American Trakehner Association
eMail: ata@americantrakehner.com
Phone: (386) 776-1269

How It All Began

The First 20 Years of The American Trakehner Association

By Pat Luttgen, with the Assistance of Leo Whinery and Helen Gibble
(from The American Trakehner – Winter 94/95)

ATA Founding Members
Founding members who attended the 1994 Annual Meeting in Columbus, OH, were:
(seated left to right)  Susan Roberts-Posner, Sue Williams,
Leo Whinery, Rhea Gibble, Dagmar Zimmerman,
(standing left to right)  Jean Brinkman, Gerhard Schickedanz, Jacque Roberts,
Helen Gibble, Max von Bluecher, Terry Williams and Henry Schurink

The American Trakehner Association is made up of many wonderful people from a myriad of backgrounds. The only thing many of us have in common is our love for and dedication to an extraordinary breed of horse. During 1994 we celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the American Trakehner Association. Most of us were not around when this association took shape. We owe a lot to those early members who cared enough to unite people from all over North America to see that the Trakehner horse was preserved on this continent in the same manner that it has been in Germany for over 250 years. On this special anniversary, it seems appropriate to look back on how it all began.

On February 16 and 17, 1974, a small group of breeders, owners and friends of the Trakehner horse met in Columbus, OH, to discuss the feasibility of organizing a public, non-profit corporation to further the Trakehner breed in the United States. Those present were:

Max von Bluecher (Long Lake, MN)
Jean Brinkman (Jacksonville, FL)
Fritz O. Daemen-Van Buren (Heath, MA)
John R. Dewell (Prince George, VA)
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel S. Gafford (Petersburg, VA)
David L. and Anne Gribbons (Brentwood, NY)
Dr. and Mrs. William R. Griffon, Jr. (Columbus, OH)
Juergen Moslener (Dublin, OH)
Jim B. Rabon (Salisbury, NC)
B.L. and Jacque Roberts (Lexington, KY)
Dee Schindler (New Paltz, NY)
Henry Schurink (Shaftsbury, VT)
Leo Whinery (Noble, OK)
Terry and Sue Williams (Austin, TX)

At that meeting the discussion focused on the need to form a public, non-profit association for the furtherance of the Trakehner breed in North America. A few present expressed the feeling that such an organization was not necessary, but, at the close of the meeting, indicated a willingness to discuss the issue further. David Gribbons, Henry Schurink and Leo Whinery were elected to explore all possibilities and report back to the group by May 15, 1974.

Shortly following this initial meeting, a written proposal for a combined "public association-private registry" was presented to David, Henry and Leo. In conference calls, they agreed that such a proposal would never be acceptable to a majority of the Trakehner breeders and owners, and , perhaps more importantly, would fail to achieve needed unanimity among all participating owners and breeders for the successful organization of a public, non-profit Trakehner breed association. This proposal was presented again at a meeting with its originators in Petersburg, VA, on March 16. In the meantime, to facilitate the Petersburg meeting, a "Statement of Principles for An Association for the Development of the Trakehner Horse in the United States" was prepared to reflect the thinking of the majority of the breeders and owners who had attended the February meeting. With these two documents in front of them, David, Henry and Leo met and still felt that the proposal for a "public association-private registry" was unacceptable. They concluded this meeting charging Leo to prepare a proposal for a public association and registry. However, to be fair, and to develop a proposal which would reflect the thinking of both the majority and minority, organizational materials reflecting the thinking of the minority were to be sent to Leo within two weeks. Three weeks elapsed without delivery of the materials so Leo informed the Columbus group, the majority of which concluded that every reasonable attempt to secure unanimity on the central issue of "public versus private" had been made. They agreed the interests of the Trakehner breed could best be served by forming a public, non-profit association and registry. By the time of the filing of the Association’s Articles of Incorporation, no communication had been received from the minority group desiring a private registry.

The state of Ohio was selected as the state of incorporation because of its complete and efficient corporation-not-for-profit laws and its central location to most breeders and owners. It was further agreed that the corporation should be organized to include our Canadian neighbors who own and breed Trakehners. Indeed, a breed association on the North American continent would be incomplete without them, since Canada is the first country into which any significant numbers of Trakehners were imported. The Articles of Incorporation were then drafted, approved by the participating breeders and owners, and filed in Columbus, OH, on May 23, 1974, with the Certificate of Filling on the Articles being issued by the Secretary of State on the same day.

