"On the wings of Olympus" "bred strictly according to the golden recipe", "a sire of the
century". The eulogies to this brilliant black horse sometimes cross the boundaries of
pompousness. Such high sounding praise is justified however. A stallion like Rubinstein,
who departed from the equestrian stage in June 2000, aged 14, much too early, did not only
deserve it, he also proved it, not once, but many times. He had 40 wins at Grand Prix level,
was a member of the 1996 Olympic team, sired 89 state premium mares and 66 approved stallions
and was the father of top auction horses and Grand Prix winners.
Rubinstein's amazing expression
"A youth without a tail", remembers Gudula Vorwerk-Happ, was the first impression of the
three-year old Rubinstein. The black horse was standing between cows and other young
stallions in the entrance hallway of Herbert de Baey, his breeder. Still a bit thin and
youthful then, certainly not the star of a horse that he would later be, when he would be at
the centre of everyone's attention. Still he had his own way of making an impression. Even as
a foal, Rubinstein was a horse that was noticeable due to his handsomeness and above all, his
uncomplicated manner. He was almost a little too nice, so that people didn't notice that he
was a stallion. In the herd, he preferred to stay out of trouble's way rather than becoming
involved in aggressive behaviour. Everyone was able to handle him, remembers his breeder
Herbert de Baey.
This quiet Westphalian man with a considerable amount of slyness in his nature succeeded in
terzetto, what others didn't even manage to achieve once. He bred three Olympic dressage
horses, that became a legend: Ahlerich with the unforgotten Dr. Reiner Klimke, two-time team
Olympic champion of Los Angeles and Seoul, as well as individual gold medal winner of Los
The double world champion and fourfold European champion was the world's most successful dressage
horse for a long time. His full-brother Amon also took part in the Olympic Games three times (if one
includes Rotterdam in 1980) and was the most successful dressage horse of the Netherlands under
Annemarie Sanders-Keyzar, where he was considered to be unbeatable for a long time, gaining the Dutch
Championship title seven times. In October of 2000, Amon passed away at the ripe old age of 32 years.
Then there is Rembrandt, the elegant dancer, who with Nicole Uphoff glided through the big dressage
arenas of the world, enchanting the public with his fantastic agility. He won individual and team gold
with his rider twice, making her the youngest Olympic champion of all times, breaking the sonic
barrier of the magic 1500 points delimitation in 1990 and becoming world champion.
Three exceptional horses that achieved great feats. The special thing about them being that they are
all very closely related to Rubinstein. Rubinstein's dam Antine is the full-sister of Amon and
Ahlerich as well as the mare Adone, who together with Romadour II gave birth to Rembrandt. What's more,
Romadour II is the grandsire of Rubinstein with his gold plated pedigree. And what a pedigree it is!
This was exactly what caused Gudula Vorwerk-Happ to take notice. A stallion from this world-wide
probably unparalleled family, ritzy, black and what's more, cheap. The exceptional sire cost a mere
DM 35.000 as a three-year old. Before this he had been rejected for the Westphalian approvals at an
inspection meeting. The officials tersely said that he was "too small, not enough horse, with defects
on the hind leg not suitable for approval". Yet De Baey had faith in the black horse, did not have him
castrated and shortly afterwards welcomed Vorwerk-Happ with the Oldenburg approvals commission to his
studfarm. They in turn were impressed and above all wanted to secure themselves the valuable blood for
their breeding region. That confirmed it and Rubinstein went to Oldenburg where the black horse was
given every opportunity to prove himself.
A successful team, the top mares Adone and Antine with the breeder of Olympic horses Herbert de Baey.
At the follow-up approval in 1988 he was accorded the recognition due to him and already during his
first year of covering duty was in such great demand as hardly any other young stallion had been before
him. The breeders waited apprehensively for the results of the stallion performance test and were
certainly not disappointed. As anticipated, Rubinstein absolved the test with flying colours, gaining
high scores in rideability, achieving a score of 136,56 points and coming third of field of 66
contenders. His jumping ability was also evaluated as above average.
