of outstanding dressage competitors, licensed stallions and Bundeschampionate finalists.

Herzensdieb has a FN breeding value dressage of 142 points and is in the top 10 percent of German dressage sires. He was honored with the prestigious Elite Hengst title (E.H.) in 2013 by the Trakehner Verband.

Breeding manager Lars Gehrmann commented on his basic gaits with the following words: "movement wouldn't do it justice: he dances." He is approved AHS, HV, Trakehner, GOV, ISR/Old. NA, Southern Germany, Danish and Swedish registries.



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