And so the American Trakehner Association came into being with the following purposes set forth in the 1974 Articles of Incorporation: "To establish, maintain, and operate a non-profit association of breeders, owners and friends for the promotion and preservation in the Western Hemisphere of the warmblood horse of Trakehner origin; to maintain a public registry of Trakehner horses; to mark, or brand, approved stallions, mares and foals with the Association’s corporate seal; to disseminate information to breeders, owners and friends pertaining to the breeding and raising of Trakehner horses; to promote the performance of the Trakehner horse in dressage, three-day eventing, hunting and jumping (later added: driving); and, generally, to do all the things appropriate to encourage a public understanding of the Trakehner horse, its breeding and performance."

The initial Trustees and Incorporators were:

Max von Bluecher
Jean Brinkman
Fritz Daemen-Van Buren
David Gribbons
Juergen Moslener
Jim Rabon
Jacque Roberts
Gerhard Schickedanz (Unionville, ON)
Henry Schurink
Leo Whinery
Terry Williams

These people called an organizational meeting in Columbus, OH, on September 20-22, 1974, which was announced in The Chronicle of the Horse, Dressage (now Dressage & CT) and The Western Horseman. Considering the relatively few Trakehner horses on this continent, the response was enthusiastic – 53 people attended. On September 20 1974, the "Proposed Corporate Regulations" were presented to all those attending the Initial Trustees Meeting for consideration and debate. That "discussion" took the entire first day, but compromises were made in a spirit of concession and a mutual desire to establish an effective organization for the public registry and promotion of the Trakehner horse. The next day the approved suggestions were incorporated into the "Proposed Corporate Regulations" by the Temporary Committee on Corporate Regulations and presented again to the entire group for further discussion and their unanimous approval as the Corporate Regulations. An afternoon break was then taken for the first educational program of our not yet formed association, a presentation on the Trakehner horse by Max von Bluecher, AHSA Class "A" dressage judge and breeder of Trakehner horses. There was active participation by Gerda Friedrichs (Keswick, ON) and others. An afternoon outing to William Griffin’s Meadow Spring Farm and evening movies of three-day eventing completed the day’s activities.

On September 22, at the first General Membership Meeting of the American Trakehner Association, sixteen persons, families, or farms joined as charter members. They were mostly stallion owners who advanced larger sums of start-up funds to the association that could later be used as credit for registration and other fees. Twelve joined as regular members, and six as special members for a total initial membership of 34. Election of officers and Board of Trustee members followed:

Leo Whinery – President and Chairman of the Board
Jim Rabon – Vice President
David Gribbons – Secretary
Terry Williams – Treasurer

Board Members:

Max von Bluecher
Jean Brinkman
Fritz Daemen-Van Buren
Juergen Moslener
Jacque Roberts
Martin W. Scheurlen (Kitchener, ON)
Gerhard Schickedanz
Henry Schurink

William Griffin remained Statutory Agent pursuant to the Articles of Incorporation. In its first official business, the general membership elected unanimously the famed horseman Waldemar Seunig from Munich, Germany, as its First Distinguished Member, and Gerda Friedrichs, an early breeder of Trakehners on the continent, as its Second Distinguished Member (both are now deceased). The meeting then adjourned at approximately noon and the newly elected Board of Trustees met that afternoon to select standing committees and initiate planning for the 1975 (first) corporate year, including the initial registration of Trakehner horses, publication of a Handbook and Journal for the Association, setting up the mid-year meeting of the Board, and selection of a site for the December 1975 Annual Meeting (Toronto).

