Pre-Selection for the Hanoverian Stallion Licensing: The First Step on the Way to Become a Legend

Friday, September 2, 2016
Posted by Ulrich Hahne for the Hannoveraner Verband e.V.


Hanoverian, Hannoveraner Verband, Stallion Selction

Everything on the selection sites is nicely prepared for the youngsters to present themselves.

For Desperados FRH it was the stepping stone to his career. Running free and over fences the then two and a half-year old youngster presented himself to the selection committee in the arena at the Dobrock. That was on the stallion pre-selection journey 2003. About six weeks later he was sold for €100,000.00 The career brackets of Weltmeyer, Londonderry, Stakkato or Goldfever also started on the pre-selection journey of the Hannoveraner Verband. In the last week of October the annual breeding highlight takes place in Verden. During the Hanoverian Stallion Licensing and the Stallion Sales, the future sires are determined in front of the fully occupied grandstand of the Niedersachsenhalle. Nowadays, the Stallion Sales attract more and more ambitioned sport riders that want to secure their future hopes. But how do the two and a half-year olds get there?

About six weeks prior to the event, the Tuesday after the German Young Horse National Championships, the so-called “Bundeschampionate”, the Stallion-Preselection-Journey of the Hannoveraner Verband begins. However, already during the Championships, one can feel the anticipation and excitement leading up to the event. Everyone already studied the list of registered stallions online. Everyone is excited, which stallions will get selected this year. It is discussed how many descendants of which sire are registered, and everyone has already seen one of the stallion aspirants that will surely make it to be accepted to the licensing. The breeders impatiently await the first day of the Preselection-Journey.

Hanoverian, Hannoveraner Verband, Stallion Selction

The Stalion-Preselection-Committee, here with Hans-Heinrich Meyer zu Strohen, Peter Teuween, Martin Spoo, Martin Klindworth, Manfred Schaefer, Dr. Werner Schade, and Hans-Henning von der Decken (from left to right)

For the most part, a four- to six-headed committee around the Breeding Director of the  Hannoveraner Verband selects the potential new stallion generation on 20 different selection sites. Members of this selection committee are successful breeders and representatives of the sport, like Olympia Gold Medalist Heike Kemmer or the Youth Trainers Hans-Heinrich Meyer zu Strohen (Dressage) and Peter Teeuwen (Show-Jumping). Most of the locations are in Lower Saxony, the root area of the Hanoverian Breed. One selection is held in Hessia, one in North Rhine-Westphalia. However, not every young stallion can be presented here. The quality requirements are held to high standards to even get to a pre-selection. The young Hanoverians and Rhineland Horses need to prove their accepted Hanoverian ancestry over six consecutive generations; also regarding mother and grandmother high standards are being upheld. Above that, the breeders apply a critical eye as to which youngsters are even shown to the preselection. Only Hanoverian and Rhineland stallions are allowed to be presented, unlike many other licensing events where stallions of all breeds can be shown.

Of the roughly 3,500 stallions that have been born in 2014, about 400 young stallions comply with these standards and have been entered to be presented to the pre-selection committee during the timeframe from September 6th to September 15th 2016. At the end of this Selection-Journey, around 90 stallions will have accomplished the first obstacle and made it to the actual licensing. Those form part of the best 2.5% of their year.

Hanoverian, Hannoveraner Verband, Stallion Selction

Correctness of the gaits and fundament are evaluated on hard ground.


The tension is always prominent when the selection committee arrives at one of the sites early in the morning, for example at the farm of Rudolf Rehkamp in Bersenbrück. Everything is started up. One hears the sound of the hooves beating on the ground. One or the other stallion neighs with excitement. Now it counts to remain calm, to transmit calmness, so the stallions can present themselves optimally. The selection of the stallions happens in three steps. Free running and free jumping, presentation on hard surface, walk ring. Since decades, the Stallion-Preselection already takes place exactly like this. Now as before, more is not necessary to judge the base quality of a young horse. The successes of the stallions that are sold from the venue in Verden to all parts of the world prove that right.

Hanoverian, Hannoveraner Verband, Stallion Selction

Numerous critical eyes examine each one of the young stallions that are presented to the committee.

Two to three selections per day are held in accordance to this pattern. Thereby, for many stallions, the selection already ends after free running and free jumping. Only those who convince the selection committee of their qualities will get the chance to present themselves on the solid surface. The correctness of fundament and feet of the future sport- and breeding-horses is of essential significance and can only be thoroughly examined on hard ground. At the end of each selection the stallions that are accepted to the Licensing in Verden are announced. Shortly after they are published on the Homepage as well as on the Facebook Page of the Hannoveraner Verband. This way many horse experts from in- and outside of the country can closely follow, yes almost become part of the action. Nonetheless, not an insignificant amount of people accompany the selection committee on their journey through the Hanoverian breeding area, so that in some places the selection is followed by a small festivity.

With the approval to the Licensing, the next step on the way to become a Hanoverian Stallion is complete. Now it counts to also comply with the health standards of the Hannoveraner Verband. A three-headed veterinary team is examining all candidates over the course of four days, taking x-rays and doing thorough clinical examinations. Only those stallions complying with the high health standards in breeding and sport will actually make it to the licensing in Verden during the last weekend of October. Together with the veterinary examinations, photos and videos of the stallions are taken, which are available online from the beginning of October. There is only little time between the preselection and the actual licensing, but the roughly 90 licensing aspirants are becoming popular immediately. Then everyone is excitedly awaiting the first presentation on the Stallion Licensing 2016. Check out the video below for the presentation on the triangle...