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Portrait of Successful Breeders (1)

Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte stands out as one of the most significant breeders of dressage horses. Her daughter Princess Nathalie is currently competing three international Grand Prix horses all bred by HRH Princess Benedikte at the castle of Berleburg.

By Thomas Bach Jensen

HRH Princess Benedikte and her husband HH Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg live in the wonderful castle of Berleburg in the mid-western part of Germany. The Princess is both an active breeder and rider.

At the age of five, Princess Benedikte found herself for the first time on the back of a horse. “There I was, this little girl on a giant horse! Instantly my mother saw my interest and excitement with the horse, and she bought a pony for me. At the time, there were no small horses in Denmark, so mother had to buy it in England and have it shipped to our home at Fredensborg,” says princess Benedikte.
Apart from her involvement in the equestrian sport as a rider, spectator and breeder, Princess Benedikte has played an active role in the FEI. In 1986 Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte became the Patroness of Danish Warmblood Society, and since 1999 she has been the Patroness of the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses.
Princess Benedikte shares her passion for horses with her daughter, HH Princess Nathalie, who is also an active rider and was in 2002 winner of the National Championships in Dressage. Riding Digby, a Danish Warmblod bred at Berleburg, Princess Nathalie played a significant role on the Danish Dressage team winning bronze at the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong.

Pictured above the princesses ride two progenies of the elite broodmare Øxenholm Pamina, Don Giavan by Donnerhall and Mastermind by Master.

Aged 64 HRH Princess Benedikte is still a keen rider and has also become a highly respected breeder of international dressage horses.
Many great horses are born in her stables. She has bred no less than two approved stallions and three Grand Prix dressage horses out of her two brood mares. Two of these horses appear in the top of the FEI / WBFSH ranking list in 2008 contributing to the third place of Danish Warmblod on the WBFSH dressage breeders ranking.
The breeding programme in the Berleburg stables is based on two Danish broodmares, Øxenholm Pamina by Sandro and Rosienne by thoroughbred Rossi.
Pamina has had three foals by Donnerhall, the filly Day Dream and the two colts Don Givani and Digby and two by Master, Mastermind and Maxima, and by Blue Hors Don Romantic she got Deejay.
The fantastic Donnerhall daughter Day Dream was supposed to became Princess Nathalie's new top horse and later on a broodmare but, unfortunately, the family suffered a great loss as the mare died at the age of 5/6
Now the daugther Maxima has ensured the continuation of this dam line in the Berleburg stables with three foals, two by Blue Hors Don Romantic and one by Blue Hors Hotline.

The latter had two foals by Rubinstein at Berleburg before she returned to Denmark to continue her life as broodmare. The two offspring by Rubinstein are the gelding Rigoletto and the mare Racine.
Rigoletto has become an international Grand Prix horse....
Racine has contributed to the foundation of this line by producing two foals by Blue Hors Future Cup and two by Blue Hors Don Schufro.

Her daughter Princess Nathalie is a dressage rider at international level and was on the bronze medal winning Danish team at the 2008 Olympics. At the bottom line, HRH Princess Benedikte represents a brilliant example of a successful correlation between sport and breeding.
Born to piaffe
Klaus Balkenhol
All his relatives are the same, very intelligent which is not always to the riders advantage. You do not want the horses the think too much
The more annoying he is when I do his braids the better will he perform in the arena.
8th in the World Cup finale in 2008.