World’s Leading Breeders & Scientists Share Invaluable Knowledge at Asia Horse Week
Some of the world’s most revered breeders of top class show jumping horses shared their incredible knowledge during Asia Horse Week 2019 and inspired delegates with their lifelong passion and vision for Equestrian sport.
One of the biggest names in European show jumping is Paul Schockemöhle, and, on his behalf, Sacha Eckjans presented the fascinating story of his Lewitz stud farm in North East Germany.
Lewitz is a 3,000 hectare property that houses more than 4,500 horses and employs more than 230 people. There are 45 riders, 40 grooms, 20 farriers, 20 veterinarians and 10 trainers working at Lewitz with more than 500 horses trained there each day.
Schockemöhle himself is a highly decorated rider and has dedicated his life to breeding and competing horses. Modern sires crossed with fully bred dam lines form the basis of the Lewitz stud farm’s success.
Paul Schockemöhle has been breeding horses since the early 1970s, for a long time exclusively for show jumping and in small numbers, in parallel with his own sports career.
After the reunification of Germany, which also marked the end of his show jumping career, Paul Schockemöhle searched for a suitable area in the east of Germany to expand and intensify his breeding interests. He finally found it in Mecklenburg, where he took over the Lewitz stud with vast stretches of land and redesigned it for his purposes.
In the “founding years”, it was Paul Schockemöhle’s special passion to take over former sport mares from his jumping colleagues and to breed with them after their sporting careers. Hermann Schridde’s mare Wartburg and Alwin Schockemöhle’s mare Andorra were amongst them, as well as many more. Even today, these mares and their offspring are still part of the foundation of the Lewitz’s stud’s broodmares, which is made up of almost 50 different mare lines. They are the source and driving force behind the world’s largest breeding facility for highly talented dressage and show jumping horses, and always produce outstanding athletes.
Like Schockemöhle, Jos Lansink is also driven by the quest to breed and compete the best quality jumping horses.
During the same session, Lansink, an individual gold medallist at the 2006 World Equestrian Games, presented his own fascinating and heartfelt views about what it takes to build a high quality equine athlete.
His belief is that “people around the horse can make the horse.” He also shared his strong opinion on “backing off” 3 & 4YO horses and allowing them time to fully physically develop.
He also emphasised the importance of the rider in the horse’s journey towards success.
“A rider makes a good horse a better horse,” said Lansink. And, he imparted some wisdom that was topical given the heavy focus on horse welfare during Asia Horse Week; “Never be stronger than the horse, be cleverer.”
Prof. Cesare Galli from EQUIGEA added a cutting edge twist to the breeding themed session as he spoke about the world’s most advanced commercial services in equine reproduction.
Dr Galli heads up the most successful commercial veterinary in vitro facility in Europe. In 2008 Dr. Galli and his colleague Dr. Giovanna Lazzari established EQUIGEA, a leading centre for advanced reproductive technologies. EQUIGEA is responsible for services including specialised training and seminars and research in the field of animal cloning and transgenesis for the creation of animal models for biomedical purposes. In 1999 he obtained the first bovine clone of an adult bull, and in 2003 the first equine clone in the world.
Some of the conclusions and perspectives from his presentation were that ART has progressed a lot in the last 10 years and significantly contributed to increasing the genetic level of sport horses.
Prof. Galli’s presentation led into The Auction, an historic sale of horse embryos that was conducted at the conclusion of Asia Horse Week.
The Auction now has the whole show jumping world talking. You can read more about The Auction and its results here; https://asiahorseweek.com/2019/02/15/historic-horse-embryo-auction-at-asia-horse-week/