Author and Modern Mystic

Fulfilling a lifelong dream: Finding the right horse and bringing him home

The Hof Westendarp Farm, Wallenhorst, Germany; Tassilo the Magnificient

Occasionally we receive an invitation: “Come with me, just for the fun of it.” I received such an invite in January from my niece, Laura Hermanson.

Last December she accompanied Dinah Babcock on a trip to The Netherlands and Germany to look at Warmblood dressage horses that Dinah might purchase for her clients. Dinah is a world-class judge and Grand Prix dressage trainer and rider with a particularly excellent eye for horses of exceptional quality.

At the Hof Westendarp farm in Wallenhorst, Germany, Laura met world champion dressage rider and horse trainer, Johannes Westendarp, and his lovely wife, Ines. She also met a young horse with whom she instantly bonded.   The next thing we knew, my husband and I purchased this beauty, knowing that Laura would be able to train it in dressage through all the levels of competition. With this horse Laura may pursue her dream.

So when she asked if I would like to go to Germany with her to the Westendarp Farm to see this horse before he came to America, I said “yes”. I jumped a flight to Amsterdam, met her, and we took the train to Osnabruck. The next day I went with her to the famous Westendarp farm to meet Johannes, Ines and our new horse, Tassilo. After seeing him, I began calling him Tassilo, the Magnificent.

I have never seen such a beautiful horse. Clearly present with an inquisitive mind, Tassilo moves with grace and power. A 3-year-old, he is alert and looks directly at you with his eyes. His neck curves beautifully, and he stretches his legs in long flowing strides. A youngster, he is playful with a lot of youthful energy.

Laura Hermanson with Tassilo

Four mornings in a row I had the pleasure of watching Laura ride him as Johannes instructed and prepared her to take Tassilo to America. Watching them brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. How lucky am I to be present at the beginning of a beautiful partnership that will continue for years.

Hof Westendarp is a beautiful horse farm, created by Johannes Westendarp. His grandfather founded a farm in 1904. He and his son farmed the land, raised pigs and cows and had ponies for the children. But it was Johannes who had the dream to create a world-class horse farm, and that is exactly what he has done. Today, he has 28 horses, and he sells 10 to 12 a year to people in Europe and around the world. All his horses are gorgeous, proud and energetic.

(left to right:) Laura Hermanson and Tassilo with Johannes and Ines Westendarp; Susan B. Magee with Tassilo

I salute what Johannes and Ines have built together. I thank them for their warm hospitality, their amazing professionalism and this beautiful horse. And I thank Dinah Babcock for introducing Laura and me to them and to our Tassilo, the Magnificent. Life is good. Life is joyful…

Tassilo and Laura bonding.


© Susan Beilby Magee, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Dear Susan. This brought tears to my eyes. As you know, horses are my passion and you have allowed your niece to enjoy something so special. Good job!

  2. What a beautiful experience!!! I’m so happy for you and Laura and think it is wonderful you could be there for her and provide her with this magnificent animal!
    I would love to see her and Tassilo perform one day!!! Beautiful horse!!!

  3. He is gorgeous! A very good friend of mine is an international Judge, primarily in Arabian horses. I can understand how you fell in love with this horse!

  4. Susan – How wonderful that you made a dream come true. Lucky woman Laura. Lucky horse Tassilo.

  5. Wow! Agree, what a beauty–strong yet incredibly graceful and intelligent. Glad to be able to leave a reply to help you, Laura, and your family celebrate this wonderful new member of the family. Thanks for sharing! (Peg)

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