Mittwoch, 20. April 2011

Vladimir (a.k.a. Waldemar a.k.a. Valdemar) Seunig




Vladimir Seunig, born in Trebnje (germ.: Treffen) in Dolenjska region (Lower Carniola) on 8.8. 1887 to a family of German descent, grew up and for many years lived and trained in Ljubljana. During his time in Ljubljana he was living at Bokalce castle which is nowadays unfortunately in a very bad conditi...on and is falling apart. He was riding his horses at a stadium of Slovenian National Hall and in a riding hall of Kolizej complex in Ljubljana.

He was educated himself at Maria Theresia Military Academy in Vienna, at Spanish Riding School of Vienna and at Care Noir in Saumur. He was one of the last royal stable masters of Europe, for several years serving to Jugoslav king at his stables in Zemono near Belgrade, Serbia. He was also very successful at international competitions. Attended also Olympics in Paris in 1924 where he ranked at 24th place.

Sometime before or during World War II (as far as I know) he left for Germany where he contiued his equestrain career for the rest of his life. Internationally known as Waldemar Seunig he was a respected rider, trainer and international judge. Moreover, he is still one of the best authors of equestrian literature, most famous of his works is an excellent book titled Von der Koppel bis zur Kapriole (Horsemanship). His non equestrian skills include writing short stories and drawing excellent drawings.

He died on Christmas eve of 1976, I believe somewhere in Germany.

Kommentare:

  1. Ljubljana, July 14 (year unknown, but from the text I suspect it could have been 1927, a year after Kingdom of SHS changed in 1926 into Kingdom of Yugoslavia).

    As reported from Aachen, Germany, the great international riding competi...tions were finished in late June, where the riders from more or less whole europe have gathered to present their art, cultivated for centuries, in front of the judges. It is probably unknown to majority, that our fellow citizan, long time chief stable master of the Royal stables in later chief riding master of royal cavalry academy in Zemono, mr. Colonel Seunig, have attended these competitions with greates success. Without suspition of our public, he has been awarded at nations prize giving in front of several thousand of spectators. The band payed Yugoslav anthem, Yugoslav flag has flown and our only representative there was Mr. Seunig.

    Importance of his victories is for sure enourmous, not only for he has served as cavalry officer of our Army untill last year's subversion, but moreover for his success is being very typical for our horsebreeding. Disconsidering his own material welfare he has for sure sacrified great expences in order to attend these, perhaps greatest competitions in the world, with horses of our breeding. His not even 6 years old thoroughbred Retorsio, whom he has purchased two years ago in Stud farm Zobnatica near Subotica from horsebreeded Julius Leibach, has brought him first prize and golden band in the hardest dressage test. Fabulous chestnut has fullfilled his task playfully, his noble temper has under the influence of Mr. Sunig's art impressed the crowd and the judges. With his second horse Baccarat Mr. Seunig has received general praise and in total he has collecte no less than 7 prizes.

    How much conscientiousness and effort must have been given invested into both horses is being prooved by the fact that he has been preparing to this competion for long months. He has ovecome all the obstacles. At any wather one can see this riding artist in our city, how he aims towards his goal with greates perseverance. Besides many awards and medals at home and internationally is Mr. Seunig also a member of Royal Wheel of riders and driver of His Majesty Crown Prince Peter. It is especially necessary to stress out the praises given to Mr. Seunig by the Dutch Press, to which we mostl certainly join with our honest congratulations.

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  2. Success of our rider abroad.

    On Monday, 2nd day of this month, we have reported about great successs achieved by colonel Seunig at the international riding tournament in Aachen. The picture presents Mr. Colonel after the tournament ...on his horse Retorsio, as he is receiving honorary award from the hands of the President fo the tournament. Representatives of 9 nations have attended the international dressage tests. The tournament took place on June 27th (I assume this was in 1927).

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  3. Cavalry Major Vladimir Seunig of Ljubljana, who has won the first prize at the great international military officer's competition in Berlin on 7th of November this year (from the hand written note one can assume it was in 1925). Over 4500 soldiers from all over the world have been competing.

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  4. Lieutenant Seunig, chief riding master of our cavalry, native of Ljubljana, who has recently attended international riding competitions in Berlin as the only Yugoslavian.

