Prince Carl-Eugen Oettingen-Wallerstein and Mark Tomlinson have been in discussion about this project since the end of last year, and at the beginning of the 2014 season the first few horses arrived at Polo Club Wallerstein. Six horses, all bred at Down Farm in Gloucestershire are currently stabled at Wallerstein and range from 6 to 9 years old. Mark Tomlinson explained that, ‘The horses all have relatively low “mileage” as we start training and playing them much later than in Argentina.’ The majority of the horses are bred from some of the most prominent of the Tomlinson’s mares, such as ‘Casey’ one of the horses that Mark Tomlinson won the 2003 Gold Cup with and stallions such as ‘Chess’.
Mark Tomlinson also said, ‘It is an attractive opportunity for us to expand the market for our horses. It’s a pleasure to help another club grow and improve their operation, thus promoting the sport we love in Germany, a nation with some of the best horses and horsemen in the world.’
Polo Club Wallerstein was founded in 2006 by Princess Anna and her husband Prince Carl-Eugen Oettingen-Wallerstein when they discovered the sport of polo. However the Wallerstein Castle and the family Oettingen-Wallerstein have been linked to horses and breeding for many years. The late Princess Delia zu Oettingen-Wallerstein was also a passionate horse breeder.
Prince Carl-Eugen Oettingen-Wallerstein expressed his excitement for the new partnership with the Tomlinson family. He explained, ‘We are very honoured by the trust the Tomlinsons put into us. It is a unique opportunity to develop a long-term basis of quality horses home bred and raised in Europe.’ Prince Carl-Eugen Oettingen-Wallerstein has also started working with Emma Tomlinson’s Beaufort Embryo Transfer Centre, to breed from the stallion ‘Open Maestro’ who is jointly owned by Gonzalo Pieres, Fernando Riera and Emma Tomlinson.
Beaufort Polo Club is located in the Cotswolds and was originally established in 1872 by Captain Frank Henry. However, in 1977 Simon and Claire Tomlinson assumed ownership of the club and revived it. Their sons Mark and Luke Tomlinson play for the England team and their daughter Emma is a prominent vet who also plays in the english national women’s polo team (2 goals). Beaufort Polo Club also has connections with the Royal Family: Prince Charles is a patron and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge has played at the club.
Beaufort Embryo Transfer Centre is now the established leader in the field of UK equine embryo transfer. Founded in 2002, for the past decade it has continued to develop and excel. The Centre is run by Emma Tomlinson, with the invaluable help of top embryo transfer vet Fernando Riera, the Beaufort Embryo Transfer Centre has obtained high success rates, has a large number of recipients and unrivalled facilities.
Prince Carl-Eugen Oettingen-Wallerstein said, ‘There is already a great deal of interest in this new partnership with the Tomlinson family. Germany has definitely got the right market to sell these horses. Argentinean polo ponies are getting ever more expensive, as are the costs involved in transporting them from Argentina to Germany.’ Polo Club Wallerstein currently have 6 Tomlinson horses stabled at their yard and will continue working with them for 5-6 months. In this regard, Wallerstein are receiving help from some of the Tomlinson’s professionals and grooms. Prince Carl-Eugen Oettingen-Wallerstein hopes that this project will continue successfully, enabling new sets of horses to come to Polo Club Wallerstein every year.
Polo Club Wallerstein
Beaufort Polo Club
Down Farm, Westonbirt
Tel: 0044 1666 880510