Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Visit to Katrinelund

Whenever I go to Denmark for a stay with my friend Jytte Jarl, one of the founding members of Dansk Varmblood, I also have a visit with her neighbor Ib Kirk. His stallion station, breeding farm and training center, Katrinelund is right next door. Ib Kirk is one of the nicest guys in the sport horse business, not to mention a first class horseman. Not only is he welcoming to visitors, he loves to show them around and talk about the horses. He takes time out from his busy day to guide visitors on a lengthy tour of his farm. He talks about the stallions at length, mentioning both their strengths and shortcomings as sires in a fair and balanced way. He brings them out so one can have a good look at them. I have been to many stallion stations where the person showing me the horses points to the stallions standing blanketed in their stalls and never offers to remove the blanket or bring the horse out. I have never been in such a relaxed and peaceful training center. Each horse is an individual whose quirks and preferences he understands and works with. It's obvious they adore him.

Katrinelund is situated on the edge of the Limfjord on the island of Mors, northern Jutland, Denmark, and is one of the most lovely settings imaginable. The horses run out in huge pastures, where they spend their lives until winter feeding, training, foaling or show preparation requires them to be brought in. Their environment is perfect for rearing sound, happy, healthy horses. The view from my friend's windows is of the Katrinelund horses running along the horizon between the land and the sea. There could not be a more ideal way to raise horses into well-grown athletes.

Among the stallions offered for breeding by Katrinelund are Crelido, a marvelous dual purpose Holsteiner son of Calido I / Raimondo who competes at S level in dressage and Grand Prix level in showjumping under Stein Endesen, achieving international successes all over Europe and in North America. His offspring are highly placed nationally and internationally, and in 2012 he was honored as Danish Warmblood's "Sire of the Year."

Skoven's Raphael is another top stallion for Katrinelund; he was Danish national young horse champion at four and represented Denmark at the World Championshipsi n Verden at five and six, where he placed well. His offspring inherit his charming personality and high rideabillity. Among the other stallions on the Katrinelund roster are Freestyle, Zodiac and De l'Or.

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