Charlotte’s family originates from Lithuania, near the former East Prussian town of Trakehner, where they bred and dealt in the warmblood breed of the same name.

“I come from a long line of horse breeders,” explained Charlotte, who was named EC Canadian Breeder of the Year in 2015. “My grandfather and his brothers were very big horse breeders and dealers at the turn of the previous century, from the 1800s to the 1900s. They were the largest horse dealers in Europe, trading about 12,000 horses a year.”

2015 EC Canadian Breeder of the Year, Charlotte Schickedanz of Markham, ON, comes from a long line of elite horse breeders.
Left: Her grandfather, Gustav Schickedanz, at a horse auction in Lithuania.
Right: Her father, Gerhard Schickedanz (holding the reins), with his siblings.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Charlotte Schickedanz

But with the turn of the century came two World Wars, and the Schickedanz family was forced to flee their home in Lithuania. When Charlotte’s father, Gerhard Schickedanz, immigrated to Canada in 1951, he initially wasn’t able to continue in the family trade and got into construction rather than horses. But with time and a little bit of savings, Gerhard was able to re-enter the world of agriculture in 1960.

A decade later, Gerhard traveled to Germany and purchased three Trakehner mares, sending them back to Canada on a commercial plane – a first in an era where horses were usually transported via ship. One of those mares, Abiza, was in foal during the flight, and in December 1970 she birthed a little gray who would become one of the most famous show jumpers of the 20th century: Abdullah.

Abdullah (Donauwind x Maharadscha) put Gerhard’s burgeoning horse business on the North American map. With American Conrad Homfeld in the irons, the stallion won the 1985 World Cup Final in Berlin, GER, and team gold and individual silver for the United States at both the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and 1986 Show Jumping World Championships in Aachen, GER.

Historic Schickedanz Galten Farms Find a Modern-Day Champion in Jessica Phoenix

Abdullah is one of the icons of show jumping history. With Conrad Homfeld in the irons, he had an incredible career, which included team gold and individual silver at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Photo Credit: Tish Quirk

Growing up immersed in this equestrian world, there was little doubt that Charlotte would follow in her father’s footsteps and become part of the breeding and sales operations at Schickedanz Galten Farms. She commented, “My dad was very good at allowing me in early. I always had a good sense for horses. It’s almost like it’s in you, judging conformation and having a feel about the animal, so at 18 I became more and more involved as I went through university.”

Under Charlotte’s expert guidance, Schickedanz Galten Farms produced its next big name: Amiego (Haendel x Maharadscha), a 1974 stallion and half-brother to Abdullah who was ridden by Peter Gray for Bermuda to an individual bronze medal at the 1987 Indianapolis Pan American Games. Charlotte had helped condition Amiego for the Pan Am Games, along with Susan Bundy of Toronto, ON, who became a lifelong friend.

Historic Schickedanz Galten Farms Find a Modern-Day Champion in Jessica Phoenix

Gerhard Schickedanz keeping a watchful eye on Schickedanz Galten Farms’ Amiego, who represented Bermuda at the 1987 Indianapolis Pan Am Games with Peter Gray.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Charlotte Schickedanz

Her assistance training Amiego is not the only contribution Susan has made to Schickedanz Galten Farms. Her daughter, Hanna, was a student of Jessica Phoenix, and Susan encouraged Charlotte to get in touch with the Canadian Olympian.

Charlotte recalled, “I’ve always had my eyes open for good-hearted people who are genuine and Sue said, ‘Charlotte, you need to meet this young lady’. That was in 2012, and that was just a year after my dad died. I think my dad would have liked Jessica – he liked people with spunk.”

Fast forward to the present day, and Jessica has helped to develop at least 20 of Charlotte’s up-and-comers, who are easily identifiable by the “GS” suffix in their name. Her FEI career with Schickedanz Galten horses started with Abbey GS in 2013 and continued steadily, with five horses shown by Jessica in the 2019 season: Eric GS, Watson GS, Virginia GS, Isla GS, and Schickedanz Galten’s top stud, Humble GS, who descends from the original Abiza line. Humble is one of Jessica’s veteran partners. During the 2019 season, they placed top-five at the Bromont CCI 3*-S and made an impressive CCI 4*-S debut, finishing 11th at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event.

“It’s really fun,” said Jessica of the string of Schickedanz Galten’s equine talent. “They come at various stages – sometimes they’re not broke, sometimes they can jump small courses – so it just depends on what horses Charlotte sends me, and then we develop them from whatever stage they’re at. Humble’s an amazing horse, so unique in the sense that Charlotte brings him up maybe three times a week and I focus mainly on galloping, show jumping and just getting time in the saddle with him and developing that relationship. What an incredible athlete, to be able to have that limited time with me and come up and perform the way he does. He’s so gifted.”

Historic Schickedanz Galten Farms Find a Modern-Day Champion in Jessica Phoenix

The Schickedanz family has partnered with Canadian Olympian Jessica Phoenix to develop many of their sales and competition horses, including their prized stallion, Humble GS.
L to R: Tom Nowaskey, Charlotte Schickedanz, Caroline Nowaskey, Jessica Phoenix
Photo Credit: ©EC

When asked to identify the commonalities she finds in GS horses, Jessica referenced their willingness to go: “Just their genuine ability to do the job that I’m asking them to do, that’s what I love most about them.”

And with many young horses bred each year to choose from, this abundance of horse talent can pose a problem for Charlotte, who tends to cycle through potential mounts for Jessica faster than her rider might like. Charlotte commented, “I might be quicker than Jessica, even with my own horses, to move on to the next. I guess that’s just the way I grew up, we were pretty cut and dry: The biggest thing for my family’s success is being honest about what you breed, and if it’s not good enough, move on. My father always said, ‘everyone lies, so don’t lie to yourself.’ You have to be your own harshest critic about what you produce, so if I don’t think it’s going to do well, why prolong the agony?”

Jessica retorted with a laugh, “I’m like, give it time! We just need to relax and let them develop a little bit.”

That being said, Jessica and Charlotte 100% agree on how lucky they are to have found each other.

“It’s so amazing to be able to source world class horses 30 minutes away from home,” said Jessica. “The need to go to Europe is no longer there – they are horses that compete against the best in the world and I think that’s what Canada needs more of.”

Charlotte counterpointed that the breeder-rider relationship goes both ways, remarking that she was very lucky to stumble upon a partner like Jessica. “There are always good horses to be found, but it’s not always easy to find someone who will put the training and time in. I think Jessica is a little bit different and understands the journey: it’s just putting in the time, and she is very, very good at that and loves doing it.”

Historic Schickedanz Galten Farms Find a Modern-Day Champion in Jessica Phoenix

The relationship between Jessica and Schickedanz Galten Farms is the stuff that breeder-rider dreams are made of.
L to R: Tom Nowaskey, Jessica Phoenix on Humble GS, Charlotte Schickedanz
Photo Credit: Veronica Low

In summary, Jessica said, “I think that’s the epitome of what we’re doing here: if we can incorporate Canadian owners and horses with Canadian riders, then how awesome is that?”

This site is registered on as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.