Monday, March 25, 2002
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"Our ride was smooth.The judges like him, especially his medium and extended trot. He has a fluid half pass and a wonderful walk. He’s beautiful to look at. He has a beautiful neck," said Hickey. "He’s a good mover. He’s good and active behind. He has good balance and gets stronger and more confirmed every day." Hickey plans to qualify Werbellin for the USDF Regionals and then make their Fourth Level debut right after the Finals.
Werbellin (Weltmeyer x St. Pr. Lady Laurin) is an eight-year-old , 16.2-hand, chestnut Hanoverian stallion owned by Rachel Ehrlich of New Braintree, Massachusetts. Ehrlich operates Greengate Hanoverian Sporthorses. She imported Werbellin from the Celle German State Stud Farm in 1999. Her friend Jan Williams initially rode the youngster, but Williams felt that Hickey would be a good match and initiated the stallion’s move to Hickey’s barn, a little over an hour from Ehrlich’s farm.
Hickey said Werbellin does flying changes and half pass and will stay with him to train to Grand Prix. He hasn’t started piaffe or passage. Hickey predicts that Werbellin will be ready for Prix St. Georges next winter. The pair will spend summers in Massachusetts and winters in Florida. "He’ll stay with me," said Hickey. "He’s a horse for me to train and show."
In training, Hickey describes Werbellin as a good worker. "He doesn’t spook and doesn’t do anything bad. I can hack him down Southfields Road [to the show grounds]. He’s quiet. He trailers and is a perfect gentleman." When Conrad Schumacher was in Wellington early this winter for a trainer’s conference at Walter and Mary Anne McPhail’s Horse Park at Equestrian Estates in Loxahatchee, he worked with Hickey and Werbellin every day. "I had only had him about a month, so we worked on half pass, but not ‘cranking’ because we were just getting to know each other."
At the shows Werbellin is an attention-getter and and a show-stopper – even U.S. Dressage Coach Klaus Balkenhol stopped to ask ‘who is that horse?’ Hickey agrees that Werbellin is a new star on the dressage scene. "He’ll be one to watch."