A Passion for Holsteiners:
The Story of Far-A-Field Acres
did a herd of German Holsteiner horses with outstanding old bloodlines
come to live in Quinque, Virginia? It began in Germany with a woman of
talent, dedication and a passion for Holsteiner horses -- Lieselott Wiendieck.
In Germany at the end of World War II, there were not many horses left -- the Army used horses to a degree that few people realize. The threat to the Holsteiner was not only their drastically reduced number, but a modern invention widely welcomed by the German farmer - the tractor. By 1959 the situation was critical. Thankfully, the Director of the German Holsteiner Verband bought a few stallions from the government stud and saved the best of the old bloodlines.
In 1959, Lieselott, who trained at the Grand Prix level in dressage under the tutelage of Bubby Gunther and Herbert Rehbein, decided to try her hand as a Holsteiner breeder. A noted horseman and farmer, Herman von Drathen, helped her in the search for mares; with his help Lieselott found "Rhea" by "Marder" and "Rivalin" by "Fangball." ("Rhea" was found in a shed she shared with a tractor.) This was at the lowest ebb of the Holsteiner and only a few hundred mares were left in Schleswig Holstein.
Lieselott bred "Rhea" to "Marlon" (one of the early British Thoroughbred stallions introduced to refine the Holsteiner breed) which produced "Merlin" (judged the best Holsteiner stallion in 1970) who was the sire of "Merano." "Rhea" was also the granddam of "South Pacific." "Rhea" and "Anblick" produced "Venezia," who won the individual Bronze Medal in dressage (with Neckerman on board) and Team Silver in the 1972 Olympics.
"Rivalin" was also bred to "Marlon" to produce "Gisela." This bloodline lives on through the mare "Viola," who produced, with "Merano," the approved stallion "Mr. Wizard." In 1996, "Mr. Wizard's" offspring, "Mr. Merlin" was awarded the highest score in the U.S. for a Holsteiner weanling. "Mr. Wizard's" daughter, "Morning Glory," was featured on the cover of the "1998 Holsteiner Stallion Roster."
Lieselott and her husband, Dietrich, traveled extensively in the U.S. and loved the uncrowded open spaces. In 1984, Lieselott and Dietrich moved their breeding operation to Millbrook, New York. After visiting friends in Virginia, they succombed to the beauty and mild climate and moved their horses to Quinque, Virginia (near Charlottesville) in 1989.
There are many mares and geldings from "Merano" who are excelling in the show ring - as hunters, jumpers, eventers and in dressage. A "Merano" daughter, "Valleta IV," produced "Calvaro V," who won the Individual Silver Medal in show jumping at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, was voted "Best Horse" at the World Equestrian Games in 1998, and was named "number one" in the world three times by the World Breeding Federation for Sporthorses. Another "Merano" stallion son, "Magical," has offspring that are proving to be outstanding competitors in various hunter divisions.
Click here to learn more about "Merano"
"Love Affair," by the dressage stallion "Larno," was purchased in 1994-95 in Germany. He was presented to the American Holsteiner Association in 1995 and approved as a two-year-old. This is most unusual - few stallion prospects are presented in the U.S. at this young age. For "Love Affair's" final approval, he was required to enter three Preliminary Combined Training shows - he won all three.
This private, elegant, soft-spoken woman, Lieselott Wiendieck, is a true horsewoman. She will tell you how fortunate she feels to be a part of the world of horses and to be able to follow her great passion - the Holsteiner horse. She participates in all aspects of her horse operation - from assisting at foaling time to judging the process of the horses in training - she knows it all. You might think with all this experience, talent and dedication, Lieselott's ego might get in the way - but it never happens. She judges her horses with an even more critical eye than she judges others. Lieselott was an early member of the American Holsteiner Association, served on the Board of Directors, served on the Breeding Committee, and was a Breed Judge for seven years. One of her other responsibilities was to serve as the liasion between the American Holsteiner Association and the Holsteiner German Verband.
As Lieselott walks the fields checking on her horses with her two dogs, "Hannibal" and "Eliza Doolittle," her face reflects her passion and joy - her Holsteiner horses.
Footnote: Lieselott obtained her "Green Card" (Permanent Resident Status) from the U.S. Government in a category strictly reserved for "extraordinary ability." This tiny category has very strict rules and requires enormous documentation. Even the U.S. Government recognized her expertise, talent and reputation.