As of January 31, 1975, when the first ATA Handbook was published, the ATA’s charter members were:

George W. Allen, Jr., Taber, AT
Autumn Lodge Farm (George Auerbach), Carmel, NY
Max von Bluecher
Roy and Jean Brinkman
Fritz Daemen-Van Buren
Cedar Crest Farm (Leo Whinery)
David L. Gribbons
William R. Griffin, Jr.
Frances Mary Joyce, Cowichan Station, BC
Kleine Maus Trakehner Farm (Dee Schindler)
Frank C. LaSalle, Akron, OH
Juergen Moslener
Peru Farm (Mrs. Myhrum), Peru, VT
Jim B. Rabon
Martin W. Scheurlen
Gerhard Schickedanz
Henry Schurink
Sulky Hill Farm (Donald and Edith Kosterka), Wayne, IL
Alfred H. Von Dran, Bear Creek, PA
Windfall Farm (B.L. and Jacque Roberts)
Williamsburg Farm (Sue and Terry Williams), now Middleport, NY

Also joined later in 1975 as Charter Members:

Wonderland Farms (David and Pat Goodman), West Chester, PA
Agustin Legoretta, Mexico City, Mexico

Regular members as of January 1, 1975 were:

Mary L. Contakos, Danville, CA
Gabriele M. Bradbury, Woodside, CA
Edith H. Conyers, Lexington, KY
Susan B. Davidge, Santa Ynez, CA
Mary Alice Dorrance, Tucson, AZ
Garland Farm, New Albany, OH
Rhea and Helen Gibble, Reston, VA
Anne Gribbons, Brentwood, NY
Nancy N. Griffin, New Albany, OH
Alexander Grinstein, Birmingham, MI
James C. Heft, Racine, WI
Heritage Farm, Caledonia, NY
Charlotte Weeks Hill, Minneapolis, MN
Barry B. Hunter, New Canaan, CT
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Iannucci, Washington, DC
Cheryl Johnson, Connersville, IN
Ann B. Lindsey, Lancaster, SC
Robert R. Luxford, LaCrosse, WI
Joseph M. Madden, Buskirk, NY
Mrs. George A. Masek, Sonoita, AZ
Eshowe P. Pennink, Bryn Athyn, PA
George Pinckney, Brockport, NY
Linda A. Pinckney, Brockport, NY
Mr. and Mrs. Sterling Powell, Fisher, IN
Janet S. Roseum, Beachwood, OH
Mrs. Hanna Schmocker, Lynden, ON
Trakehner Farm Burenhof (Roswitha Daemen-Van Buren), Heath, MA
Leo H. Whinery, Noble, OK
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Yappel, Valley View, OH

Special Members (later called Subscribing Members) were:

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Buechner, Kirkwood, MO
Dr. and Mrs. Robert Burnard, West Jefferson, OH
Janice M. Cline, Pasadena, CA
Marjorie Eason, Venago, PA
Blaine W. Engle, Clarksburg, WV
Ann Forer, New York, NY
Klaus Fraesdorf, Orlando, FL
Jean F. Gotthardt, Garrettsville, OH
Ronald J. Haralson, Birmingham, AL
Dr. and Mrs. Robert C. Hoye, Farmington, MO
Mr. and Mrs. Roy Hoffner, Mocksville, NC
Elizabeth F. Hudson, Niles, MI
Sherri Johnson, Bonne Terre, MO
Chris Moore, Summerfield, NC
Judith Owens, Columbia, MO
W.D. Whinery, Jr., Vaughn, WA
David William, Elizabeth, NJ
J.R. Winnek, Tulsa, OK
Dagmar H. Zimmerman, Novelty, OH

The American Trakehner Association registry was started in 1975 with 34 stallions and 64 mares. The Foundation Stallions were:

  • Abdullah (1970) by Donauwind, out of Abiza by Maharadscha. Bred at the Trakehner Gestüt Birkhausen in Germany, he was imported in utero by Gerhard Schickedanz. At the time of registration and to this day he has been owned by Terry and Sue Williams. Abdullah has produced two approved sons, Rüdiger and Sonset’s Sieger, and 20 OSB daughters.

  • Adolar (1973 - 1994) by Beauté, out of Annemone by Antares. He was bred and owned at the time of registration by Max von Bluecher. Adolar also stood in Oklahoma and California. He produced two OSB daughters.

  • Amiego (1974 - 1991) by Händel, out of Abiza by Maharadscha. Bred and owned at the time of registration by Gerhard Schickedanz, he was owned most of his life by John Krenger, Sanctuary Farm, Woodstock, IL. Amiego produced two approved sons: Troy and Kitfox, as well as 13 OSB mares.

  • Antares (1955 - 1979) by Kobalt, out of Antilope by Wilder Jäger. Bred by G. Abshagen and approved in Germany, he was imported in 1967 by Gerda Friedrichs, he was owned at the time of registration and until his death by Alfred & Hannah Schmocker, Lynden, ON. Antares produced two approved sons, Filou and Karat and 8 OSB daughters.