The young Rubinstein, a magnificent horse.
Then his first crop of foals arrived: Their exterior was very correct and stylish with delicate faces,
even better than their sire as regards trotting. Sixteen foals alone received the premium of "stallion
contender" and were awarded a straight score of 10.0 points. One even caused a sensation. The federal
foal champion Rubicon changed owners at the Vechta autumn auction for the sum of DM 53.000, thereby
being the most expensive auctioned foal of all times. And as if Rubinstein had wanted to prove the
point to the Westphalians who had one year earlier spurned him, the four-year old won the "Optimum"
in Münster, becoming the conformation horse champion! The award at the Oldenburg approval was the
logical consequence of the extraordinary successes of the young stallion, both under the saddle, as
well as in his hereditary transmission. In 1990 Rubinstein was declared the main premium winner
accompanied by thundering applause.
After Rubinstein had already achieved a number of wins and placements in dressage horse classes at the
elementary level in 1991, his first appearance in front of a large audience was accompanied by great
expectations: Rubinstein started at the 1992 federal championship in Verden. Would he be able to leave
the strong competition among the six-year olds behind him? In the decisive final test win, which he
was ridden by Detlev Nesemann, he only had to give precedence to the Hanoverian Don Juan son Don
Johnson with Heiner Schiergen, by whom he was just beaten to become vice-champion.
The first age-class was expected with great suspense in the Weser-Ems Hall in Oldenburg in autumn of
1992. Would the young stallions be able to fulfil the expectations placed in them? Would they be able
to verify the run on their sire? They certainly could, in superior style! Four Rubinstein sons received
the "approved" seal of quality and two were awarded a premium. Not only that however, Rohdiament, a
dark tan with powerful motions carrying a great deal of noble blood was announced as the champion
stallion. What's more, the later stallion performance test champion and federal champion belonged to
the American Olympic team under Lisa Wilcox during the millennium year in Australia. What an entry!
News of the quality of the stallion quickly spread far beyond the confines of Oldenburg. Interest was
expressed in Rohdiamant and the Vorwerk studfarm from all over Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium,
Switzerland, the USA and almost all over the world. Up to 400 broodmares were inseminated by sperm
from Rohdiamant per year. Gudula Vorwerk-Happ thus demonstrated after the death of her unforgotten
father Georg Vorwerk, that she had inherited the phenomenal horse sense of her father.
Up to that point in time, Rubinstein had only demonstrated that he could deliver stylish foals and
young stallions with powerful motions. But how would his progeny perform under the saddle? The first
riding horse was auctioned for DM 41.000 in 1993. Only six moths later, a Rubinstein son cost far in
excess of double that sum. The auctioneer's hammer was only dropped at the sum of DM 90.000 for Rod
At the age of six, the stallion Rubinstein is without blemish or blame from a side view too.
In the interim, Rubinstein had had his first wins in advance dressage classes. He won ten starts out
of eleven under Martina Hannöver. Rubinstein was an incredible fighter with a hardly envisageable
sensibility He had a top character too, one that every rider wishes for but only rarely finds,
His offspring likewise followed in the successful hoofsteps of their sire. Rohdiamant three times
received the score of 10.00 from extraneous riders, becoming the sensational unequivocal winner in the
dressage index with a score of 150.01 points, ahead of his half-brother Rubirando. The dark tan horse
left no doubts as to his class at the federal championship of three-year olds, becoming champion under
Martina Hannöver. The success story of the undoubtedly most outstanding Rubinstein son thus far was
just as skyrocket like as that of his sire: Federal champion 5-year old dressage horse, wins in Grand
Prix competitions on the international stage, selected for the American Olympic team under Lisa Wilcox.
The breeding aspect is likewise dotted with exceptional situations.
