Jennifer Hoffmann 1st American to Compete 2 Horses at Verden Championships Same Year
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Californian Jennifer Hoffmann, based in Germany for the second time in her riding career, will be the first American to ever compete two horses in the World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses in Verden, Germany, in August.
A U.S. record of seven horse and rider combinations–three in the U.S. and four in Europe–qualified for Verden in what U.S. Young Horse Coach Scott Hassler labeled a “true testament” to the Markel/USEF Young Horse Program.
Two of the three entered for Verden were Jennifer’s–the five-year-old Westphalen stallion, Florentinus (Florestan I – Lady in Red by Londonderry) and the 6-year-old Austrian Warmblood stallion, Ratzinger (Riccione – St. Pr. St. Inschella by Pablo). They both qualified with scores of 8.5 in Europe.
The third pair to compete at Verden is the 6-year-old Oldenburg mare, Royal Couer 2 (Royal Hit – Riva by Le Coeur), owned and ridden by Marne Martin Tucker of Woodbine, Maryland. They earned a score of 8.36 in Europe.
Three combinations that qualified in young horse selection shows on the East and West Coasts and the Midwest opted not to go to Verden due to the cost and stress of travel while another American pair in Europe decided to compete in Britain.
“Wow!” said Jennifer when told she was the first U.S. rider to have two horses in the same championship.
“I feel quite honored to be making American history, what an amazing feeling. I am thrilled.”
Jennifer moved to Germany from her farm in Encinitas, California, last December, mostly to be nearer to the mother of her husband, Jürgen, whom she met while living in Germany for 11 years through 2001. Her father-in-law died last year and she and Jürgen wanted to be close to her mother-in-law. She misses her family and tried to get home as much as possible.
She bought the two stallions last December.
Florentinus has been winning big across the board, including the Bundeschampionat, the German young horse championships, and has won two qualification classes for the LVM Championat in Munster.
“Florentinus has been scoring very well,” she said. “He has achieved 9s in trot, walk, and overall impression. Multiple times. He is a very light and impressive moving stallion with a beautiful self carriage.”
Ratzinger, the 6-year old, she said, “has been very steady in his tests and has also been able to score 9s on his walk and canter. Ratzinger has very big and bold movement with exceptional swing in the lateral work. He has a very calm demeanor, but has a great presence in the arena.”
Both stallions are in the breeding program of Gestut Letter Berg in Coesfeld-Lette, where she and her husband are responsible for the training and management.
In addition to the two young stallions, Jennifer is scheduled to compete her eight-year-old stallion Rubinio in the Prix St. Georges as a qualifier for the Nürnberger Burg-Pokal, Germany’s premier developing horse program. She competed Rubinio as a five-year-old in the Verden championships.
“My plans are to continue to train and compete my current young and Grand Prix horses and to try to proceed as far as I can with each of them,” Jennifer told dressage-news.com “My goal is definitely to go as far as I can and also try to make other U.S. teams in the future for championships.”
She is also competing two big tour horses, Farinelli who has won Grand Prix with 73 per cent, and Delacroix whom she plans to compete at Grand Prix this Fall.
The Hoffmann’s return to the U.S. regularly for clinics. The Encinitas facility is being run by Birthe Laufer, a longtime employee.