Susan Pape's Don Noblesse Retired from Sport

Tue, 04/12/2022 - 09:37
Great Britain
Susan Pape and Don Noblesse at the 2019 CDI Wellington :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Susan Pape's number one Grand Prix horse, Don Noblesse, has been retired from competition sport. His retirement was announced at last weekend's stallion show. 

Don Noblesse is a 15-year old Hanoverian stallion by Dancier out of Descana (by Don Davidoff x Match AA x Florentiner II). He is bred by Elke, Georg and Birte Hey.

He has two registered spellings of his name: "Don Nobless" as his breeding name and  "Don Noblesse" for sport.

Licensed Stallion

In 2009 the black was licensed at the Hanoverian Stallion Licensing in Verden and did his 70-day stallion performance test in Adelheidsdorf, where he scored 111.33 points for dressage (3rd) and 88.54 points for show jumping (11th). He totalled 100.43 points to place 6th out of 17 participating stallions. 

He was first competed by Anna-Katharina Ruoff as a 4-year old in 2011 and she took him up to L-level through the spring of 2012.

Hof Kasselmann

Don Noblesse at the 2012 PSI Auction
The gorgeous black stallion sold to Hof Kasselmann and continued to be trained by Sandra Frieling. 

Frieling and Don Noblesse  qualifier for the 2012 Bundeschampionate in Warendorf, where they finished 7th in the 5-year old division after placing second in the consolation finals.

Four months later, the stallion sold to American Leslie Malone of Harmony Sport horses for 1.22 million euro at the 2012 PSI Auction. The ride was allocated to Susan Pape and the stallion moved to her stallion yard in Hemmoor, Germany

Susan Pape

Pape made her show debut on Don Noblesse in 2014, competing in the Nurnberger Burgpokal qualifiers first, but did not make it to the finals.

In 2015 they did achieve that goal and made it to the Nürnberger Burgpokal finals for Developing Prix St Georges horses, where they ended up seventh after winning the Schenefeld qualifier with 74,878%. That year the combination also made its CDI debut at small tour level at the CDI Hage, their only international.

Pape took Don Noblesse to Wellington, Florida at the start of 2016 and produced several top five earning places in the small tour, before moving him up to medium tour level at the CDI Cappeln in July 2016. At the end of that year the pair finished third in the Louisdor Cup Finals for German Developing Grand Prix Horses.

British Team Horse

In 2017 Pape and Don Noblesse entered the class Grand Prix tour and won one class at the CDI-W Wellington. They were nominated on the British team for the Nations' Cup in Rotterdam, but then a summer break followed  and the horse only returned next Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, where he did just one show. 

A year later he made a come back in Wellington and did two CDI's, followed by the CDI Hagen and Hamburg. 

Don Noblesse in 2015
Don Noblesse, who combined a breeding career with sport, then slowed down in the competition ring and only did two more internationals, both in Wellington. In 2020 he was second in the Grand Prix but withdrawn from the freestyle and in 2021 he was second again in the Grand Prix with 73.022% and then eliminated from the freestyle.

His last national shows were in Herzlake in September 2020 where he won the Grand Prix and the CDN Elmlohe at the end of July 2021, where he was fourth.


At age 15, Don Noblesse has been retired from sport. The news was announced at the Mathieu Beckmann stallion show in Wettringen last weekend.

"He gave me so much," Susan Pape took to Facebook. "I'm incredibly grateful for the beautiful achievements I got with him. Now we can enjoy time without stress and just for fun. I'll continue riding him until he no longer feels offended that doesn't come out of his box as first every day."

The stallion, who was often up for British team consideration but never made the cut, certainly made his mark in breeding. He has sired 15 licensed sons, of which 7 are registered in studbook I, and 20 state premium mares in Germany. Amongst his licensed offspring are Despacito, Don Allegro (passed away), Don Djamilo, Don Giovanni, Don K, Don Monet, Don Plaisier, Don Rousseau, Doubtless, and Dontender.

Photos © Astrid Appels

Related Links
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Pape and Koschel Top the Board at 2017 CDI-W Wellington
Sammy Davis Jr Wins the 2016 Louisdor Cup Finals for German Developing Grand Prix Horses
PSI Auction Horses Stood Out in the Show Ring in February 2016
Combinations Known for 2015 Nurnberger Burgpokal Finals
Scores: 2012 Bundeschampionate
Don Allegro Passed Away