An incredible Journey
The story of Abraxa
Breeder: Eheleute Willers-Moritzer
Auction: Winter Auction 2016
Owners: Karla and Mimi Stanley, Wild Prairie Rose Farms
The idea of buying and importing a horse from Germany gradually took shape in our minds 2 years ago, in the stands at Tempel Lipizzans in between Mimi’s Conrad Schumacher lessons. There we were clustered around Katie Dymek’s phone watching Westphalian auction horses on Clip My Horse. Katie had some experience to share as she not only had been to a Westphalian auction, she had imported a wonderful gelding. She told us the person to contact that put it all together for her was the US Westphalian Director of Sales, Rhegan White. So we contacted Rhegan. That led to some interesting coincidences & an invitation we could not refuse. As it turned out, Rhegan was a long time friend of Conrad Schumacher. She invited us to be her guest at the June Westphalian Auction in Munster Germany & then visit Schumacher at his home in Frankfurt!
We had a fabulous horse filled adventure in Germany with Rhegan White & her husband Tim. Mimi Stanley rode many of the auction horses & we got to know the Westphalian Studbook e.V. Auction family. While we put in several bids, we did not buy a mare when we were there. It wasn't until January 17 in the Westphalian Winter Auction that we purchased Abraxa. Rhegan was on site several days before the sale as our eyes on the ground. She was evaluating conformation, movement, temperament & vet reports of our favorites sending back video. Then she, Mimi & I came up with a plan. At 6:00 AM (2:00 in Germany) on January 17th we were on the phone with Rhegan waiting for horse #45! Three bids, the hammer fell & Abraxa was ours! It did not seem real on that cold winter morning that on the other side of the world we had a horse.
As Rhegan White promised, arrangements started to fall in place to get Abraxa home to Prairie Rose Training Center in Bismarck, ND. Invoices & international money orders changed hands with the Westphalian Auction. The necessary vet work was done & Klatte International Horse Transport was contacted. After a 10 day hold she was ready to be picked up & transported to Amsterdam to await her overseas flight. The flight passed as routine & Abraxa landed at JFK. No photos are allowed at this point but I am told the horses are moved to stabling very close to the airport. There they stayed for 3 days under the watchful eye of the USDA. The mares must go on to another 15 days of quarantine so Abraxa was taken to Blue Diamond Stables in Johnstown, Ohio. They took wonderful care of her with frequent updates & photos sent on to us. When the Federal Vet released Abraxa from quarantine her coach was awaiting to whisk her away to Tempel Lipizzans where we would meet.
The reason for Abraxa’a delivery to Tempel Lipizzans outside of Chicago was again a Conrad Schumacher clinic. He graciously agreed to evaluate her. As Rhegan predicted he spoke very favorably of her correct conformation & potential. It is a fun tale worth telling how Abraxa came into the Tempel arena at a lunch break to be hand walked after her long trip. Abraxa felt prancing in circles & snorting was in order. Now it so happened the Tempel trainers were just warming up their 4 young Lipizzan stallions to prepare for their first Schumacher lesson. These young macho boys had had very few rides & never with a mare dancing in the arena. As one might expect, she caused quite a stir & it was suggested she exit. The skill, bravery & balance of the Tempel trainers was impressive.
And so Abraxa completed the last leg of her journey from Munster, Germany to Bismarck, ND & is now home. She is learning our language while we learn about her. She seems inquisitive & has an idea about good things in pockets. We wonder if she grew up on a working farm as she looks forward to the tractor delivering the hay & is not afraid of dogs. She stands for the farrier & steps back to give you space. Her breeder raised her well. Someday perhaps we will meet & can thank them. (Article written by Mimi and Karla Stanley)