De Luetje MF has a regal bearing. Envision a runway model meeting an MIT graduate, and that’s the way Elly Schobel describes her 3-year-old Hanoverian chestnut filly. De Luetje MF was selected as the IDHSNA United States Eventing Association Future Event Horse East Coast Championships overall champion and 3-year-old champion Sept. 29 at Morven Park in Leesburg, Va.


“When I saw her as a yearling, I was blown away by her overall type, conformation and personality,” said Schobel.


“We went to a qualifier in Cedar Ridge in Athens, Ga. in August, and we won there with a score of 84, to go onto the finals.” said Schobel. “It was the logical thing to go onto Morven Park to do the East Coast Championships.”


The overall championship and 3-year-old championship designations for De Luetje MF took on added meaning for Schobel as it’s also part of a movement to promote U.S.-bred event horses. De Luetje MF has demonstrated exceptional ability for jumping over fences, is extremely scopey, but Schobel’s goal for Nini as she is known around the barn, is for her to compete in dressage at the Grand Prix level.


Schobel is more interested in seeing the breadth of a horse’s athletic ability, and prefers an athlete that shows potential in more than one discipline.


“Having Mollie Zobel, an eventer as part of the team, makes it easy,” said Schobel.


Schobel’s objective is to point Nini to the 4-Year-Old Young Horse Event Championships in Fair Hill, Md., where whether she or Zobel will ride the horse.


But De Luetje MF wasn’t the only horse of Schobel’s that distinguished herself at the championships, Nini’s half-sister, a Hanoverian yearling filly, named Dat’s Mien Deern, or Didde as she’s known around the barn, was reserve champion in her division. It was Didde’s bloodlines that intrigued Schobel, and they played a large role in the horseman’s decision to eventually purchase her. Both fillies are by the renowned Hanoverian stallion Don Principe, who enjoys an outstanding reputation as the sire of sport horses.


Schobel saw something in Didde that others didn’t. The horseman always compares the way horses look to people. Didde reminded Schobel of the little fat fairy in Cinderella.


“She’s cute,” said Schobel. “When I’m done with her, she’ll be pretty successful. That’s why I love working with babies, and working with them from scratch.”