The First in a Series of Young Horse Specialist Programs to Begin in the US

The German Oldenburg Verband Coming to America

Americans must wonder why Holland & Germany dominate global events like the Olympics and the Equestrian World Cup(s). A multitude of factors can answer that question – factors ranging from centuries’ long equestrian heritage –to- incredible warmblood genetics –to- the well defined process of starting, then sustaining the development of young horses.

The German Oldenburg Verband brings the inaugural session of this important professional development program to America on January 14-15, 2007 beginning with the West Coast session, hosted by Red Hawk Ranch. Leading this program is Katrin Burger, 2004 World Champion of Young Dressage Horses and currently the Deputy Breeding Director of the German Oldenburg Verband in Vechta, Germany. Awarded the German gold riding badge for success through Grand Prix, Berger is a hugely successful young horse trainer and competitor. Among her accomplishments she is 10 time State Champion in the Young Horse Classes, 4 time Southern Germany Champion, 4-year Old Bundeschampionate winner, and 6-Year-Old Dressage Horse World Champion.

She will be accompanied at future programs by by Johannes Westendarp, a four time German Federal Champion for Young Warmblood Horses, and former head rider for the Vechta Elite Auctions. Westendarp, will not be able to attend the January session, but is planning on participating in the future. He is a respected trainer of young dressage horses and has trained and competed several German Bundeschampionate winners including Alabaster, Weltspitze, Rendesvous and Der Euro.

Officials of the Oldenburg Verband acknowledge that American warmblood breeders are, in general, producing better foals each year. “Once top USA-born foals are produced, our next priority is to bring along these young prospects so they live up to their breeding,” says Lynn Randle-DeGour of Red Hawk Ranch.

Katrin will be using a number of guest riders to demonstrate young horse training techniques. “This will not be a clinic focused on the rider — but more a symposium series that will detail the process that Germans use to develop young horses – steps from “backing” up to [about] second level dressage,” says Holly Simensen, US Verband director. Verband officials remark that this process for young horses should be the same regardless of equestrian discipline (showjumping or dressage), thru the first years of training.

“Our long term ‘vision’ for this series is to provide an educational platform for professional trainers specializing in young horses so that America can produce its own Holga Finkens, Katrin Burgers, Johannes Westendarps, and Ulf Möllers,” reflects Lynn’s husband Bob.

Join Katrin, Johannes and their guest riders and young warmblood horses for this important two-day event, January 14-15 at Red Hawk Ranch in La Cresta. Call 1-951-696-0265 for more information, or visit their website at

Stay tuned to as we provide coverage of this event with our reporter Charlene Strickland, with coverage brought to you by Mary Phelps/Markel Equine Insurance Specialist

Related Links
Markel/USEF National Young Horse Championships 2006