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The First Major Importation of Trakehner Stock into North America

Little has been written of Gerda Friedrichs and her influence on the Trakehner horse in North America, however her name is one that is still known and respected today, over 10 years after her death, by the members of the American Trakehner Association, most of whom never met her.

Below is the memoriam reprinted from The American Trakehner written on the occaision of her death by Dr. Robert Baird .

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With the death of Mrs. Gerda Friedrichs of Keswick, Ontario, on February 21, 1987, the American Trakehner Association lost not only one of its Distinguished Members, but indeed a distinguished lady whom most of us knew through her unfailing attendances and passionately voiced opinions expressed at the Annual Meetings of the Association. Born Gerda Lübbert on December 12, 1910, in South West Africa, the daughter of Dr. Erich Lübbert – a highly successful business man and lawyer who had founded Consolidated Mines which he later amalgamated with Dr. Beers into De Beers Consolidated Mines – she spent the first twelve years of her life in South Africa, before the family returned to Germany in 1922, and resumed residence in the original home at Schloss Sommerswalde, between the towns of Kremmen and Nauen, northwest of Berlin, in what is now East Germany. In addition to its mining interests, the family also were the sole owners of Dyckerhoff and Widmann, a multinational corporation involved in the construction of roads and railroads, and this allowed for considerable travel opportunities for Gerda, mainly between Europe, South Africa and South America.

She was educated in Switzerland and Germany, and in 1932, at the age of 21, was married to Michael Friedrichs, an officer in the German Cavalry and the son of the Burgermeister (Mayor) of Potsdam, a city close to Berlin. It was probable that her marriage into "the Cavalry" got her seriously interested in the Trakehner, for that breed, more than any other, was heavily used by the military, and especially by commissioned officers.

In 1956, her husband having failed to return from the Russian front in World War II, Gerda and her two children settled in Canada, and in 1957 and 1963 she imported from Germany 23 mares, most of them in foal, and four stallions; as far as is known, this was the first major importation of Trakehner breeding stock into North America – an extraordinary feat when it is realized that the Trakehner Verband was officially established only in 1947.

Mrs. Friedrich’s contribution to the breed in North America was so significant that she was elected as the ATA’s second Distinguished Member, (after Waldemar Seunig), in February 1975 and an examination of the bloodlines of the stallions and mares which she imported will show the superior quality of the stock with which the Trakehner got started on this continent, and explain why the membership considered her contribution "distinguished."

She had a wealth of information which some of us were privileged to share, and those of us who worked with her on various projects can attest to her constant willingness to help as well as her tireless endeavor.

She never missed a meeting of the ATA and was a valuable contributor to the many discussions on the problems which confronted the young organization. None who have heard her will forget the zest and enthusiasm with which she approached every subject, and above all she knew that the breeder was kingpin of the Association. In 1982 she instituted the Gerda Friedrichs Award, to be given annually to the breeder whose horse had done the most to promote the breed on this continent, and that award will continue to be given in her honor, and be know in the future as the Gerda Friedrichs Memorial Award.

An appreciation of Gerda cannot be written without reference to her as one of the "characters" of this world – a lovable one, but a "character" nevertheless. All of us have our own anecdotal tales of our experiences with her, and some day they may be collected and written down.

Her practice of naming her horses after family, friends, and places she knew was done, not out of carelessness but rather because, since there was no registry in the Americas, it wasn’t really important that she follow the German tradition of naming each foal using the first letter of the dam’s name. For whatever reason, now that we have a registry, it does indeed cause considerable confusion but it should not be looked upon harshly by our members – rather as part of the unusual legacy of a unique, much admired and well-loved lady who had a goodness in her heart which she was more than willing to share with all whose pleasure it was to know her.

She is survived by her daughter, Mrs. Eschi Warwick and her son Michael, and three grandchildren, Maria, Erich and Michael.

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The following is a summary of the horses Mrs. Friedrichs imported in the years of 1957 and 1963.

