February 2021 - Equitop Farm
Written by by Ute Brinkmann
Tuesday, 02 February 2021 21:24
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The love of horses is there to stay!

by Ute Brinkmann

Equitop Farm is a multi-generation family-owned farm that prides itself in fine horsemanship, built on over thirty years of experience in raising Warmblood performance horses in North America. The farm is located in Central Alberta, Canada and is owned and operated by us, the Brinkmann’s.

We always have a selection of imported or homebred young horses, as well as a group of upcoming show horses to offer.  Our main focus however is the stallion station — it started in the beginning of the nineties with the import of two Hanoverian Stallions, Geronimo by Glorieux and Widukind by Werther. Both these stallions contributed valuable and modern warmblood genetics to the local mare base, which, at that time, were mostly old-fashioned warmblood mares or thoroughbred crosses.


 

The quality of the breeding stock, especially the quality of the mares in North America has improved immensely over the last 20 years. Now our stallions are concentrating on their own show careers, as well as serving the breeders all across North America. Our focus has been on jumper & equitation horses, with good temperaments and versatility — that’s why our jumpers also have a strong influence of dressage bloodlines for good rideability.

We find achievement in breeding horses that are successful in the sport and simultaneously bring joy into people’s lives. Regardless of the level—wins are icing, but seeing happy partnerships between horses and their people, in the everyday, is the most fulfilling.

Both of our respective families were, and still are, horse lovers and breeders in Germany. We grew up there, too. As young adults, we [Gerrit and Ute] sold our older mares and brought with us to Canada our yearling mares. They became our foundation mares, now 32 years ago!

Our connections with and experiences in Europe are valuable; as well that our daughter Beke is part of the jumper circuit, competing on homebred horses. She also travels a lot with our stallions, which sets the bar for our stallions’ great characters and this becomes highlighted at shows and in training

Besides offering the stallions at stud, we breed a small number of our own mares per year. We aim for quality instead of quantity and find that with < four foals we can keep them until they are started with a rider and on the show circuit. We rarely sell the youngsters before they have their basic under saddle training and are ready to show.  Our horses pick their people and they need time to grow for this.

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We use our own stallions as they are Licensed and Approved and proven in sport — this way we know their characters, health and everything about them. Occasionally we’ll use frozen from stallions in Europe. Still, we encourage breeders to know the stallion they chose; visit with them, know their characters and the stallion in person as much as possible. This isn’t always possible with stallions overseas.

One of our early geldings Woody, by our first stallion Widukind won a series of Grand Prix’s, including Spruce Meadows, and his biggest the Keg Steakhouse Grand Prix at Thunderbird Showpark.  Quidam Blue travelling with the Canadian team was thrilling, too, of course.  As of late, our homebred mare Charmony has gone to the prestigious Maclay Finals in New York with her junior owner, after a series of Equitation wins in the USA. As our mare, we went to watch her finish Top Four in Canada at Toronto’s Royal Fair with junior Jade Fowler; the equitation classes are very challenging for both horse and rider. Young Horse Classes finals are always nice too.

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Over all of these years we’ve had many proud moments. The highlights have definitely included having our stallion Quidam Blue on the Canadian team, and also having our locally born horse Woody in the International Ring at the front of the line: a Canadian born horse in front of strings of imported horses is a thrill to see.  Similarly, and on a more regular basis, it’s always a proud moment for us when our daughter, Beke, travels to horse shows with our homebred horses. Seeing our home-born foals grow into educated show horses is extremely fulfilling.

For new breeders out there, and all in the circuit, we wish to share a thought: ups and downs are normal with horses and it’s those who continue who find success. Adjust and continue. The love of horses is there to stay!

Visit www.equitopfarm.com for more information.