Grand Prix Dressage Horse with a Doctorate Degree

Wednesday, August 17, 2016
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Doktor Schiwago, Florine Kienbaum, Hannoveraner Verband e.V.

A kiss from his rider and owner: Doktor Schiwago during his arrival at the show in the rider town with Florine Kienbaum. (Photo: Tilgner)

We would like to introduce to you a very special dressage horse in this blog – a Hanoverian with a doctorate degree. The name of the sport horse: Doktor Schiwago. The former Verden Auction horse does credit to his academic title, even though his success is everything else but highly scientific!

Doktor Schiwago has the nickname “Mini”, which is a bit surprising – especially when you stand right next to the black gelding realizing that he is not at all mini. To the contrary! Mini is a very big horse with an impressive appearance. His nickname clearly is a reflection of his loving, affectionate demeanor and not on his size. Don Frederico is his sire, and he looks just like him. Don Frederico also sired the successful mare Diva Royal, which participated in the Olympic Games in London in 2012 with rider Dorothee Schneider, and Isabell Werth’s top show horse Don Johnson FRH.

At the latest after the European Championships for riders U25 in Hagen in June, everybody knows Doktor Schiwago. There he won the team gold medal as a member of the German equip and a silver medal in the individual competition with his rider Florine Kienbaum. This son of Frederico/Weltruhm is not unknown in the equestrian scene. He participated in the final of the prestigious Louis D’Or-Prize in Frankfurt in 2014. But first things first! His career started, when he was just a foal in Verden. His breeder Peter Henning Reinstorf exhibited Doktor Schiwago on the foal auction in 2004. The foal carried head number 103, and, with the name Domino, he was one of the most sought-after dressage foals of the entire collection. A regular customer from Sweden bought the young dressage talent. Five years later, Domino alias Doktor Schiwago returned to Germany as a mature, and carefully trained dressage horse. Without hesitation, he was accepted to participate in the 120th elite auction in April of 2009.

The auction management described him in the auction catalogue as follows: This young dressage talent will convince you with his impressive size and great lines!” His former buyer changed sides and became the seller. Auction rider Dirk von der Lieth worked Doktor Schiwago throughout the auction time and was fascinated by his never-ending motivation day in and day out. Doktor Schiwago was in excellent company in the 120th elite auction. The mare Rock’n Rose by Rubin Royal/Feiner Stern was also in the collection. Today she is a successful Grand Prix-competitor with Dorothee Schneider.

Doktor Schiwago, Florine Kienbaum, Germany, Hannoveraner Verband

The judges agree: flying changes and canter pirouettes are not the only highlights of Doktor Schiwago. (Photo: Lafrentz)

Janina Siemers discovered Doktor Schiwago on the auction. She trained and successfully competed him up to the S-level in dressage. In April 2013, he changed into the hands of Florine Kienbaum. This change of ownership did not just happen, it was a huge surprise.  Doktor Schiwago was the birthday present for Florine Kienbaum from her parents. The still young, but very experienced championship rider was able to seamlessly link up with the successes at the S-level. The expert Oliver Oelrich coached the young rider and her mount Doktor Schiwago. Oliver Oelrich competed as well during the show season of 2014. He qualified for the final of the Louis D’Or Prize, a dressage series for rising Grand Prix-horses. As the trainer, he knew Doktor Schiwago inside and out and supported Florine with the training and with the preparation for shows. Florine had already obtained international successes in the pony cadre and in the young rider-tour aboard her horse Don Windsor OLD. She had been a successful team member of the German equip at the European Championships for young riders in Compiegne/France.

It took no time at all for Florine and Doktor Schiwago to convince the national trainer of their ability. As it turned out, it had been a good decision to nominate Kienbaum with her Hanoverian gelding for the European Championships U25 in Hagen. The results showed gold with the team and silver individually. Florine still remembers today that she had a very good feeling in the warm-up. Doktor Schiwago was in top form and ready to give it his all. It was a huge burden for the young rider to compete as the first rider. She said in an interview, “Once I sat in the saddle, Mini took all my worries away!” The pair returned home from Hagen with a personal best performance. Mini earned a few days of rest. “Our horses come out of the stable twice daily. Once they are ridden and then they get turned out in a field.  “Mini needs a lot of exercise. It is good for his mind,” so Ferdi Kurz, the life-partner of Florine, who manages the small show barn in Telgte with Florine.

It was a special honor for the Hannoveraner Verband as the organizer of the International Dressage and Jumping Festival in Verden at the beginning of August to welcome Florine Kienbaum and Doktor Schiwago as competitors. Florine had entered Mini for the Piaff Advancement Prize, a show series, which is especially designed for young riders on their way to top competitions. The final will take place in November in Stuttgart. The participation of Florine with Verden’s former auction horse was certainly reason enough to meet with the sympathetic rider, who holds a degree in sports- and event-management, and talk about Doktor Schiwago. “I believe in him. He can do this!” were her first words. “Canter pirouettes and flying changes are a piece of cake for him,” she raves and then she admits, “Half-passes are not his favorite movements. He has learned a lot lately. The half-passes are getting better and better.” Her answer to the question, what the daily training includes, was, “It depends. We always start with a relaxed, forward-downward loosening-up phase. Then I decide on the training regimen, on what needs work. Often I decide that we just need to go on a beautiful trail-ride with me cantering in a two-point position. Mini loves that a lot!"

Not only her trainer Oliver Oelrich and her life-partner Ferdi Kurz crossed their fingers for her during both tests in Verden, also all employees of the Hannoveraner Verband did. “It is always special, when former auction horses return to Verden as successful competitors,” the President of the Hannoveraner Verband, Manfred Schafer, comments. It certainly was not just the rooting of the fans along the side of the Grand Prix-ring, which led to the success, but foremost the tremendous performance of Florine Kienbaum and Doctor Schiwago. They entered the competition as the favorites and did not disappoint winning the introductory class and the final test. The pair won with a score of 70,83%.

Florine Kienbaum, Malte Kanz, Hannoveraner Verband

Met in Verden at the Hannoveraner Verden for an interview. Florine Kienbaum with Malte Kanz. (Photo: Opitz)

The national trainer for dressage, Monika Theodorescu, has long taken notice of this pair and nominated it for a scholarship of the ‘Deutsche-Bank Reitsport-Akademie’. The national trainer selected the candidates because of their competitive and professional perspective for the academy.

We are delighted that a former auction horse from Verden found its way into the barn of a young, talented and successful female dressage rider, who knows to train and ride horses with feel and understanding. We are confident that these two have a great future ahead of them!

Special thanks to Deutsche Bank and Clip my horse for the video of Doktor Schiwago and Florine Kienbaum in the interview and in Hagen.