1957

Stallions

Antares – 1955 by Kobalt, out of Antilope by Wilder Jäger

Prusso – 1955 by Totilas, out of Handfeste by Heidedichter

Slesus – 1955 by Tropenwald, out of Peraea by Hirtensang

Tscherkess – 1955 by Tropenwald, out of Donna by Cancara

 

Mares

Allah (in utero) – by Gondolier, out of Karia by Ernest

Beatrix (Dohna) – by Perlenfischer, out of Bea by Indra

Dira (in utero) – by Gabriel, out of Isidora by Ali

Doga (in utero) – by Gobelin, out of Beatrix by Perlenfischer

Flippa (in utero) – by Pindar xx, out of Florentine by Totalis

Flora – by Go-Go xx, out of Flamme by Tauentzien

Florentine – by Totilas, out of Flora by Go-Go xx

Isidora – by Ali, out of Irata by Dichterfürst

Karia – by Ernest, out of Kassette by Harun Al Raschid ox

Klausel – by Absinth, out of Klugheit by Liebenberg

Jagd – by Altan, out of Judith by Erdgeist

Lottchen – by Humboldt, out of Lottka II (pedigree unknown, mare branded with double moose antler brand)

Macka – by Wilder Jäger, out of Feenette by Totilas

Maja (in utero) – by Hansakapitän, out of Jagd by Altan

Melodie – by Totilas, out of Meldung by Burgbann

Mirabelle – by Absalon, out of Mira by Löwenherz

Rica (in utero) – by Pindar xx, out of Klausel by Absinth

Sternloge – by Stern xx, out of Loge by Löwentin

 

Colts

Mico (in utero) – by Impuls, out of Melodie by Totilas

 

1963

Stallions

Antritt (in utero) – by Loretto, out of Talent by Komet

 

Mares

Allotria – by Gabriel, out of Alert by Aquavit

Bremen – by Humboldt, out of Freia by Asamat

Burma *E* (in utero) – by Totilas, out of Burnus II by Burnus (AA)

Burnus II (Burna) – by Burnus (AA), out of Andante by Heidedichter

Fibra – by Aquavit, out of Flora by Go-Go xx

Heide – by Korsar, out of Heiderose by Julmond

Kokette – by Wolfgang, out of Urinia by Cancara II

Mafalda – by Waldfeuer, out of Maritza by Lateran

Palette – by Polarfürst, out of Paprika by Totilas

Schwalm – by Gabriel, out of Schwalbe by Totilas

Talent – by Komet, out of Tara by Semper Idem

Totilane (in utero) – by Totilas, out of Zitzewitz by Ortelsburg

Zitzewitz – by Ortelsburg, out of J. Adana by Alibi

 

From this group of imported horses Mrs. Friedrichs bred an additional 33 horses now recorded in the Association’s Registry.  Among them were 26 OSB mares and the following ATA foundation stallions (listed with their ATA approved sons and grandsons). 

Note:  Kyrill & Count von Bijou were imported in utero but Gerda Friedrichs is listed as the breeder.  (In the early days of the ATA the person who owned the mare at the time of foaling was listed as the breeder.  That policy has since been changed to list the breeder as the owner of the mare at the time of breeding or the person making the breeding decision.)

Beauté – 1965 by Prusso, out of Bremen by Humboldt

  • Adolar – 1973 by Beauté, out of Annemone by Antares
  • Hadrian – 1983 by Beauté, out of Helena *E* by Herbststurm

Count von Bijou – 1964 by Anteil, out of Bremen by Humboldt

Hexenmeister – 1970 by Prusso, out of Beatrix by Perlenfischer

Kyrill – 1964 by Traumgeist xx, out of Kokette by Wolfgang

  • Staccato – 1972 by Kyrill, out of Symphony by Antares
  • Fasolt 1972 by Kyrill, out of Forelle by Antares

Lolos – 1964 by Slesus, out of Lottchen by Humboldt

  • Justiz – 1982 by Lolos, out of Janella by Antritt

    • Favian – 1989 by Justiz, out of Famosa by Insterruf

    • Adelssohn – 1989 by Mendelssohn, out of Auburn by Lolos

Melos – 1961 by Slesus, out of Melodie by Totilas

  • Dacapo – 1974 by Melos, out of Domkatze vom Schimmelhof by Valentin

    • Domritter – 1989 by Roland, out of Dommeise by Melos

 

The following two approved stallions were the result of later breeders continuing to cross the originally imported stock.

  • Filou – 1973 by Antares, out of Macka by Wilder Jäger
  • Karat – 1975 by Antares, out of Allah by Gondolier

    • Zeus MV – 1991 by Nemo, out of Zarenkind by Karat

    • Zulu MV – 1997 by Herzzauber, out of Zarenkrone by Karat

 

The following mares imported by Gerda Friedrichs also produced approved sons for other breeders.

Jagd

Burma *E*

Totilane

  • Casino – 1972 by Carajan II

Mafalda


 

 

 


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