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  5. Great success of Retorsio with our rider colonel Seunig abroad.

    Our sportsmen's great international successes are rare, therefore we have to welcome double success won at a great international tournament in Verden, Hannover by our native, co...lonel Seunig. The winner of the competition in a dressage test, competed by riders of american Union, Romania and Yugoslavia on 14th day of this month was thoroughbred Retorsio with his rider colonel Seunig. He is of Yugoslav breeding and is being trained in Ljubljana. The achieved success prooves excelence of Yugoslav breed, which could have opposed selected and enourmously precious horses of American Union at an international test. The winner was awarded with golden belt. We are happy for this success of our rider and our horse and we congratulate colonel Seunig, who has in most diffcult circumstances won this first grade mark and such an excellent and important victory. German newspapers report thoroughly about this tournament, specially the Hannoveraner Tageblatt, which stresses out the excellence of our competitor and deserved marks.

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  6. Great success of Retorsio with our rider colonel Seunig abroad.

    Our sportsmen's great international successes are rare, therefore we have to welcome double success won at a great international tournament in Verden, Hannover by our native, co...lonel Seunig. The winner of the competition in a dressage test, competed by riders of american Union, Romania and Yugoslavia on 14th day of this month was thoroughbred Retorsio with his rider colonel Seunig. He is of Yugoslav breeding and is being trained in Ljubljana. The achieved success prooves excelence of Yugoslav breed, which could have opposed selected and enourmously precious horses of American Union at an international test. The winner was awarded with golden belt. We are happy for this success of our rider and our horse and we congratulate colonel Seunig, who has in most diffcult circumstances won this first grade mark and such an excellent and important victory. German newspapers report thoroughly about this tournament, specially the Hannoveraner Tageblatt, which stresses out the excellence of our competitor and deserved marks.

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  7. That's outstanding Sandi! Thank you for the photos! Where did you find them?

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  8. Andreas, this is a precious piece my grandfather's heritage. All these original articles are in my posession now. I actually found them inserted between the pages of Seunig's book Marginalien zu Pferd und Reiter and wanted to publish them here for quite some time. Mr. Seunig used to ride in the same manege in Ljubljana where my grandfather got his first riding lessons in early 1930's. Unfortunately it is merely impossible to get any info on Seunig's life in Ljubljana though... But the arena is still there, only no longer used for riding. You can see it in the album Ljubljana in mid 1934, the last three pics. :))

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  9. Colonel Waldemar Seunig was, in his duty of Royal Stablemaster of the Yugoslavian king, also responsible for the royal stud Demir Kapija (in Macedonia).

    Although this stud was relatively small, the Lipizzaner horses bred in this farm were (and are!) still famous because of their outstanding quality. The breeding stock was transferred by the German army in 1942 from Demir Kapija through Piber towards Hostau. Only a small number of this breeding stock returned to Yugoslavia after WW2..

    Nevertheless several present classical Lipizzaner marefamilies, still in use in Lipica, Piber, Djakovo, Lipik are leading back towards the breeding stock of Demir Kapija !

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  10. Waldermar Seunig is famous for his huge standard work on the Classical Dressage: "Von der Koppel bis zur Kapriole" .

    But he wrote several other books about various riding subjects as well.

    His work is translated: "A Comprehensive Book on Training the Horse and Its Rider"

    In the book "Von der Koppel bis zur Kapriole" some pictures can be seen of him, riding his Lipizzaner "Wiener Melodie" in the courtyard of the Ljubljana castle. (I did not find the studbook name of this horse).

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  11. I found for me new information, where it says Seunig was actually born in Trebnje in Lower Carniola. I'm not sure if it's more acurate than info that he was born in Ljubljana, but for sure his father Jožef (Joseph) owned Bokalce Castle near Ljubljana (nowadays in City Municipality of Ljubljana in Ljubljana suburbs, cca 2-3 km from my home), but I find it interesting. His Mother's name was Amélie nei Gressel-Baraga. During WWII he first moved to Austria, than later to Germany, where as it says he lived in München. Source: Slovenian Biographical Lexicon

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  12. Has Mr. Seunig been a pupil of the Spanish Riding School?

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  13. Correct, he has a been pupil of SRS. Besides SRS he was also a pupil of Cadre Noir in Saumur. But I have no information on the time spent in each of the two institutions.

