Denver represents what smells the most

Board elections Holsteiner Verband: Dallas and Denver in Dithmarschen

It's rumbling again in the land between the seas. On March 31st, the 107 delegates of the 13 breeding districts of the Holsteiner Verband elect a new board, presumably by digital voting. Embarrassing mishaps caused a stir in advance.

We are looking for five people for the Holsteiner Verband who will not only steer it past all cliffs in difficult times, but also set the sails for the future of a renowned but small horse breeding association that threatens to be crushed between major investors and global competition. Nothing less is sought than the egg-laying woolly milk sow. And she must also be able to neigh loudly.

We are looking for a person with the certain stable smell of the Holstein breeder, to whom the names of the ancient heroes - I'll just say Hannibal 944 and Ethelbert 1197 - are as familiar as those of the stars of modern times, from Mumbai to Million Dollar. Who grew up with Cor de la Bryère, Landgraf, Contender, Cassini I and Corrado and of course finds himself in the list of successful sport horse breeders. The mares' mares have small master numbers, three-digit at most, and even two-digit numbers. 18 A would be a good recommendation. Someone who chugs across the pastures with the tractor in the morning to see if everything is going well, and from noon takes care of marketing strategies, financial campaigns for the Holstein Association and the revitalization of the Elmshorn association system. Someone who has inhaled the rules for “good governance” on the Holsteiner website before every trade in their own horses. It says how to deal with commissions and your own horse shops. Someone who couldn't imagine anything nicer than having a chat with fellow breeder colleagues at tournaments or mare shows on the weekend and all of this, of course, on a voluntary basis, i.e. without payment. Something like that doesn't even grow on the fertile pastures of the marshland.

The one and only?

It looks like there will be only one candidate for election on March 31st: the dentist Hinrich Romeike, two-time Olympic champion in Hong Kong, known in the country for his success with Marius, a rather blank slate as a breeder, articulate and mostly in a good mood, but at 57 years of age, still fully employed. He is quoted as saying that he will pick up the drill on Monday morning and not put it down until Friday evening. Nevertheless, "Hinni will represent us well", think many breeders. If he has time.

The second applicant for the chair did not even make it to the election to the assembly of delegates: Manfred Kummetz, business economist and businessman, formerly member of the board of the Bauhaus company, who maintains the Kriseby stud near Lübeck with 80 horses, all descendants of two Caletto II- Daughters whom he once acquired as foals from Lothar Völz. He can come up with notable breeding successes, including 70 horses that have been successful in S-Class up to the Olympic Games and Global Champions Tour. He is now 72 years old, has a lot of time, the experience of a successful businessman and is also keen to take on a board position. More precisely on the position of chairman, he says nothing else interests him. “I want to lead,” he explains in a nutshell. Doesn't sound like a team player. The matter has already been settled insofar as he did not receive the 50 percent of the votes cast required for a candidate in any licensing district. In Dithmarschen he was three votes short, in his own licensing district Storman-Lauenburg he got 33 percent. This was also due to the fact that hardly any breeder knows him, although he has been around for 40 years. “He's not a man of the people,” says an insider.

Election glitches

Not only in Storman-Lauenburg, but also in the breeding districts of Rendsburg-Eckernförde and Schleswig-Flensburg, a second vote had to be taken because the district chairmen counted the votes too early, at 6 p.m. instead of at midnight or when all letters and emails posted by the deadline were available.

Another lapse: In Stormann-Lauenburg, the emails did not initially arrive because the chairman Hanno Köhncke had given a wrong email address with an "Ö" in the name (word that umlauts are written separately on the Internet has actually got around among six-year-olds) . As a result, nothing will change in the result. Kummetz, bitter and angry, threatens to challenge the election.

The other candidates

If you can't get a full-time chairman, then, of course, the composition of the board of directors would be all the more important. Harm Sievers applies as a deputy. The 57-year-old farmer and business economist is the holder of the golden riding badge and tournament organizer, a long-serving functionary in various offices, a successful breeder and breeder, including 30 licensed stallions. A horse-man dyed in the wool, whose business and livelihood are the horses. To put it mildly, this has advantages and disadvantages.

A year ago, when it was not yet clear that the new elections had to be postponed by a year due to the corona pandemic, the licensing district for foreign members, which now has almost as many members as the other breeding districts combined, nominated its candidate for the deputy chairman : Dr. Max Slawinski, 35, the stepson of the former show jumper and stallion breeder Peter Nagel-Tornau, who grew up in a horse-loving environment, but who, in the opinion of many Holsteiners, lacks the “stable smell”. He himself refers to his experience as a manager at Infineon Technologies AG.

If there were a quota for women, Kathrin Huesmann, the sister of the show jumper Carsten-Otto Nagel, would have her place as deputy. She is already a member of the current interim board, which was elected in 2019 after the collective resignation of the board by tax advisor Thies Beuck. Opinions about them in the country are divided. Some accuse the 59-year-old of her rigorous austerity, which among other things fell victim to the Elmshorn trading stable. Not only was the association system depopulated, many horses were also sold below the value they would probably have had after further training. Others appreciate Huesmann's assertiveness and the courage to tackle uncomfortable things.

As of today, nine names are up for election on March 31st. A proven businessman is not among them, what the association needs most urgently in the opinion of insiders. "We just have to bring in experts," says former chairman Jan Lüneburg.

And someone with a vision, as one asserts in the world of the Schockemöhles, Beerbaums and Helgstrands, who can buy any stallion in the world for any money in the world, if they want. Someone who needs to know but does not want to be named is sure: “The whole company depends on one or two people, but we Holstein breeders are quite a few who will hopefully stick together in the end and steer the cart in the right direction pull."

Gabriele PochhammerEditor

When she is not writing, she stands in the stable or sits in the saddle, usually of a horse she has drawn herself. She knows exactly how his great-grandmother felt under the saddle. She is well aware of the joys and sorrows of the rider / breeder. She observes the great sport as a reporter, including eight Olympic Games. At the ninth, in Rio 2016, their best breeding product was there: the two-time badminton fourth Leonidas II v. Landos under Mark Todd. With the New Zealand team, the two just missed a medal.


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