Bernadette Brune Returns to the Arena with Trio of Mares From Katrin Bettenworth

Fri, 10/20/2023 - 18:06
Horse Sales
Bernadette Brune made her come back to the national show ring in July aboard Rappenbergs Lillyfee, which she bought from Katrin Bettenworth alongside two other GP hopefuls

Former German B-squad rider Bernadette Brune has made her come back to the national show arena after an almost two-year break from competition sport. While her top horse Feel Free OLD was maturing to Grand Prix level, Brune saw herself without any competitive partners to bridge the gap. After two years of searching, she found not one but three suitable sport partners at Katrin Bettenworth's barn. 

Not One But Three

Bernadette's search for new irons in the fire took her across western Europe, trying out horses in The Netherlands and Denmark, but eventually finding her match closer home at Bettenworth's yard in Spenge, Germany.

"One day on April Bernadette came to me and tried out five horses at S-level, all on the way to Grand Prix, and it was a match," Katrin smiled. "The only problem was to choose one, as she loved three. After thinking it over for a short time she decided to simply take all three of them."

Bettenworth competing the home-bred
Insel Junior in 2022
Brune acquired the 10-year old Hanoverian mare Rappenbergs Lillyfee (by Lissaro van de Helle x Don Bedo), the 9-year old Westfalian mare Diamond Lady (by Diamond Magic x Ferragamo) and the 8-year old Oldenburg mare Insel Junior (by Negro x Diamond Hit) home bred out of Katrin's Grand Prix horse Die Insel.

"These three mares fit Bernadette beautifully," said Bettenworth. "Lillyfee has very good gaits and is easy to sit. She did only a handful of shows with me and placed three times, winning once with good scores. She has great potential for the big sport. Diamond Lady really had Bernadette's heart beating. She's electric but very friendly and on her way to Grand Prix. Insel Junior is the only foal out of my mare Die Insel. She has a character for a 10. I slowly produced her to Grand Prix level and didn't show her much. She didn't need it. She's a quick learner and a real diamond in the rough."

Trio of Mares

The trio of Grand Prix hopeful mares moved to Gestüt Brune in Bad Zwischenahn (GER) at the start of May, where the familiarisation started. 

Brune competing Rappenbergs Lillyfee
"Bernadette took her time to get to know her new partners and I supported her along the way," said Bettenworth. "She quickly established a relationship with them and we communicated often to make sure it all went in the right direction. It was easy to talk about everything, what went right or wrong and we quickly found solutions."

Brune returned to the show arena at the small, local show in Westerstede at the start of July to avoid any pressure. She brought along the more experienced Lillyfee and the pair competed in an M** and S* class, finishing second twice with increasing scores of 69.260% and 72.020%.

"They really showed nice riding and I look forward to her future with this eager, quality mare," said Katrin. "I am proud of Bernadette and her super riding."

Looking at the Future

Bettenworth on Diamond Lady
Since then, Bernadette found her appetite for showing again and gained mileage on Lillyfee and Insel Junior at small tour level at shows in Wietmarschen and Hude, while she also premiered her World Young Horse Championship finalist Feel Free OLD (by Foundation x Sandro Hit) at Grand Prix level in Elmlohe and Hagen.

With four horses lined up for the big sport, Brune is looking at the future with great optimism and Katrin is happy to have helped her.

"Gestüt Brune is the best home I could wish for my horses," said Bettenworth. "Bernadette does everything for her horses so they can make it to the big sport! The whole team at the Gestüt is engaged and ambitious and they are living for their horses, which makes it so special! I wish her good luck and success with these new horses she found in my barn and  hopefully the future looks bright for them!“

Barn Full of Promise

Having sold three of her upper level horses in the late spring of 2023 does not mean that German horse dealer Katrin Bettenworth has no more treasures in her trough. 

Bettenworth on her next rising GP horse,
the 12-year old Dantino
In her long career, Bettenworth has produced around 50 horses to Grand Prix level, including Ferryman  Alexis, Ecu, Dujardin, Sachsenkönig,  Die Insel, and Die Süsse. Hermost prominent sales were championship horses Douglas Dorsey (Wilfried and Laura Bechtoldsheimer) and Egalite (Nina Stadlinger), but recent sales Diamond Flame (Nancy Later), Darija (Bianca Kasselmann), and Donadieu (Andreas Platzdasch) prove equally successful as their new riders have achieved their first results at Grand Prix level with them.

"I prefer to start with young horses who are not always the biggest movers, but show very good willingness, a good hindleg and three good, not outstanding gaits as these horses prove to be much more trainable to Grand Prix level," Katrin explained. "Of course they have to stand correctly on their hooves and be good in the vet check."

At the moment Bettenworth has very good younger talents in her stable with super bloodlines, featuring sires such as Vitalis, Bon Coeur, and Benicio.

"The next generation is on the way," Katrin concluded, "but I also have some older more advanced level ones in the stable, who are ready for the big sport."

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