2004 Hanoverian Chestnut
Breeder Meinolf Rölleke
by Adriana van Tilburg
The stallion Firth of Lorne had a very turbulent 2014. In May, he and his rider Kathrin Eckermann won the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg. Two months later they had the most important ride to stay clear in the Nations Cup of Falsterbo for Germany – and they did. Two clear rounds were the result for this upcoming couple. Everybody had high hopes for Aachen, a week after Falsterbo. The first round in the Nation Cup went perfectly, but the second round went dramatically wrong. They fell at the water jump, luckily both could stand and leave the arena. Two days later they started to everybody’s surprise in the Grand Prix and once the devil played with their destiny – they fell again after jumping the water jump. This time with not so much luck… Kathrin Eckermann had to go to the hospital suffering a broken collarbone and Firth of Lorne was sent to the clinic. Luckily Firth of Lorne had no life threatening injury.
Who is Firth of Lorne?
Firth of Lorne is a beautiful chestnut stallion by For Pleasure out of Starlight by Stakkato. He was bred by Meinolf Rölleke. His mother, Starlight, was bred by Helmut Habermann. At least five generations of this line of horses was bred by the family Habermann. It orginiates with the mare Feldbluemchen (by Feldhahn), born in 1947, who has no breeder listed in the German Federation online database. The following horses trace to the great grandmother of Firth: Fabriana (by Fabriano) 1.60m with Tim Gredley and Strolchi (by Stakkato) 1.45m with Marie Lütgenau.
Starlight was purchased by Meinolf as a foal. He recalls: “I wanted to have a very good foal from the Hannoverian line ‘Norm’. I read a lot about this mareline and I was very impressed with the jumping horses from this line.”
Starlight went into sport after Firth of Lorne was born. She jumped at 1.45m level with Manja Gille and received from the Hannoverian Verband predicate ‘Leistungsstute Springen’. Firth of Lorne started his career as a jumping horse under Manja Gille. He was already as a young horse a champion. He participated twice in the finals at the Bundeschampionat.
Meinolf says: “Firth of Lorne wants to stay clear and does not want to touch fences! I always believed in this horse, I had offers from many horse owners but I do not want to sell Firth of Lorne. I only breed with the mother of Firth of Lorne, and these horses are special to me. I watched him being born and I watched him winning the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg, how many people can say that they are the breeder and owner after such a long period?”
He was approved as an 8 year old for the Hannoverian Verband.
The year 2014 started well by winning in January the Grand Prix from Münster with his rider Kahrin Eckermann. They were placed in every show they participated in. Then on the 31st of May they surprised everybody by winning the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg. Meinolf says: “It give me the chills when I think about it, this feeling cannot be described in words. I wanted to go to Firth of Lorne but everybody stopped and congratulated me. I did not stay for the party because I got a call from the owner from the stable were I have Starlight (the mother to Firth of Lorne) and he told me that she could give birth that night to Firth of Lorne’s full brother or sister. So I jumped in to my car and drove back home and that same night a full brother of Firth of Lorne was born. I was the happiest man in the world!”
Around six weeks later Firth started in his first Nation Cup with Kahrin Eckermann in Falsterbo and they performed very well. Two clear rounds meant Germany won the Nations Cup. High hopes were set for Aachen a week later. They went clear the first round of the Nations Cup, but everybody seems to be forgotten that because of the dramatic second round fall and the fall in the Grand Prix.
Despite all rumors, the stallion’s life was never in danger. We are now a couple of months down the track and Firth of Lorne is back in training, his rider Kathrin Eckermann is not so lucky. She had a bad car accident and is grounded for a couple of more months.
Meinolf says: “ I am really lucky with his groom, Patricia Preusche, she is there for him in good and bad days.” Patricia says; “At home he can be a real stallion and at the show he is super easy going. He enjoys going at shows.”
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