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Influential Horses: RUBIN

Rubin, bred by Gottfried Hoogan in Hamburg, WG

Rubin was bred by Gottfried Hoogan in Hamburg, WG. He was Performance tested (100 day) in 1975 at Adelheidsdorf, WG. His inspection scores were stellar: 9/9/9/10/9/10-with an average score of 9.

Rubin was imported into Canada by Harry Zimmerman of Dundas, Ontario in 1986, for Dr. Jack Dwyer and his wife Maureen. Dr. Dwyer was a professor of veterinary medicine at a veterinary college in Alberta, Canada. The Dwyers also purchased a number of Trakehner mares who were to be bred to Rubin for the purpose of developing their own breeding program, consisting of Trakehner and Trakehner crosses.

Dr. Dwyer died unexpectedly at a young age. His wife, Maureen, decided to return with their young children to their family and home in Ireland. The horses were sold. Rubin was purchased by Don Carnegie, and brought to his dairy farm in Aldergrove, British Columbia. Don had some lovely mares sired by Condus (Trak) and the beautiful mare, Isola Lanka (Trak). Isola Lanka produced two stallion sons by Rubin. They are Ikor and Intermezzo.

While at the Carnegie Farm, Rubin became gravely ill. It was felt by veterinarians and others who took an interest in him, that he was not going to survive. But fortune smiled on Rubin one day when a remarkable horse-loving woman, Victoria Robertson, stopped by the Carnegie farm when she saw the word "Trakehner" on the farm sign. How serendipitous life can be.

When Victoria was 16 years old, living with her parents in Germany, she was in the audience for the final day of the 100 day stallion testing, when the newly licensed stallions were presented. Victoria described to me the hush that fell over the crowd when Rubin entered the arena (usually there is umpapa band music and lots of clapping, etc.). Ridden by Johann Hinnemann, his hooves seemed never to touch the ground. He seemed to be more of a mirage, floating above the ground, gliding effortlessly through the air -- a natural contact in a natural frame -- mesmerizing and beautiful. Tears filled her eyes as she described what she saw and felt that day, watching Rubin. Already an accomplished equestrian riding good horses, Vic said, "From that day forward, Rubin remained the standard by which she judged all other horses."

Needless to say, when Victoria realized that the horse lying before her was Rubin; it was a life shifting moment. She and husband Glen committed themselves to restoring this remarkable stallion to good health. It took a long time. To say that their efforts were "beyond heroic," would still be an understatement!! But restore him, they did! Rubin was even breeding again.

Rubin was advertised for sale in December 1993. Bill and Norma Knittel called on the ad; and in January 1994, brought Rubin to his final home, Frosty Meadow Farms, in Graham, Washington. There, he shared breeding duties with our younger Trakehner stallion, Faber. Always, Rubin moved with that bounding forward, airborne stride, even to the last step he took, on a sad November day, remaining always in that beautiful carriage and noble frame. Rubin entered our barn with such dignity (a kind of aloof nobility) never even acknowledging the temper tantrum of a horrified, Faber. That was Rubin, quiet and dignified----well, until the breeding halter came out. SHOW TIME!

Two Hungarian gentlemen, Lazlo Monastory and Egon Kamarazy came to the farm to see Rubin in the spring of 1994. Lazlo returned two more times in the years that we had Rubin; always touching base to be certain that Hungarian mares were being bred to Rubin.

Norma Knittel and the great Rubin

When Captain Monostory was managing breeding operations in southern Hungary, they were consistently competing with the Trakehner Stud at auctions for blood stock. Lazlo liked to tell the story about going to auction with plans to bring home to the Hungarian Stud, the Arabian stallion, Fetysz ox. They were outbid by the Trakehnen Stud. So they had to settle for a full brother to Fetysz ox. I can' t remember the name of the full brother. Fetysz ox is the great great grand sire of Flaneur, who is Rubin's sire. Fetysz ox was foaled in Janow, Poland. He is recognized as one of the most influential stallions used in all European Warmblood breeding. He is the only Arabian stallion to establish a significant and lasting stallion line in the modern Trakehner breed. This important stallion was lost during the East Prussian flight from the invading Russian Army in 1944.

There was never the opportunity for an exchange between the Kisber stud and the Trakehner Stud with Fetysz ox; though these kinds of exchanges were common during Lazlo's time there. The two breeds' foundation mares came from the same area and were alike in type. They also shared similar breeding goals. It isn't unusual to find the same blood lines in the two breeds early on. I think it was because of Fetysz ox, that Lazlo urged us to breed Rubin to as many Hungarian Felver mares as possible. More than once, Lazlo remarked that we should "not listen to the talk. Breed this horse to as many Hungarian mares as possible, and then pray for fillies… the next generation will be better, but the third generation will find the pearls". Look at the lineage of many of the HS horses competing at the higher levels of their discipline today, and you will understand why Lazlo held such a prestigious position at Kisbir, at such a young age.

Thanks to Victoria Robertson, it became possible for Rubin to leave a legacy worthy of the Fetysz ox, one that helped to propel Hungarian performance horses to the highest levels of competition....and WIN! I believe that we bred Rubin 22 times in the short time that he was with us. We were unable to resettle the lovely Trakehner mare, Isola Lanka. And one of our six embryo transfers failed to produce a living foal. The Hungarian ETs resulting in live foals are: HS Maradonda, (Rubin/Marado) HS So Rare (Rubin/Marado), HS Marado ll (Rubin/ Marado). Other HS offspring are: HS Alaric (Rubin/H Princess Helene), HS Kivalo (Rubin/H Nagyszony), HS Jeremiah (Rubin/H Foka) and HS Rubato (Rubin/H Bajos III).

Memories by Norma Knittel 3/27/17


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