USA’s Rubinio Ridden by Jennifer Hoffman Has Broken Splint Bone, Scratched from World Young Horse Champs

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Jennifer Hoffman riding Rubinio II in victory gallop at Westfalen-Woche.
Jennifer Hoffman riding Rubinio II in victory gallop at Westfalen-Woche.

VERDEN, Germany, Aug. 5–Rubinio, the sole U.S. representative at the World Breeding Championships, was discovered Wednesday night to have a broken splint bone in a front leg and has been scratched from the competition.

Jennifer Hoffman’s husband, Jürgen, reported the event in an email.

“I have sad news from Germany,” he wrote.

“Jennifer and Rubinio had an excellent final morning training session in preparation for Verden, but when we returned in the evening for Rubi’s night check, we noticed a very swollen front leg.

“After consultation with our long time veterinarian, Dr. Peter Cronau, it was confirmed that Rubi had a broken splint bone.

“This of course will prevent Jennifer and Rubinio from representing the U.S. in Verden.

“Jennifer is, of course, devastated and heartbroken over this incident, especially considering the continuing weeks of harmonious training sessions and excellent successes, which she has achieved together with Rubinio during her stay here in Germany.

“The good news is that the prognosis is excellent and Rubi will be back in work in four weeks.”

Rubinio B, a six-year-old black Westfalen stallion that in recent weeks posted two victories in German young horse competitions leading up to the 2009 FEI World Breeding Championships that were to begin Thursday.

As the only U.S. entry to qualify for the World Breeding Championships, Rubinio (Rubin Royal x Farina by Florestan I) was to have made his second appearance at the global championship, having competed in 2008 as a five-year-old.

Hoffman, who operates German Dressage with her husband, Jürgen, in Encinitas, California, competed in two shows to prepare for Verden.

At Greven, the pair topped a field of 19 combinations with a score of 8.2.

Then, at the Westfalen-Woche competition in Münster the American couple won with 8.1 to become Westfalen champion and qualify for the Bundeschampionate, the German championships to be held in Warendorf in September.

“It has been a fantastic couple of weeks for us and I believe we are well prepared for the World Chamüpionships in Verden next week,” Jennifer emailed dressage-news.com.

Jennifer Hoffman and Rubinio II.
Jennifer Hoffman and Rubinio II.

“I have also decided to stay in Warendorf after Verden and ride Rubinio in the prestigious Bundeschampionat in September.

“This is a dream of every rider and I will take the oppertunity to ride my stallion there in the six-year-old class. I am so estactic about all my success i have to pinch myself each morning. All I can say is: I Love My Stallion Ruby!!!!!!!!”

Rubinio, bred in Germany by Jürgen Bunge, represented the U.S. as a five-year-old at Verden, placing fifth out of 39 horses in the small final with a score of 8.06.

Rubinio was the only horse to meet the U.S. Equestrian Federation short list criteria of earning an overall score of 8.2 or better at a Young Horse Dressage Selection Trial or an international competition. Ridden by Carola Koppelmann of Germany, Rubinio qualified by winning the Bundeschampionate class with a score of 8.2 in Haftenkamp, Germany in mid-May. The USEF approved the change of rider to Hoffman.

Hoffman, who lived and trained in Germany for 12 years, said her goal at Verden this year was to improve on their 2008 results when Rubinio competed as a five-year-old.

“We were too careful the first day,” she said.

She described the tall, leggy stallion as “sensitive” who is capable of 9s for all three gaits, walk, trot and canter.

When she bought Rubinio as a three-year-old, her “big goal” was to ride him in young horse championships so she decided to leave the horse in Germany rather than undergo the quarantine requirements for a stallion if she brought the horse back to the U.S.

“My focus for Rubinio is on a sport career,” she said. “It has really worked out well.

“The horse has so much potential. We’ll see what the future brings.”