World-Class Leatherdale Stallions Arrive From Germany to Stand at Bridlewood Farm in Kentucky

First Dance. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

First Dance. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

Union, KY - Jan. 16, 2016 - Leatherdale Farms, Hengststation Jens Meyer and Bridlewood Farm have announced the arrival in North America of four acclaimed sport horse stallions from Germany. Leatherdale Farms' Fairbanks, First Dance, Hampton and Herzensdieb will now stand at Bridlewood Farm in Union, Kentucky, as a joint venture of the three top breeding entities. 

Stallion owners Louise Leatherdale and her husband Doug, who passed away in December, have known Barbara Schmidt, D.V.M, for many years. Doug Leatherdale served as president of the American Hanoverian Society for 10 years alongside Schmidt, a long term board of directors member and the current executive vice president. The Leatherdales and Schmidt traveled extensively to Germany, educating themselves on Hanoverian bloodlines. 

Herzensdieb, pictured with Doug and Louise Leatherdale, Jens Meyer and Prince Donatus Von Hessen, receives the Elite title from the Trakehner Verband. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

"We had the same philosophy; everything is about the horse," Louise Leatherdale said. "Everything we do is about the care, welfare and well-being of the horse. That's the connection we had."

Herzensdieb. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

"Everyone had a role at the stallion licensing prior to the auction, where the 2 1/2 -year-old stallions were sold to countries all over the world," Schmidt explained. "Doug and Louise would select their top choices of the equine athletes, the Meyers would add their years of expertise in training and riding, and I would add my equine veterinary knowledge and experience. We formed quite a good team." 

Hampton. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

Schmidt originally introduced the Leatherdales and the Meyers when they selected the world-renowned stallion His Highness at the Hanoverian Stallion Licensing in Verden. That event would change all their lives. From that time on, the Leatherdales and Meyers continued working closely, selecting, purchasing, training and breeding top sport horse stallions. 

Fairbanks. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

Recently, prior to Doug Leatherdale's passing, they collectively decided it would be a good business plan to bring the four breeding stallions to the U.S.. They agreed that standing them at Schmidt's Bridlewood Farm was the ideal choice.

"These four stallions are so accomplished in performance and have had such successful offspring," Leatherdale said. 

Hampton. Photo by Kiki Beelitz.

"I don't think we have ever had four stallions of this caliber - proven performance, proven successful offspring - enter into the United States at one time for breeding at one farm." Schmidt added. "I am grateful to Doug and Louise. This is an incredible opportunity for sport horse breeders in North America."

Since 1990, Schmidt and her husband, Frederick Abblett, have owned and operated Bridlewood Farm, a well-known and highly respected Hanoverian breeding operation and the base for Schmidt's equine veterinary practice. The location is less than 40 minutes from the country's finest equine veterinary hospitals and some of the world's most renowned equine specialists and surgeons in nearby Lexington, Kentucky.

Bridlewood has served as the host site for 13 annual American Hanoverian Society Mare and Foal Inspections and as home to eight Hanoverian breeding stallions. Currently, Elite Hanoverian stallion Dacaprio, who has more registered offspring than any other stallion in the American Hanoverian

Society 2009-2014, was also a very well-received stallion at Hengststation Jens Meyer before his purchase and importation to the U.S. by Schmidt and her husband.

For breeders, Bridlewood Farm will offer fresh cooled semen and provide a live foal guarantee. Schmidt shared, "We do everything we can to get the breeder's mares pregnant in an easy and uncomplicated way."

The four stallions sailed through their quarantine process at Holly Oak Farm, near Lexington, where Schmidt said that owner Dietrich Felgendreher remarked on the stallions' excellent temperaments. 

"For our breeders and riders in the U.S., it is important that we have stallions that create offspring with the highest quality of gaits for the professional rider along with the willingness and demeanor for the adult amateur," Schmidt said. "Herzensdieb, Hampton, First Dance and Fairbanks consistently produce offspring with that unique and very desirable combination of superior athleticism and talent along with exceptional trainability and rideability that will produce a real fit for North American riders and competitors."

The stallions are settling in beautifully at Bridlewood Farm. After many years of going from stable to arena or competition venue, all four stallions will enjoy turn-out. As a testament to their extraordinary character, the stallions have started the pasture turn-out process seamlessly. Leatherdale and Schmidt are enjoying watching them in their paddocks and thrilled with their rapid transition to their new life in Kentucky.

"They really like our grass, even in the winter," Schmidt said. "I think they will be really happy here." 

"They will be very happy to live their lives as horses," Leatherdale added. "I believe Doug would be smiling."

Contact Bridlewood Farm:
Barbara Schmidt, D.V.M.
11698 U.S. Hwy. 42
Union, Kentucky 41091