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EQ Life tours Aachen: Day one

 EQ Life at Hof Kasselmann!

EQ Life at Hof Kasselmann!

 

 

By Roger Fitzhardinge

 Day one of the tour saw a start at Hof Kasselmann, where we were treated to an introduction from Francois Kasselman, the son of Ulli and Bianca. The room for the introduction where there was coffee and biscuits for all, is adorned with photos of famous horses and Francois explained the amazing property that has been in the family with a history for 1,000 years. 

 

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One of the many beautiful stable buildings at Hof Kasselmann.

 

One of the many beautiful stable buildings at Hof Kasselmann.

 

 

The stunning outdoor arenas.

 

The stunning outdoor arenas.

 

 

The stables and barns are simply stunning and the original barn has no still nails and all are wooden pegs. This barn is adorned with chandeliers and the stables with horses, all with amazing pedigrees and stature. Throughout walking over the property we saw over two hundred and forty stabled horses there as not a grumpy face, a kicker, a wind sucker or weaver. Every horse was quiet and happy and in immaculate condition and coat. It was simply joyful to see such happy and contented horses. We saw the ever-youthful Insa riding in one of the outdoor arenas on a wonderful six year old by the eponymous Furstenball. Just to prove that there are some tall progeny of this beautiful-headed sire, this horse was 18 hands (plus?!) and the epitome of good balance and stature and working with all the PSG movements with Insa.

 

 

A wonderful six year old by the eponymous Furstenball... at least 18 hands next to our tallest tour guest, Shaun!

 

A wonderful six year old by the eponymous Furstenball... at least 18 hands next to our tallest tour guest, Shaun!

 

 

The indoor and the outdoor surfaces are all absolutely amazing and of course as you would expect the maintenance exact! To see these arenas “real” and not set up as they are for Dressage and Dreams, they look so relaxed and at ease and yet they turn them into the most wonderful competition venue. 

 

 

One of the many outdoor arenas.

 

One of the many outdoor arenas.

 

 

The Kasselmans work approximately 200 horses a day and they all get time on the walker (with its 100 meter circumference) that fits ten horses at a time, with some who walk on the treadmill or water walker. The vet areas and the farriers areas as well as a stable, that can he totally seal and the horse inside that breaths in the salt-vapoured air for the treatment of coughs. It is better than a nebuliser. 

 

The walkway adorned with roses and flowers of all colours and the walkways and stable areas are constantly swept. We were told of the feeding regimes and all in between, but the highlight for many was watching the young horses being worked on the arena, so familiar to all who have seen the PSI auction. 

 

The Furtsenball gelding we saw… OHH MYY GOODNESS. This gelding that is now named Ferdinand and is simply awesome. Elegant and what an outstanding mover, with elegant freedom of the front legs and an elastic handle that really hit the ground effortlessly… yet pushed with great strength!! I think this will be one to watch for and will be in the December auction. There was a wonderful 6 year old stallion by Swarovski from a Warkant mother that was seamless in his movement and he too had an outstanding walk. There was also a 4 year old bay by Deniro from a Fabriano mother, who captured many hearts of the group and so beautifully ridden by a 19 year old girl who was so balanced and easy and when asked how many she works in a day the answer was 14! No wonder they become so good and with the likes of Ulli and Bianca and Francois (to mention a few) of the amazing trainers and eyes on the ground always around stopping and offering tips as to how to make things better. It is obvious to see why PSI is truly the best barn of its type in the world.

 

 

The guests on the tour loved the 4 year old by Furstenball, Ferdinand - and he loved the crowd!

 

The guests on the tour loved the 4 year old by Furstenball, Ferdinand - and he loved the crowd!


 

After wandering back through the stables full of glorious horses with their heads patiently looking at us for a pat and some attention, we were treated to a super lunch in the room where we started that was steeped in history and horse accolades. In fact before it was a meeting and dining room it was originally stables and the very famous show jumper Diester (who was campaigned by Paul Schockemöhle) actually stood on the floor here in a stable in the corner of that room!

 

To be a part of this tour and time with this famous family was more than a treat; it was simply amazing in the true sense off “simply amazing”. It was humbling and a dream for us come true.

 

From this fantastic beginning it was on to Paul Schockemöhle stallion barn.

 

Where on earth do you start? 70 odd stallions here stand at stud and at least 40 are collected every day and on leaving the tour it was quiet and walking on a cloud… we saw the likes of Balou de Rouet, Sir Donnerhall, Furstenball, Sandro Hit, Total Hope, Fursten-Look, Furst Romancier, Dorado, Churchfly PS… just to mention but a few. Bbut for those who actually had a tear in their eye, we saw the outstanding legend Totilas, who was being ridden in the arena for us. The stallions were all fantastic and again there was not a bad meandered one to be seen. There were mares and fold and we saw the breeding barns and the indoor arenas that get converted to stables for the breeding time and then back to an indoor for the winter time. We saw super surfaces and jumpers being schooled and an indoor where one where the long side was like a giant roller door that when raised, opens out to a continuation of the great surface to be and indoor/outdoor. How lucky were we to be privileged to see this.  

 

The whole day was transparent and open, with honest and friendship with the common denominator being the horse. What a day and what was the highlight… there was different one for different people. The whole day was one huge highlight and as if that was not enough we were invited to the most sumptuous BBQ at the Kasselmans’ for the evening meal.

 

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The Kasselmann family excuse history and compassion and friendship and love of the horse and all the facets associated with mares, stallions, breaking in young horses, surfaces and vet work and the entire gamut, for the betterment of the horse. Thank you Hof Kasselman for making a day that will always be remembered!!

 

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