  • Antritt (1964 – 1990) by Loretto, out of Talent by Komet. Bred by Kurhessische Hausstiftung Schmoel in Germany, he was imported in utero by Daniel S. Gafford, Petersburg, VA. At the time of registration he was owned by B.L. and Jacque Roberts. Antritt produced 10 OSB mares.

  • Artic (1970) by Malachit, out of Arabis by Carajan. Bred by Rolf Pleuger in Germany and imported in utero by Jim Rabon, Salisbury, NC, he was owned by Roy and Jean Brinkman at the time of registration. He stood additionally in British Columbia and currently in New Jersey. Artic has produced 5 OSB daughters.

  • Bagatell (1973 – 1990) by Mikado, out of Burma by Totilas. Bred by Daniel S. Gafford, he was owned at the time of registration by David and Anne Gribbons. He stood additionally in Florida and California. Bagatell produced 3 OSB daughters

  • Beauté (1965 – 1994) by Prusso, out of Bremen by Humboldt. Bred by Gerda Friedrichs, he was owned at the time of registration by Robert Luxford, Ridgeview Stables, LaCrosse, WI.  He stood additionally in Texas and California. Beauté sired two approved sons, Adolar and Hadrian, and 7 OSB daughters.

  • Belor (1969 – 1981) by Aut, out of Belona by Bengazi. Bred by PSO Gniezno in Poland and imported in 1972, he was owned at the time of registration and until his death by Fran Joyce. Belor produced 3 OSB daughters.

  • Borallis (1971) by Mikado, out of Burma by Totilas. Bred by Mr. and Mrs. J. Nelson of Virginia Beach, VA, he was owned at the time of registration by George and Linda Pinckney, Brockport, NY. Currently he is owned by Sharon Grefrath of Byron, NY. Borallis has produced 3 OSB daughters.

  • Carajan II (1961 – 1985) by Carajan, out of Blitzrot by Hirtensang. Bred by Trakehner Verband Deckstelle Rantzau in Germany, he was imported in 1963 by Daniel S. Gafford and owned at the time of registration and until his death by Juergen Moslener. Carajan II produced the approved son Casino and 4 OSB daughters.

  • Casino (1972) by Carajan II, out of Totilane by Totilas. Bred by Daniel S. Gafford, he has been owned from the time of registration to the present by Dee Schindler (now Ruger). Casino has produced 3 OSB daughters.

  • Count v. Bijou (1964 – 1983) by Anteil, out of Bremen by Humboldt. Bred by Gerda Friedrichs, he was owned at the time of registration and until his death by Sherry Simcox, Ashley, MI.

  • Dacapo (1974-1989) by Melos, out of Domkatze vom Schimmelhof by Valentin. He was bred and owned his entire life by Fritz and Roswitha Daemen-Van Buren. Dacapo produced 3 OSB daughters.

  • Donaugeist (1973 – 1981) by Preussengeist, out of Donau by Slesus. Bred by Daniel S. Gafford, he was owned at the time of registration and until his death by Fred and Dee Schindler.

  • Fasolt (1972) by Kyrill, out of Forelle by Antares. Bred by Max von Bluecher, he was owned at the time of registration by Linda Zang, Idlewilde Farm, Davidsonville, MD. He is now standing in Florida and Vermont. Fasolt has produced one OSB daughter.

  • Filou (1973) by Antares, out of Macka by Wilder Jäger. Bred and owned at the time of registration by Alfred and Hanna Schmocker, Lynden, ON, he has stood in New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and is now standing in Michigan. Filou has produced 1 OSB daughter.

  • Halifax (1969 – 1974) by Flaneur, out of Handkundige by Impuls. Bred by W.A. Flossman and approved in Germany, he was imported and owned until his death by Susan B. Davidge. Posthumously admitted into the ATA registry.

  • Händel (1963 – 1976) by Carajan, out of Hapag by Komet. Bred by the Trakehner Verband Gestüt Birkhausen and approved in Germany, he was imported in 1970 by Gerhard Schickedanz and owned at the time of registration and until his death by B.L. and Jacque Roberts. Händel produced the approved son Amiego and 8 OSB daughters.