At his premium age class of 1994, a Rohdiamant-Landadel foal was sold at the Vechta May auction for the
sensational sum of DM 50.000. Two years later this young stallion was approved and awarded the 1-e
premium under the name of Rabano. Then in 1998 Rohdiamant, who was awarded the main national premium in
1994 demonstrated what he was really worth. At the Rastede Schlosspark, he presented the spruce mare
Reine Seide as the champion of the Oldenburg Elite Show. Not long after, at the Federal Three-Year Old
Riding Horse Championship, the Warendorf state stallion Roman Nature was at the very forefront. What's
more, at the Oldenburg stallion Days in the Weser-Ems Hall, the sire from Cappeln stole the show: Royal
Dance, a noble liver chestnut with strong gaits was declared champion stallion. What a feat !
In the FN breeding value rating for dressage, Rohdiamant received second place with a score of 154
points in 1999. Ronaldo, the year 2000 vice-champion five-year old dressage horse in Warendorf had one
year earlier been the glorious champion of the four-year olds. The covetousness of the dark diamond
horse remains unbroken. The top horse of the autumn 2000 Vechta auction Royal Olymp, who was sold for
DM 520.000 has no less than Rohdiamant as his sire. To date, Royal Olymp is the second most expensive
horse ever auctioned in Vechta.
Rohdiamant and Lisa Wilcox : marching along with great strides in the Olympic cadre.
Rubinstein too, was close to breathing Olympic air. In 1996, following several grand Prix wins he was
a member of the team destined to go to Atlanta. The elegant, thoroughly harmonious appearance of the
pair always caused the audience to be spellbound. Rubinstein attracted attention not through pompous
affected behaviour, nor through suspense filled paces, but rather by means of exceptionally high
rideability and concentration. "Rubinstein has given me my great successes, I have to thank him for
everything" praised Martina Hannöver, who took over the stallion as a seven-year old. The first Grand
Prix win in Nörten-Hardenberg in 1994 appeared to her as a good omen at that time - the premiere not
only for Rubinstein, but also for his rider. "The night following the win, my self-bred Ratino H was
born, naturally a Rubinstein son". Hannöver placed great hopes in the stallion who was highly ranked
in the finals of the six-year old dressage horses in Warendorf in the year 2000. Apart from that, her
training stables in Lütjensee in Holstein are full of Rubinstein progeny . She had eight under
instruction in October 2000 alone.
The master student at work, Rubinstein and trainer Johannes Hinnemann.
"Those were certainly great moments, when our stallion stood at the very front during the presentation
ceremonies and the German flag was hoisted, reminisces Gudula Vorwerk-Happ a little wistfully when she
things about the heyday of the stallion. Following Hannövers move to another location, Rubinstein was
briefly trained and ridden by his permanent attendant Ferdinand Krogmann before Heike Krogmann took her
place in the saddle.
Then the inevitable happened. Those that were destined to be together were brought together. Nicole
Uphoff moved to Cappeln and introduced the Vorwerk sires to top competition sport. With Rubinstein she
quasi rode the cousin of her memorable. Rembrandt, who spent some of the sunset of his life at Vorwerk.
As a result of injury the pair, which radiated with charisma had to suspend its course of success and
not long after, Nicole Uphoff went into self-employment. The black diamond had disappeared from the
international dressage stage - with a life-winnings sum of DM 240.000. A magnificent result for a
breeding stallion who was always utilised for covering duty to a maximum.
Insemination official Petra Becker is quite aware that this is a very special horse.
Already during his lifetime, Rubinstein was regarded as one of the most accomplished contemporary
dressage sires. He produced horses that could be ridden by all and sundry, level headed, easy to get
along with, prepared to perform and endowed with a high rideability. Horses which in the hands of good
trainers were often master scholars that could easily learn even the most difficult lessons. Up to the
present day they have won in excess of DM 700.000 at competitions and brought their sire a dressage
breeding value rating of 155 points (1999 FN). This has placed Rubinstein the ranking among the Top Ten
of the Senior Stallions I.
