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Best Breeders: Wilhelm Leymann

Sep 16, 2019

In its series ‘Best Breeder’ HorseTelex talked with Wilhelm Leymann, distinguished Hanoverian breeder, who bred three international show jumpers out of his formidable Drosselklang II-mare Dorina.

1) When you think about your best breeding product, how do you explain the success of this horse?
I started breeding when I was fourteen, at that age I bought my first mare. Now I am in my late 70s, so over the years a lot of horses have been successful. At this moment it is of course Fine Lady that catches the eye with Eric Lamaze. The main thing is that a horse has the will to do it. They must have the fighting spirit. Furthermore it is of course a matter of where they end up. I sold Fine Lady as a four-year-old green horse, she came in exactly the right hands. And of course there is some luck involved. Fine Lady had almost become a broodmare with me. But then I thought she was a bit too small and that is the reason why I sold her.

2) What do you specially take into consideration when you combine a stallion with a mare?
At first the character. That is the most important thing to me. I also especially look at the movements of showjumpers. Showjumpers must be able to do two things: walk and canter. Those are important conditions. If stallions or mares do not meet these requirements, they will not be used by me. Furthermore it is mainly feeling. It is not an easy matter of adding 1 + 1 and always get 2.

3) What are your three favorite stallions among the proven sires?
At first I want to mention Drosselklang II. In the past I wanted to buy Drosselklang II, but the Landgestüt wouldn’t let me. As a three-year-old, I thought it was a fantastic stallion and I had enough mares I wanted to cover with him.

I also like to see Catoki. He has the right character, brings rideability and a lot of power. I also love the blood of Calido I and Stolzenberg is also high on my list. I have already bred a lot of fine Stolzenberg-offspring, I breed with Stolzenberg mares and I still use him for others.

4) Which three ‘new’ or young stallions are your favorites?
I have bred some nice Don Diarado’s, Chacco’s Son is also high on my list and now I have some super foals from Checkter. I expect a lot of him, Checkter is something special.

5) With which studbook do you register your foals?
Hanover. I live in that area and I have always felt at home with Hanover. In addition, we also live close to a studfarm of the Landgestüt and the people there have always helped me.

6) Which important developments do you expect for the future?
I am afraid that the small studfarms and the state studs will no longer be able to survive, because at the top more and more stallions are clumping together and it all gets bigger and bigger. It is almost impossible to compete with that anymore, the small studfarms and the state studs can not get the good stallions anymore. I think that does not benefit breeding. The small studfarms, in the vicinity of the breeder are important. They play a major role in breeding and often give advice. In my breeding I also owed a lot to the people of Celle. It would be a shame, if that were lost.