Pferdezucht Dr. Jacobs Hanoverian Breeders With Extraordinary Talent!

By Caroline Ironside (Oct 2010)

When it came to doing the main interview for our Aniversary Edition I wanted to choose a breeder who is recognised the world over, who has produced top International horses and Approved stallions over generations, and who today with their strong breeding policies continues to dominate sports horse breeding. A breeder with "extraordinary talent" in continually producing super stars, whether that is Foal Champions, Sports Horse Champions, Top Breeding Mares or Approved Stallions. Pferdezucht Dr Jacobs fitted this criteria in every way.

I first had the pleasure in speaking to Dr. Bonny-Jasmin Jacobs a few years ago. I was enquiring about several mares they had for sale, and Bonny gave me her complete undivided attention regarding these horses. Her incredible talent for mare lines came to the fore, and in the end we purchased a Hanoverian mare called "Pussycat" who was by the top thoroughbred stallion Prince Thatch. This mare derived from an excellent mare line and was in foal at the time to the outstanding dressage sire Stedinger. We left Pussycat with Bonny to have her foal, and we were gifted with a filly who will come into our breeding programme in 2011. We then had her inseminated in Germany with the Celle State Stallion Rotspon, and this colt was then sold to France.

Bonny u Kallo

Since my first introduction to Bonny and her team I have been in awe of her breeding policy and her achievements each year.

The farm at Pferdezucht Dr. Jacobs has been in the family for 400 years and is located in Bierbergen in the middle of Lower-Saxony near Hanover. Formerly an agricultural farm, it is now a centre for professional horse-husbandry that solely concentrates on the breeding, rearing, training and sales of Hanoverian horses.

In the 1960’s the solid Dam Line formed the basis of their performance-oriented breeding programme for riding horses. Since then the offspring of this successful breeding programme has been sold all over the world.

Bonny & her father Karl-Otto

Founded in 1845 by Caspar Miehe, today the farm boasts stabling for more than 30 horses, all-weather paddocks, a covered riding arena and an in-house veterinary practice.

Dr Karl-Otto Jacobs and his daughter Dr Bonny-Jasmin Jacobs run the studfarm, and veterinary practise. Dr Karl-Otto Jacobs formerly competed successfully in show jumping at advanced level, and Dr Bonny-Jasmin Jacobs, who rides the horses from their own breeding stock, continues to enjoy dressage competitions at international level, achieving many competitive triumphs.

As for their veterinary practice they perform all functions, and on the reproductive side they perform over 400 inseminations each year.

I was very pleased when Bonny agreed to do this interview for Horse Breeders Magazine, and it was great to know that she has been an avid reader of the magazine over the past few months.

Bonny starts the interview by telling me how the business was founded.

"We – that is, my father and I – started the company “Pferdezucht Dr. Jacobs” in 2006. Before this, we bred Hanoverians for many many years. It was our hobby, but one day, we had to decide to either reduce a lot or to start a business and that was the day “Pferdezucht Dr. Jacobs” was born."

Bonny goes on to tell me how she started breeding.

"My parents have had horses and bred Hanoverians, mostly jumpers, since before I was born. When I was a few years old, my father took me to another breeder to look for a new broodmare. I fell in love with a dark brown mare by Graphit. We bought her and I named her Gretchen Glockenblume. It was my first brood mare."

El Bundy I

EL BUNDY by Escudo I
Celle State Stud Stallion
Bred by Pferdezucht Dr Jacobs

Pferdezucht Dr. Jacobs has produced numerous Approved stallions and International horses, so I asked Bonny what she felt were the most important aspects to running a successful Studfarm.

"There is no detail you can ignore. You need top broodmares of the best dam lines, interesting stallions, marketing and a lot of luck. "

This Studfarm has produced numerous Approved stallions. Of those that they have bred, I wondered which ones Bonny felt were the most significant to breeding and why.

"We love Embassy by Escudo I – Silvio I and Perigueux by Pepignon – Stakkato. Embassy descends from our best dam line; his oldest offspring now start in the Advanced level. He produces noble horses with good movements, top character and fantastic jumping qualities, but the most important thing is their great willingness to perform. Perigueux was the most successful young show horse in Germany and is now with Eva Bitter successful in the International Youngster Tour. His oldest offspring are now 3 years old and they show a lot of jumping potential. I think we can expect a lot from Perigueux in the future."

Embassy I

EMBASSY I by Escudo I
Celle State Stud Stallion
Bred by Pferdezucht Dr Jacobs

I wondered if Bonny had kept one of the Approved stallions that they had bred, which one would it have been, and I was very interested with her response.

"We are good breeders, not good stallion owners. It’s a different kind of work to manage a stallion."

I found myself wondering about her reply, more so due to the fact we have our own Studfarm and stand stallions, and I had never thought that it made a difference, but perhaps it does, when you include the marketing side of this and I guess the plain fact that you have to utilise them.

Bonny and her father breed between 20-30 foals each year, and of these several will eventually become Approved stallions. With such high statistics I was interested to know if they have a good idea when a colt is born at their Studfarm, whether at such an early age they feel he has the qualities to make a future Approved stallion?

"It is always very difficult to see. The most important thing is that the stallion has correct conformation. He must also have an interesting pedigree, good movements and a nice face. When he comes from a successful jumping dam line, the odds are good that he can also jump. When you put all of this aside and still say “Wow!” when you see him, then with luck, you will have an approved stallion two years later."

Perigueux_2010

PERIGUEUX by Perpignon
Celle State Stud Stallion
Bred by Pferdezucht Dr Jacobs

With the continual changes in modern sports horse breeding I wondered if their breeding choices had changed over the years.

"We always use established sires AND interesting young stallions. This way we change our breeding choices each year and for almost every dam. Horse breeding is a cliffhanger."

Following this theme I asked Bonny what bloodlines she considered have had the most influence in the world of sports horse breeding.

"Oh, that’s difficult. I think Hanoverian and now Dutch bloodlines have a lot of influence in dressage, while Holstein, Dutch, Belgium and Hanoverian bloodlines do in Jumping. But the boundaries blur between the different races today because you can get semen from nearly any stallion in the world. For example, we breed Hanoverians but use a lot of Holstein blood. Some of our mares have more Holstein genes than Hanoverian."

Moving on to the mares she has in her exceptional breeding programme, I asked about what qualities she looked for in a mare, and what she classed as being the most important aspects when looking for a mare?

"We breed mostly show jumpers, so the broodmares must be good jumpers. But a great pedigree, correct conformation, good movements, rideability and top character are also important. Sometimes we can’t test all this, but if the mare has successful offspring or siblings we buy her. A great dam line is very important."

St.Pr.St. LAURENZIA

St.Pr.St. LAURENZIA by Loredo
Competed up to Intermediare I
Bred by Pferdezucht Dr Jacobs

From this mare base I went on to ask Bonny how they found the majority of their breeding mares, and what percentage they purchase and breed.

"Several years ago my father looked for mares with old performance blood out of top dam lines. He bought daughters of Calypso II, Libero H, Grannus, Zeus, Contender, Landadel, Gotthard, Capitol, Ramiro and so on, from different breeders. They were the base of our own breeding. Now we breed the majority of our mares ourselves. For us, the fillies are more important than the colts. You can sell a good colt only once, but you can breed a lot of successful horses out of a good filly. First class dams are the foundation of successful offspring."

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