American Trakehner Association
|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 .
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. Friedrichs contribution to the breed in North America was so significant that she was elected as the ATAs 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 wasnt really important that she follow the German tradition of naming each foal using the first letter of the dams 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.
The following is a summary of the horses Mrs. Friedrichs imported in the years of 1957 and 1963.
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
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
Mico (in utero) by Impuls, out of Melodie by Totilas
Antritt (in utero) by Loretto, out of Talent by Komet
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 Associations
Registry. Among them were 26 OSB mares and the following ATA foundation stallions (listed with their ATA
approved sons and grandsons).
Beauté 1965 by Prusso, out of Bremen by Humboldt
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
Lolos 1964 by Slesus, out of Lottchen by Humboldt
Melos 1961 by Slesus, out of Melodie by Totilas
The following two approved stallions were the result of later breeders continuing to cross the originally imported stock.
The following mares imported by Gerda Friedrichs also produced approved sons for other breeders.