Horses whose names begin with the letter "R" often have Rubinstein as their sire. The Oldenburg
auctioneer Uwe Heckmann rhymed "Oh how fine, Rubinstein". When the black stallion livened up the
auctions in Vechta with promising young talent. Not infrequently, his offspring attained prices, like
the approved Rosenstar S, who was auctioned in 1994 for DM 200.00. Or the charming mare Rose of Jade
which brought the sum of DM 310.000 in 1995, or then again Royal Jubilee, who was sold in Vechta for
DM 380.000 in 1999. The other breeding regions were not sparing in their efforts to acquire a good
Rubinstein for their stables either. At the North-Rhine Westphalian approvals of 1996, Robespierre was
the highest priced stallion at DM 350.000. Even after Rubinstein's death, his popularity has not
declined. The prime foal of the autumn 2000 Vechta auction which fetched the price of DM 100.000 was
from no less than the dazzling black Rubinstein I.
Still with a dark coat, federal champion Royal Diamond - a stallion with a great future.
"R" like Rubinstein, "R" like rideability. Numerous sons of the black legend were able to decide the
stallion performance test in their favour. Rubioso N who is meanwhile enjoying successes in Prix St.
George and Intermediaire tests under Ellen Bontje is one example, another is the federal champion
six-year old dressage horse of the year 2000, Royal Diamond. Regazzoni who caused a sensation in 1998
with a phenomenal approvals age-class, including the Hanoverian Riccione who was sold for DM 350.000,
was at the forefront in Munster-Handorf in 1994. Rubinstar, the 1996 Nobilis Cup winner, Ruizsoler and
the Celle state stallion Rotspon have achieved similar successes.
The oldest Rubinstein progeny will be eleven years old in the year 2001. One can only speculate about
the great things that the future has in store for them! Renoir, a nine-year old Oldenburg chestnut
gelding demonstrated at a schooling performance at the federal championship of 2000 under his rider
Ann-Kathrin Kroth, what grandiose collection ability and quality of movement he has in him. He is
being celebrated as an absolutely exceptional horse. Relevant, a chestnut stallion with grand basic
gaits was brought to peak performance under Nicole Uphoff, to win the 1998 Nuremburg Burgpokal (Cup).
With a winnings of in excess of DM 16.000 in 1999, he was the most successful Rubinstein offspring in
sport. At present he is being exclusively utilised for breeding purposes.
The exceptional horse Relevant with Leonie Bramall.
One would have wished the stallion many more years in his loose box in Cappeln as a sire, yet this was
not to be. On the 18th of May, the stallion did not touch his feed and was checked up by a veterinarian
who noticed a swollen testicle. In the veterinary clinic the diagnosis was a twisted testicle with colic
like pain. Dr. Friedrich von Saldern was forced to remove a testicle. "Following that, the stallion was
for all intents and purposes already on the way to improvement. We went to the pasture with him for
grazing and he seemed quite sprightly" remembers Gudula Vorwerk-Happ who was quite hopeful after the
operation. Yet suddenly his condition rapidly declined. Rubinstein got toxic laminitis on both front
hooves, circulatory debility and on the 5th of June 2000 he had breathed his last breath. This was a
sudden heavy blow for dressage horse breeding in Germany, Europe and the whole world.
Bernhard Drühe and Fiddi Möller bring the last broodmares for Rubinstein.
Johann Hinnemann, the former federal trainer of the German dressage elite once said "when we consider
a stallion of the century, we refer to Rubinstein. His hereditary transmission is unequalled in respect
to rideability seating comfort, affability and preparedness to perform". Truly a legendary stallion"
- and already part of the annals of history.
A sire of the century- in terms of type, interior qualities, rideability and hereditary transmission
Rubenstein I is also the sire of the well known Dutch OO-Seven.
OO-Seven is out of one of the most famous Dutch dam lines.
Dam Gelbria (Doruto x Amor). Gelbria is full sister to Olympic Barbria. The famous dam line
of Rubinstein x the famous dam line of OO-Seven x the well
known STV dam line of Lilium /keur, 2x pref, prest
Elegant /keur) is very promising and that is exactly the reason why we have decided to breed our
Vayade VDW to
This article is by: Julia Wentscher
Photos by: Bernd Eylers (19), Werner Ernst (1)
The article was taken over from the H W Ranch site