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  14. Just like other talented cavalry/hussar/dragoon officers, Mr. Seunig was sent to the SRS in order to improve their knowledge and to become experienced in the High School Dressage.

    He had famous colleagues like Podhajsky, Hazslinskzy, Hanthy.

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  15. In Belgrade's magazine "Ilustrovani list" (Illustated Magazine) from 1925 there are 2 picture of him on a horse (jumping, and dressage) with a following text:
    "Horse major g. Vlad. Seunig from Belgrade won, few days ago, no less no more than 8 prizes on international horse competitons in Vienna.
    He won, among others, in dressage and special prize for best style in jumping and dressage. Competition lasted 3 days, and 450 horses
    were attended.

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  16. He was attending Theresianische Militärakademie in 1906-1909 and after that he was a cavalry officer in Austria, so I assume he must have been at SRS sometime close to these dates, probably before WWI. Unless he was there more than once for some period, that I don't know.

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  17. He was attending Theresianische Militärakademie in 1906-1909 and after that he was a cavalry officer in Austria, so I assume he must have been at SRS sometime close to these dates, probably before WWI. Unless he was there more than once for some period, that I don't know

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  18. I checked the whole german edition of this book (OLMS Verlag 2001, ISBN3-487-08348-5) and there is only one photo of Seunig, taken in Vienna at SRS. I would be interested to see the pictures of him from Ljubljana, is there a chance for you to scan and post them (or send them to me to post them here in this album)?

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  19. could you scan them so we could post them here? You can send them to my email to post them in this album, or open a new one. Pls let me know, I would love to see those pictures and I'm sure others would, too :))

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  20. Of course I would, but at the moment I have a problem with my scanner. As soon as I solve it, I will let you know.

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  21. Excellent, I'm looking forward :)))

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  22. Dr. H. L. M. van Schaik wrote an obituary for Seunig in "Dressage and CT." In it he wrote "Eight of the books deal strictly with horses; one contains aphorisms pertaining to women, and another one is a autobiography "In the Saddle I Did Not Count the Hours." It is this book that shows his mastery in wielding the pen. He brings history to life when he describes his life in Vienna before the First World War. His lyrical description of how his venerated Oberbereiter Gottfried Polak, rode his horses lets the reader visualize the performance."

    I am unsure if some of the books referenced above where his autobiography? If not perhaps that book has pictures of him riding Lipizzans, if a copy can by found?

    From what van Schaik described I wish that book could be translated with its "lyrical descriptions".....

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  23. Original title: "Im Sattel zählt´ich keine Zeit" - Verlag Sankt Georg, 1958. 160 Pages. Very rare.

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  24. No, unfortunately not. I was aware of the existence of this book, but never found one! But it must be a very interesting documentary. Just like Podhajsky's "Meine Lehrmeister, die Pferde"

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  25. I managed to scan picture from "Ilustrovani list" and upload it to:

    http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/3328/seunig.jpg

    If you have any problem to download it, please let me know.

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  26. Thank you so much! I've just added the scan to this album. :)))

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  27. We have to do an article on Waldemar Seunig in Wikipedia!

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  28. Atjan, you can find it used on the web.

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  29. Yes, modern times! I just did, and found one ;-)

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  30. I got the book right now on Amazon! :-)

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  31. I got the book "Im Sattel zählt' ich keine Zeit"! Yeah!!!!!

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  32. coool, I'm waiting on mine to come sometime soon, too :))

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  33. Another interesting one is Marginalien zu Pferd und Reiter, ernst und heiter - newly published by Wu Wei Verlag ;))

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  34. Me too! Delivered yesterday, from a antique bookseller in Germany! At last ;-)

    What an interesting and valuable document this is! A sketch of a very difficult period of the history of Middle Europe! Imperial times - 1st Worldwar - Interbellum - 2nd Worldwar - After war period. Mr. Seunig was extorted from his home land, the "Doppelmonarchie". In the succeeding countries he tried to find his way, just following horses and classical dressage.

    Laibach, Krain (aka Ljubljana and Carnolia) - Vienna, Militär-Reitlehrer-Institut - Ulanenregiment (lancers) - international riding tournaments - Cadre Noir Saumur - Royal Mews London - Royal Equerry Belgrad - Spanish Ridingschool Vienna - Yugoslavian military academy - German cavalry - Austria - Germany. What a life....

