Interview with Felix Klaphake from the German Horse Center
Tell us about your life and how you got started in horses.
Felix: I was born and raised in the horse country of Germany, in the north-west. I currently live in Münster, which is at the heart of Germany’s renowned horse culture. I have a master’s degree in digital business and studied in the USA, Mexico, and the Netherlands. As for being the CEO, I come from a family of successful riders. My siblings, Laura and Enno, are accomplished riders, and my expertise in technology and business led to the inception of the German Horse Center.
And tell us about the German Horse Center. When did it start? Why did you start the business? Do you own the horses you sell or represent them for customers? Do you breed them, then break them?
The German Horse Center emerged from a vision of connecting buyers with top-quality sport horses transparently. Our goal was to create a seamless, comprehensive experience that links riders with meticulously trained horses. We collaborate with esteemed partner stables in Germany who list their quality horses on our platform or offer their horses on demand. We prioritize a full-service approach, from advisory support to vetting, transport, and paperwork. Our focus is on facilitating connections and assisting the buyers, rather than owning or breeding horses. That allows us to have the flexibility to source a horse from anywhere, making sure it fits the rider.
Do you ride?
I’m not a rider myself. My role revolves around technology and business, ensuring the German Horse Center provides a seamless experience for buyers and sellers.
Tell us about your typical workday.
My days involve overseeing operations, collaborating with partner stables, and enhancing customer support. Strategic planning is key to keeping our quality standard and improving our services.
How are horse sales in 2023?
Horse sales have been strong in 2023. The equestrian community continues to seek quality sport horses, and we’re delighted to facilitate those connections through the German Horse Center. There is a long list of testimonials on our website: https://www.germanhorsecenter.com/testimonial.html
Have you sold any horses/foals that went on and were famous? Stallions? Broodmare line that was successful?
We’ve been part of numerous success stories. Horses sold through us have achieved recognition in competitions, see the list on our website: https://www.germanhorsecenter.com/testimonial.html. Our partner stables house accomplished horses that have made notable achievements, including World Cup and Olympic winners.
How you help in the buying process?
Absolutely, our commitment is to provide comprehensive full-service support. We take care of every aspect of the process. To start, we assess the rider’s level by observing their riding and competition history. This helps us understand their preferences. Based on this, we search for suitable horses. We present these horses through videos that include detailed information about their achievements, pedigree, qualities, and price.
If the customer decides to visit Germany to try the horses in person, we arrange a well-planned horse tour. This tour includes the horses previously presented, as well as additional options available at the stables. Beyond that, we ensure a seamless experience by assisting with travel planning, accommodation arrangements, driver, rental car as well as independent purchase advisers, as described in detail on our full-service page https://www.germanhorsecenter.com/full-service-overview.html If the buyer decides to make a purchase, we continue to support them. We manage the entire process, from arranging vetting to coordinating transportation, and import logistics. Our involvement doesn’t end with the purchase; we provide after-sales services through trainers and leverage our extensive global network of coaches. Our
goal is to make the entire journey smooth and enjoyable, ensuring that our customers find the perfect equine partner.
Do you have policies in place – return policy? Do you trade for another horse if it doesn’t work out? Trial periods? PPE policy?
We want to keep our clients happy – this is the only way to archive long term success. That is why we only work with selected partner stables and their horses. We work with the biggest and renown clinics in Germany to ensure extensive and critical pre-purchase exams that ensure health and suitability. Together with the client’s vet, we always go through all the details together to make sure all offered horses are sound. We also offer leasing models for clients to try horses and send trainers to clients in case they need help with the horse after the purchase.
The North American Hunter market – Do you have an “eye” for hunter horses and their way of going, jumping style?
Yes, our team excels in understanding the North American Hunter market. We identify hunter horses’ unique movement and jumping style, offering tailored options. I try to be present at the shows in the USA at least twice a year to catch up with our clients and see how they are doing with their horse at home and in the ring. Our trainers and partners are there regularly or even full-time, which allows to always be supportive of our clients.
What do you like to do on your days off?
During my leisure time, I cherish outdoor pursuits like hiking and running. I also appreciate taking in the vibrant atmosphere of Germany’s year-round horse shows, occasionally indulging in a refreshing beer.
Call or WhatsApp at +49 1573 2382801. For more details, visit our website at www.germanhorsecenter.com or email us at [email protected]. Stay updated by connecting with us on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you for your insightful questions; it’s been a pleasure discussing the German Horse Center with you.
Thank you, Felix, for the great interview! See the German Horse Center horses for sale at horses4yc.com