  • Hexenmeister (1970 – 1992) by Prusso, out of Beatrix by Perlenfischer. Bred by Gerda Friedrichs, he was owned at the time of registration by Peru Farm and stood in Vermont, Ohio, Massachusetts and Michigan. Hexenmeister sired 11 OSB daughters.

  • Jagdgeist (1974 – 1986) by Preussengeist, out of Jagd by Altan. Bred by Daniel S. Gafford, he was owned at the time of registration by Mary Alice Dorrance (now Malone).

  • Kyrill (1964 – 1977) by Traumgeist xx, out of Kokette by Wolfgang. Bred by Johann Lienhop in Germany, he was imported in utero by Henry Schurink and owned at the time of registration by Barry B. Hunter, Greenville, SC. He stood in Wisconsin, Ohio and North Carolina. Kyrill produced two approved sons, Fasolt and Staccato, and 3 OSB mares.

  • Lolos (1964 – 1987) by Slesus, out of Lottchen by Humboldt. Bred and owned at the time of registration by Gerda Friedrichs, he stood additionally in Ohio and North Carolina. Lolos produced one approved son, Justiz and 5 OSB daughters.

  • Melos (1961 – 1973) by Slesus, out of Melodie by Totilas. Bred by Gerda Friedrichs, he was owned at the time of registration and until his death by Henry Schurink. Melos produced the approved son Dacapo and 1 OSB daughter. He was posthumously admitted into the ATA registry.

  • Nenufar (1957 – 1983) by Flötenspieler, out of Nieboga by Traum. Bred by the National Stud Kadyny, Poland, he was imported in 1961 and owned at the time of registration until his death by Don and Edith Kosterka.

  • Preussengeist (1968 – 1989) by Rosenberg, out of Bartenstein by Handelsherr. Bred by Conrad-Hinrich v. Donner in Germany, he was imported in 1970 by Daniel S. Gafford and owned at the time of registration by Wonderland Farms (David and Pat Goodman). Preussengeist produced the approved sons Donaugeist and Jagdgeist, and 18 OSB daughters.

  • Roland (1972) by Herbststurm, out of Roxy by Halai. Bred by Hermann Christ in Germany and imported in utero by Roswitha Daemen-Van Buren who has owned him since the time of registration. Roland has produced the approved son Domritter and 9 OSB daughters.

  • Sedan (1970 – 1980) by Komtur, out of Sanssouci by Geysir. Bred by Peter Elxnat and approved in Germany, he was imported in 1972 and owned at the time of registration until his death by Martin W. Scheurlen. Sedan produced 2 OSB daughters.

  • Slesus (1954 – 1965) by Tropenwald, out of Peraea 832 by Hirtensang. Bred by C. Krebs-Schimmelhof and approved in Germany, he was imported in 1957 and owned until his death by Gerda Friedrichs. Slesus was posthumously accepted into the ATA registry. Two of his sons were the foundation stallions Lolos and Melos, and he produced 12 OSB daughters.

  • Staccato (1972 – 1993) by Kyrill, out of Symphony by Antares. Bred and owned at the time of registration by Max von Bluecher, he stood additionally in Kentucky and Ohio, Staccato produced 7 OSB daughters.

  • Tannenberg (1966) by Sterndeuter xx, out of Tanjana by Abendstern. Bred by H.D. Wagner and approved in Germany, he was imported in 1975 and owned at the time of registration by Gerhard Schickedanz. He stood most of his breeding career in New York at Williamsburg Farm and is currently retired from breeding. Tannenberg has produced 11 approved sons: Coral, Flugwind, Germane, Herbsttanz, Hersttraum, Herztrupf, Korberg, Meistersinger, Milan, Morgenstrahl and Schiwago. In addition, he has 35 OSB daughters.

In addition to the above mentioned stallions, three stallions were registered in 1975 but later removed. Those stallions were Antonius, Branibor and Czek, all of whom were owned by Frank LaSalle at the time of registration.

Thus the American Trakehner Association came into being and the solid base laid by those first incorporators and members has been passed on to us 20 years later to preserve and continue into the future. From the original 34 memberships, we have grown to over 1100 members in 1994. Over the years we have registered over 200 stallions and close to 1,400 OSB mares. May the next 20 years be as rewarding as the last. And may the horse of Trakehner origin always be safe in our care.