    Beautiful German lyrical texts (But sometimes a bit difficult for non-native speaking readers... I must admit)

    Good material for H&D and Wikipedia!

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  35. I just received my copy, yeah!!! :)))))

    And I have to agree, Seunig's language is demanding for us non native speaking readers. But I kind of like this :))

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  36. Andreas, no, I do not know of it. A lot of biographical info is actually in his book we just discussed. I have found what I know on the web, but these were rather bits and pieces than biography.

    Some info:

    He was born on August 8, 1887 in Ljubljana - or in Trebnje (different sources name these two places).

    his father was Jožef (Joseph) Seunig, lord of the Bokalce (Stroblhof) castle near Ljubljana.

    mother: Amélie, maiden name Gressel-Baraga (from the above mentioned book of his I understand she was a relative of famous missionary Friderik Irenej Baraga from Metlika - see also: http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?BioId=38403)

    He attended 1st State Gymnasium in Ljubljana 1897-1906, graduated in 1906. Than he attended Theresian Military akademy in Vienna 1906-1909. As an Officer he was posted in Austria and Jsla, where he received rank of colonel. During WWII he first moved to Austria and later settled in Germany (München or Ansbach). I believe he last saw his beloved Stroblhof in 1943 after it was burned in 1942 by the partisans. The castle was later renewed into a several apartment building for workers, but it is again pretty devastated. People still live in it, though it really looks very sad Today.

    As a riding expert he wrote the article(s) titled Utakmice u jahanju na Olimpiadi u Parizu (Riding competitions at Olympics in Paris) - which seems to have been published in Belgrade, Ratnik Magazine, year 1924, booklet 10, pages 119–28; booklet 11–2, pages 197–220; which were signed: Vladimir Seunig, cavalry major.

    He attended Paris Olympics in 1924 where he was placed 24th.

    This and what can be found on the covers of his books is more or less everything.

    Oh, from personal sources I only heard this story: an old rider and judge from Ljubljana once told me that Seunig was famous for avoiding having any spectators when he was training his horses. The story was that whenever anyone stopped at the arena and started to observe his work, he supposedly always quickly stopped his work. I do not know how much truth is there in this story, but this is what I was told. Unfortunately I never had a chance to have such discussions with my Grandfather, who must have known Seunig and about his life as a famous rider of Ljubljana.

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  37. You are welcome, Andreas! I wish I knew more of him. Bokalce aka Strobelhof castle is not far away from my place. I drive-by almost every day on my way home from the stables where I keep Ori. I have no words to describe how live I can imagine what Seunig is writing about the castle in his above mentioned book Im Sattel zählt' ich keine Zeit...

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  38. The last picture is a scan from a small book titled Frauen, Pferde, Bücher by Seunig, where he speaks of himslef. This clarifies the doubt about his birthšplace - he was obviously born in Trebnje (germ.: Treffen) in Dolenjska region (Lower Carniola/Unterkrain). It also explaines a bit about the timeline of his life between both WW.

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  39. I found details in another book of his: Col. Seunig was in the SRS in 1926-1927.

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  40. May I ask, in which book? I have some, but didn't read all of them yet.. Thank you very much!

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  41. „Meister der Reitkunst und ihre Wege", publisher: Paul Parey / Berlin, 2. Auflage 1981 (2nd Edition)

    This second edition was published after his death. The editor added a short life story of Waldemar Seunig.

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  42. Thank you!! I have to check which edition I have that it is calmly waiting for me to read :)

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  43. Does Seunig talk about his time at the SRS in this book Atjan?

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  44. Waldemar Seunig mentions the SHS in this work Meister der Reitkunst und ihre Wege in several occasions f.ex in relation with Lois Seeger and Franz Gebhardt, but also the MRI Wien citation of Baron von Klingspor: to be able to "rein" the horse only wit ones seat... I utterly adore this blog and hope to contribute alo in future... something fascinating... saddles of SHS horses have seen some famous students... the young Pluto Kerka was ridden by Richard Lacey Wätjen, the mature by Waldemar Seunig... Best Regards Brigitte

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