The First Step to Becoming a Legend

Pre-Selection for the Hanoverian Stallion Licensing

For Desperados FRH it was the first stepping stone in his career. Running free and over fences the then two and a half-year old youngster presented himself to the selection committee in the arena at Dobrock. That was on the stallion pre-selection journey 2003. About six weeks later he was sold for €100,000.00 The careers of Weltmeyer, Londonderry, Stakkato and Goldfever also started on the pre-selection journey of the Hannoveraner Verband. In the last week of October the annual breeding highlight takes place in Verden. During the Hanoverian Stallion Licensing and the Stallion Sales, the future sires are determined in front of the fully occupied grandstands of the Niedersachsenhalle. Nowadays, the Stallion Sales attract more and more ambitious sport riders that want to secure their future hopes. But how do the two and a half-year olds get there?

About six weeks prior to the event, the Tuesday after the German Young Horse National Championships, the Bundeschampionate, the Stallion-Preselection-Journey of the Hannoveraner Verband begins. During the Championships, you can feel the anticipation and excitement leading up to the event. Everyone has already studied the list of registered stallions online. Everyone is excited, which stallions will get selected this year? There is discussion about how many descendants of which sire are registered, and everyone is sure they have already seen one of the stallion aspirants that will surely make it to be accepted to the licensing. The breeders impatiently await the first day of the Pre-Selection-Journey.

Usually a four- to-six person committee and the Breeding Director of the Hannoveraner Verband selects the potential new stallion generation at 20 different selection sites. Members of this selection committee are successful breeders and representatives of the sport, like the Youth Trainer Hans-Heinrich Meyer zu Strohen or the Olympic Medalist Heike Kemmer (Dressage) and Jörg Münzner (Show-Jumping). Most of the locations are in Lower Saxony, the base of the Hanoverian Breed. One selection is held in Hessia, one in North Rhine-Westphalia. However, not every young stallion can be presented here. The quality requirements are held to high standards to even get to a pre-selection. The young Hanoverians and Rhineland Horses need to prove their accepted Hanoverian ancestry over six consecutive generations; also for the mother and grandmother high standards, are demanded. On top of that, the breeders apply a critical eye as to which youngsters are even shown to the preselection committee. Only Hanoverian and Rhineland stallions are allowed to be presented, unlike many other licensings where stallions of all breeds can be shown.

Of the roughly 3,000 stallions that were born in 2015, nearly 400 young stallions comply with these standards, and have been entered to be presented to the pre-selection committee during the timeframe from September 5th to September 14th 2017. At the end of this Selection-Journey, around 90 stallions will have accomplished the first obstacle and made it to the actual licensing. Those form part of the best 2.5% of their year.

The tension is always high when the selection committee arrives at one of the sites early in the morning, for example at the farm of Rudolf Rehkamp in Bersenbrück. Everything is ready. You hear the sound of the hooves beating on the ground. A stallion neighs with excitement. Now it counts to remain calm, to transmit calmness, so the stallions can present themselves optimally. The selection of the stallions happens in three steps. Free running and free jumping, presentation on a hard surface, and the walk ring. For decades, the Stallion-Preselection has taken place exactly like this. Now as before, no more is necessary to judge the base quality of a young horse. The successes of the stallions that are sold from the venue in Verden to all parts of the world prove that right.

Two to three selections per day are held in this pattern. For many stallions, the selection ends after free running and free jumping. Only those who convince the selection committee of their quality will get the chance to present themselves on the solid surface. The correctness of conformation, and feet, of the future sport and breeding horses is of essential significance, and can only be thoroughly examined on hard ground. At the end of each selection the stallions that are accepted to the Licensing in Verden are announced. Shortly after they are published on the Homepage as well as on the Facebook Page of the Hannoveraner Verband. This way many horse experts from all over the world can closely follow and almost become part of the action. Also, a not insignificant number of people accompany the selection committee on their journey through the Hanoverian breeding area, so that in some places the selection is followed by a small festivity.

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With the approval to the Licensing, the next step on the way to become a Hanoverian Stallion is complete. Now it counts to also comply with the health standards of the Hannoveraner Verband. A veterinary team of three examines all candidates over the course of four days, taking x-rays and doing thorough clinical examinations. Only those stallions complying with the high health standards for breeding and sport will actually make it to the licensing in Verden during the last weekend of October. Together with the veterinary examinations, photos and videos of the stallions are taken, which are available online from the beginning of October. There is only a little time between the preselection and the actual licensing, but the roughly 90 licensing aspirants become popular immediately. Then everyone is excitedly awaiting the first presentation on the Stallion Licensing 2017. Check out the video below for the preselection:

Hanoverian Stallion Licensing and Stallion Sales 2017

Two-and-a-half-year-old, pre-selected stallions are presented at the main Stallion Licensing. A selection committee organizes selection dates throughout the whole breeding area and chooses approx. 100 stallions, showing up to the Licensing Commission on the last weekend of October. The Hanoverian Stallion Licensing and Stallion Sales takes place from October 26-28. Please find here further information about our pre-selection and the stallion licensing and stallion sales.


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