articles / Interview with Heinrich Ramsbrock

From Menslage into the world

by Barbara Manor

Northern Germany is a horse lover´s paradise! The most famous horse breeding areas like that of the Holstein, Hanover, Oldenburger, and Wesphalia are located in this region and are known to experts and horse lovers all over the world.

Success with love and experience. Heinrich Ramsbrock Heinrich Ramsbrock

The warmblood horses that are bred here are famous as sport horses par excellence. At the Olympic-Games, World and European Championships, as well as at horse shows all over the world, one will find these horses in the winner circle. Names like Rembrandt, Gigolo, Olympic Bonfire, Durgo, Peron, and Donnerhall make dressage lovers’ hearts beat faster. In jumping competitions, Ratina Z, Dollar Girl, Waihawai, Top Gun La Silla, For Pleasure, E.T., Calvaro are names that guarantee an exciting event every time. There are many, many more excellent horses being ridden nationally and internationally and most of them have one thing in common: Lower Saxony and the surrounding areas.

In the west of Lower Saxony, about half way between Osnabrueck and Bremen are the farms of a knowledgeable and very respected man in the German horse business. Mention the name of the small village of Menslage and breeders, trainers and riders know immediately who we are talking about: Heinrich Ramsbrock.

In the west of Lower Saxony, about half way between Osnabrueck and Bremen are the farms of a knowledgeable and very respected man in the German horse business. Mention the name of the small village of Menslage and breeders, trainers and riders know immediately who we are talking about: Heinrich Ramsbrock.

He is a man who heard the whinnying of a horse probably before his mother sang the first lullaby to him. Growing up with horses on his parents farm, he learned about and took the horse business up professionally. He became an excellent rider and a much sought after licensed trainer and educator.

After his marriage to his lovely wife Dagmar, he moved to the farm of her parents. Since then, the farm has grown enormously, even though the last of the former milk cows left over 25 years ago.

Sweet Home! Sweet Home!

Today, one can only describe his place as having fabulous facilities as well as beautifully restored old Lower Saxonian farm houses. There are large indoor and outdoor arenas, both jumping and dressage, as well as racecourses and large pastures for the horses to relax on. The stables alone are home to over 150 horses under saddle. There are also many more brood mares and young horses. Under saddle, Mr. Ramsbrock’s horses range from three year olds that are just at the beginning of their training, to horses that are already successful at horse shows up to the highest level.

At the moment, carefully selected promising young stallions are being prepared for the important presentation before the stallion approval commission. Here is the first selection to find out which of the young stallions is going to the licensing and if they are approved, they join in the list of today’s best and most famous stallions. Stallions like Cor de la Bryère, Landadel, Ramiro, Furioso ll, and Weltmeyer to name just a few. More than fifteen professionals work quietly and competently with the horses and care for them. Among them, keeping a watchful eye on everything and answering the constantly ringing mobile phone, Mr. Ramsbrock found time to talk with me.

I asked him:

Mr. Ramsbrock, this is a beautiful farm. What is the secret of your success?

Mr. Ramsbrock

There is no secret. We are in the business of bringing horses and people together. Establishing my success is the result of hard work. There are many aspects that have to be taken into account to be successful.

Question

What are some of these aspects?

Mr. Ramsbrock

We have a long and proud tradition of horse breeding in this part of the country. For centuries, farmers were devoted to breed the best horses possible. Although the breeding goals have changed from a working horse to a sport horse, we still profit from the commitment and knowledge of many generations.

Today, we practice the most modern breeding methods. But the success is still based on our mares. They make all the difference and you wouldn’t find such a resource anywhere else. For more than a century, they are registered with the studbooks to allow a precise follow-up of breeding criteria, many of which are still valid today.

 Top Gun La Silla Top Gun La Silla by Grannus - Winnetou

On our farm, we start on the base. That means we do have very good brood mares. And I work very closely with the small breeders. Even though many of them own no more then two or three mares, they know them very well. The mares were successful in sports and carry exquisite and proven bloodlines. Together we consider which of the many outstanding sires that are at our disposal would be the most suitable match for a particular mare. To find the right match requires many years of experience, a certain feeling, and of course a little luck. I buy the best selection out of a year. As yearlings they come on my farm. Here they grow up under the best of conditions. On wide pastures, they enjoy good food, fresh air, sunshine, social contacts, and lots of room to play and run to become strong and healthy. In the winter they are in large stalls with the possibility to go outside if they like. It is important for me to have this influence on them, because the first years of upbringing have a decisive influence on their health for the rest of their lives.

Every year we present young stallions to the "Körkomission" and get some approved. Our mares are very successful, too, and are registered and awarded many first prices.

Question

Is this enough to present your horses to your clients?

Mr. Ramsbrock

It depends on their wishes. We offer horses at all different training levels, from the young, green horses up to "grand prix" level. Directly from the farm or already proven in horse shows. At the age of three or four years, we begin with an extensive basic training of our young horses and see the positive results of their careful upbringing. They are very healthy and have a friendly and good character.

The aim is to discover and support special talents of the individual horse. Our highly motivated team is proud to present these horses to our clients.

Question

Because of your outstanding horses and excellent service, you sell them to the top riders in Germany, Europe, U.S., Canada, and all over the world. What are the reasons of this great demand?

Pik Bube 1 Pikant by Pik Bube 1 - Martell
Mr. Ramsbrock

Show jumping and dressage have a long tradition in Europe. It has become over the last decades more popular around the world and has made enormous progress in the U.S. The standards are rising continuously and the numbers of interested riders is growing very fast. In the mean time, many of those riders get to know the qualities of our horses and highly appreciate them.

At horse shows all over the world, horses out of this region and many from our farm, demonstrate impressively their quality and capability.

Question

Mr. Ramsbrock, why do not only professionals but also a rising number of private people purchase horses directly in Germany?

Mr. Ramsbrock

The number of horse fans that come for holidays and visit the big horse shows in Germany, is steadily rising. They come to visit the beautiful countryside and cities.

During their stay, they inform themselves about horses and they discover what professionals already know for a long time: the greatest selection of excellent horses anywhere at great prices. Because of our longstanding business connections, we established an excellent reputation with regard to our reliability, the quality of our horses, and our service.

Our customers rely on us for a wide range of suitable horses to select from. All this has developed a good business relationship. That is the key of our success with our American clients too. Interested visitors who buy for the first time directly from here are very pleased to find a suitable horse and experts to help them with all the "paperwork," medical tests, and the transport to the U.S..

They find their "dream horse" at a reasonable price and also have an interesting vacation.

Barbara Manor

Thank you for this interview!

Mr. Ramsbrock

You’re welcome!