Gestut Ammerland Continuing With Reduced Numbers

Dietrich von Boetticher at Gestut Ammerland with Lady Vettori, the dam of Lope De Vega | Emma Berry 

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Dietrich von Boetticher's famed Gestut Ammerland is undergoing a reduction in scale but is not, as reported this week in the German press, ceasing business completely. As part of that process, the owner/breeder's neighbouring farm on Lake Starnberg, Gestut Bernried, will close from the end of May.

“It's very much an official reduction, he is not stopping breeding,” said an Ammerland representative. “He's been selling more yearlings and reducing the stock over a number of years. The idea is to bring the operation down from around 50 to about a dozen mares.”

For more than 30 years, von Boetticher has been one of Germany's elite breeders and has enjoyed significant success on the international stage. His Bavarian farm has produced such great names as dual French Classic winner and leading sire Lope De Vega (Ire) (Shamardal), Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Hurricane Run (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}), and German Derby and Coronation Cup winner Boreal (Ger) (Java Gold). He was also the co-breeder of another Arc winner, Waldgeist (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), with Newsells Park Stud and Coolmore.

Now 80, von Boetticher bought the picturesque Gestut Ammerland in southern Germany in 1989, the year after winning the German Derby with Luigi (Ger) (Home Guard), the first racehorse he bought. That same season von Boetticher also celebrated a one-two in the Preis der Diana (German Oaks) with Alte Zeit (Ger) (Surumu {Ger}) and Britannia (Ger) (Tarim {GB}). The latter went on to become a cornerstone of his breeding programme, producing the aforementioned Boreal and the filly Borgia (Ger) (Acatenango {Ger}), winner of both the German Derby and Grosser Preis von Baden in her homeland as well as the Hong Kong Vase. 

Two of Borgia's daughters remain among the 17 mares currently listed as comprising the Ammerland broodmare band. The group also includes three half-sisters to Lope De Vega, the G1 Prix de Diane winner Golden Lilac (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), and 4-year-old Wildfeder (GB), a full-sister to Walgdeist. 

The owner/breeder has a number of horses in training in Germany with Peter Schiergen, and in France with Andre Fabre, including the Classic entrants Sea The Sky (Ger) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), a full-sister to Sea The Moon (Ger), Safni (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and Waldstar (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), who is owned in partnership with Newsells Park Stud. The Gestut Ammerland homebred Baltic Bird (GB) (Frankel {GB}), a great-grandson of Borgia, was set to make his debut for John and Thady Gosden at Leicester on Friday.

The eventual cessation of breeding at Bernried, which has stood stallions including Boreal, Ito (Ger) and Iquitos (Ger), has prompted a move to Ireland by Ronald Rauscher. The agent and consignor kept 35 of his own and clients' mares on the farm, including those owned by Dr Christoph Berglar, breeder of international Group 1 winners Protectionist (Ger) and Novellist (Ger).

“The yearlings will move in the first week in April, and then the mares and foals will move at the beginning of June,” said Rauscher, who will be based in Mallow, Co Cork. “All my clients will move out of Bernried to Ireland.”

He added, “I lived in Ireland for 12 years until 1997, so after a 25-year sabbatical I am returning.”

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