With additional content from Horse Sport

Later this summer, veterinarian and Canadian eventing athlete Dr. Katie Malensek will be heading to Arville, Belgium with her nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding Landjaeger (Landkönig x Unbridled’s Image) to represent Canada for the first time in Nations Cup competition.

Dr. Malensek, who has made her home in Ormund Beach, FL, came across the bold and brazen youngster “Brewster” during a visit to breeder Juliana Whittenburg’s Flying Lion Farm in 2015. Their first meeting involved the yearling jumping a gate to get back to the barn. “When he did that,” Malensek said, “I thought he was either brave or stupid, but I knew I had to buy him.” 

A newborn Brewster gets kisses from his momma Thoroughbred mare Drink or Die, aka Angel Baby in March 2014 (L) / Baby Brewster
Photo Credit: Juliana Whittenburg

Since that fateful day eight years ago, Malensek has worked deftly to bring out the best in him. “He was always consistently good in dressage and show jumping but it took him a while to come into his own on cross country,” she said. “He was so spooky about everything. Even up through preliminary level – fence openings, shadows, other jumps he had to gallop past, it made him really hard to ride and focus through those years. It was in the intermediate level that he finally smoothed out and became more focused.”

His barn family, which includes Katie’s husband Nate, pictured here, loves the bold and brazen Brewster.
 
Although a more fluent competitor today, he remains the same strong character Malensek first met in that paddock. “He is definitely not that flighty anymore, but he is just as bold and brazen,” she said when asked if he has matured over the last number of years. “When he wants to go somewhere he doesn’t care who he’s dragging along with him, but he will go where he wants to. He’s pretty headstrong on the ground.”

His brash character also means he likes to have his space and doesn’t hesitate to share his opinions about things. “He’s quite grumpy with other horses and loves being outside, so he’s usually turned out 24/7,” his owner continued. “He’s quite loud in the stalls and loves to get my attention by striking the stall doors,” she said.

His audaciousness also makes for a great competitive partner. “He’s just a trier- he’s a tough cookie and tries really hard to do the right thing when I’m riding him,” she shared. “At shows he’s the most fun to ride, that’s when he usually perks up and has a little extra sparkle. He’s quite the personality and we love him!” 

With Katie’s training and guidance, Brewster has become a competitive eventing athlete and amenable partner across dressage, cross country and show jumping.

Earlier this year, the duo competed in their first CCI4* in Myakka City, FL, where they placed 31 out of 53 entries. “He was good in dressage and cross country but he show jumped before cross country – that’s always hard for him. Generally, he seems to jump better after he’s already run the cross country,” said Malensek. “He’s a big strong horse and we were still experimenting with bridles to make a better shape and he just got away from me a bit. But I think we have that figured out now.”

With their next big event set to take place in Belgium, the pair are busy prepping for the hilly terrain using an underwater treadmill in Ocala once a week and competing in the rolling countryside of the Chattahoochee Hills in Georgia. No one seems too concerned about the cross Atlantic travel for Brewster. “He generally travels well and is only concerned about his tummy,” Malensek said on account of his insatiable appetite.

It seems the year he was born, all the foals at Flying Lion had food and drink themed names. His registered name Landjaeger is a type of German dried sausage like a pepperette. “Brewster” (aka the one that makes the beer) definitely got the memo as he is a horse who loves food!

“He will eat anything,” Malensek laughed when asked about his favourite snacks. “My sister says he has string ray lips, because if you get even close to his face, he will hoover the treat and your fingers into his mouth.”

“His favourites are peppermints,” Malensek continued. “My sister taught him how to smile with his upper lip and now he waits for his treat to be put under his lip to keep his teeth away from fingers. The same with his grain. She taught him to move away from his bowl and do a circle to give us time to put his food in without getting plowed over.”

Everyone that knows him has been enjoying watch the headstrong guy succeed in the upper levels of the sport. They’re also now looking forward to cheering him on throughout his European tour. After the competition in Arville, the Canadian duo will travel to the UK and stay with world top ranked eventers Tim and Jonelle Price to train for the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trails from Sept. 14 – 17. They will then finish up with the four star long at the CCI Lignieres in France from Sept. 27 – Oct 1.

“To have this opportunity to represent Canada at the Nations Cup is huge for us,” said Malensek. “I hope this isn’t once-in-a-lifetime, I will never take it for granted.”

Once back home after their big European adventure, Malensek thinks Brewster will spend the late fall enjoying the great outdoors before deciding what’s next. “He secretly wants to be a husband horse where his biggest challenge is getting his head down to the next patch of grass!”

For more information about FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ in Arville, Belgium, please click here.

To follow along with Brewster’s European Tour, request to join their group on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/3549059598744515

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