From The Racetrack To Revolutionary War Reenactments (Yes, Really), Bielefeld Can Handle It All - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

From The Racetrack To Revolutionary War Reenactments (Yes, Really), Bielefeld Can Handle It All

Bielefeld on the battlefield. Photo courtesy New Vocations

Bielefeld was very special to owner/breeder Thomas Thienel, who named him after his family's home city in Germany. Thienel's parents came to the United States in 1960 with $50 in their pockets searching for the American Dream. They came from horse families and loved going to the races. Thienel named Bielefeld in honor of his dad.

“My dad always wanted to own a horse,” said Thienel, “but unfortunately he passed in 2001. I am honored to be able to fulfill their dream of owning and breeding these magnificent animals.”

Bielefeld had a winning personality from the beginning but failed to win at the track. After 15 starts, Thienel chose to retire the gelding while he was still sound rather than run him in cheap claimers. Bielefeld had a good life at the track and Thienel wanted the next chapter to be good as well.

Bielefeld came to New Vocations trainer Amanda Vance in Gansvort, N.Y., through NYTHA's Take the Lead Program.

“The moment Bielefeld stepped in the barn we were impressed with his laidback demeanor,” Vance said. “He was this big goofy gelding that took everything in stride.”

Vance's assistant trainer, Anne Raymond, was looking for an easy going horse for her husband to use for Revolutionary War reenactment.

Bielefeld, at left, in a Revolutionary War re-enactment. Photo courtesy New Vocations

“We knew after some training, Bielefeld would be perfect (even when he shouldn't be) to take care of Anne's husband, Randy,” she said.

Bielefeld proved to be so calm and accommodating that it wasn't long before Randy was practicing re-enactment maneuvers with him. It's a good thing because Anne blew her knee and the surgery laid her up for six months. During that time, she concentrated on ground work. Bielefeld took Anne's crutches, cane and awkward movements in stride. Anne found him to be so agreeable she even allowed inexperienced adults and young children to use him to practice leading and lounging.

Bielefeld has handled everything thrown at him to prepare him for Revolutionary War re-enactments. Fife and drums, swords, flags, gunfire, and cannon were added without issue to his resume.

Bielefeld greets a young fan at a re-enactment. Photo courtesy New Vocations

“He's still gaining confidence in the actual horse on horse combat,” Anne said. “but everything else has been second nature to him. He takes very good care of my husband.

“I think my favorite part of Bielefeld is his kindness to humans. He is never pushy when people come say 'Hi' and is so careful with small children. I occasionally use him for huntseat lessons and he loves it. He does everything with a willing heart and the kindest eye I have ever seen on a horse. I sometimes say he is kinder than he is smart, but that's a compliment because he is truly very smart!”

Thomas Thienel is delighted with all the updates and pictures he has received from New Vocations over the last 18 months.

“We are so happy for Bielefeld and glad to see he is loving his work,” said Thienel. “We wanted him to have a good life.”

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