Federal Stud Dillenburg
Federal stallion depot of Hessen
Internet: www.landgestuetdillenburg.de (German)
The stud of Dillenburg is located in the German federal state of Hesse between Siegen and Gießen, about 70 kilometers north from Frankfurt/Main. The stud is home to 80 horses, 20 of them being breeding stallions. Thirty people are employed, eight of them in the administration and management of the stud and its premises.
The stud is located in the centre of Dillenburg town. The baroque buildings were created in 1769 and used to be residence of a collateral line of the royal court of the Netherlands. The Princes of Orange inhabited the building which today serves as administration building of the stud. Today's "Stable 1" was the "Royal Stable" of the Orange family, the royal horses, the "swollen noses of Dillenburg", used to be trained in the old riding-house.
In 1869 the stud of Dillenburg became state stud of the federal state of Hesse. Stallions from the former studs in Kassel and Weilburg were concentrated in Dillenburg. During the 1920s, the main time of breeding draft horses, the stud housed around 150 horses. In 1958 the stallions of the dissolved state stud at Darmstadt came to Dillenburg.
As every state stud, Dillenburg nowadays undergoes significant changes. Until 2003 the stud provided service for breeders throughout the state of Hesse at several service stations with two or three stallions and one or two employees. Following a cost-profit-analysis, these branches were closed due to economic reasons. The number of stallions was reduced as well. They are now staying in the central insemination station of Dillenburg. The federal stud cooperates with private studs and veterinarians, who inseminate the mares of the breeders in Hesse. Several of the Dillenburg stallions are actually owned by private European studs. The future position of the stud is seen as competence centre in horse breeding and education.
An important field of business is the Hessian federal school of riding and driving, founded in 1936. Originally, the school taught the children of Hessian farmers and horse breeders. Today, the institution attracts people interested in horse sports from all over Europe. The school offers a variety of courses, from preparation classes for sport certificates, general riding and driving courses up to higher dressage-lessons and working at hand with stud stallions or private horses. The participants are accommodated in the stud's boarding school. The reputation of the school is very good. Due to the high demand it is planned to extend its business.
Dillenburg also offers services for young horses. Since the closure of the branches, the stud-employees stay in Dillenburg the whole year. They train young horses in commission of clients and horses coming from the studs raising institution. When these horses are in good condition, they are sold on auctions to sport and leisure clients.
In cooperation with a marketing and event agency, Dillenburg recently entered the field of hosting cultural events. The architectural layout of the stud premises allows separating the centre of the stud as a scene for cultural events. Festive occasions such as balls and concerts have been organised in the historic riding house with great success.
The stud also opens its doors to visitor groups who can enjoy guided tours and coffee-breaks in the former garden of the stud manager or the orangery-building, which was turned into a carriage museum. The tourism programme promotes the stud as a living museum displaying the cultural importance of horses. A small dedicated team is responsible for the tourist activities, generating additional income and a positive image for the stud.