Touch of Style Gregor Aymar

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A TOUCH OF ST YLE Gregor Ay ma r by Jeff Wallace and Theresa Cardamone

Gregor Aymar is in hot demand as an equine photographer and graphic designer based in Geldern, Germany. He has made his own way, having no formal training in the arts of design or the photographic industry. Through talent, determination, a good upbringing, a fine university education, and a deep love for the Arabian horse, he mastered the craft in an extraordinary way.

Lange, another German. Frank’s taste in horses, his knowledge of the work of caring for them … how to be a horseman, he shared with me. He also modeled how to run a horse business. I would observe him to pick up interesting things. Heinz Stöckle also had a direct influence. I meet a lot of interesting people and can learn something new every day.

What does your dream horse look like? Breathtaking.

What makes you happy? I am happy when daily life and work goes well. Sometimes you can happily impress yourself! Maybe a week without a phone in a special setting! But truly, sitting outside in the evening, looking at mares in the field makes me very happy.

Who was the first Arabian horse you ever laid eyes on and what was the experience like? It was Petsarahhh, an Abdullahhh daughter, who was, I believe born in America at Lasma Arabians in 1985. She was the All Nations Cup Reserve Champion Mare in the early 90’s. I was 14 or so, and she was feminine, so pretty, refined, and just special. If you could resurrect any two horses, who would they be and why? Kubinec and Estopa. Estopa was the ideal Arabian mare and probably would still be today. Kubinec brought a lot of quality to European breeding and his inf luence is still much in evidence in Europe today. How has the Arabian horse enriched your life? The Arabian is my entire life; private, business, and passion. My involvement makes me travel the world and meet new people every day from many continents. Do you prefer the desert or the ocean? I prefer a water place in the desert, an oasis or vadi. Who have your mentors been in the Arabian horse business? Frank Spönle for sure, and also Christine

Name a handful of Arabian mares alive today that make you weak in the knees. Pianissima … FT Shaella is one of them, as well as Emandoria.

Tell us a little about the beautiful white mares who live in your stables and pastures. One of my favourit mares is Alaskaa, by Windsprees Mirage who is by Thee Desperado. Alaskaa is out of a daughter of PR Krystl Prince, a son of Padrons Psyche. Another favorite is SA Bint Saskia, a daughter of the great Saskia RJ who is sired by Psytadel. After great results in 2014 and 2015, both of them are back in foal to EKS Alihandro for 2016. Another mare that is of great breeding value for us is LVA Talula, by Khidar out of multiple champion mare LC Tornita, who is by Padrons Psyche. Talula is bred to double-World Silver Champion, Ascot DD. What part of breeding Arabian horses lives deep in your soul? I try to breed horses that are typey, but still real horses. I breed to challenge myself, to please myself. I enjoy it. For me, the main purpose is not money making. I try to breed quality that is competitive in shows. But even if I had a great horse, I would prefer to sell it to a different owner to show. I

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am too involved in the business, know too much of its politics ‌ my horses probably would do better owned by someone else. What is your favorite horse destination to travel to? Cairo. It is a world of its own. I also enjoy visiting the Emirates. Dubai is a nice place to be. It is a combination of modernity and culture. Although there is no deep sense of history because it sprang up overnight, you still feel the Arabic atmosphere. There is a collection of great horses in that area in a density not found many other places on earth. I also love Italy. Aside from the great horses, there are great people and great hospitality, culture and fantastic food. People are friendly, happy and easy going. There is a beautiful landscape, no stress or pressure; in Germany we are maybe on top of things too much, make things too complicated. What two characteristics do you like most about the Arabian horse? They are very sensitive horses with strong characters. Pretty yes, but it is more than that. I have some embryo transfer mares of different breeds, they handle differently than the Arabians. It is not pleasant to work with them. 206 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES

What is your favorite part about foaling out mares? The day after, when you can go to sleep! Actually, it is the moment when the baby and mare talk to each other for the first time. Of course you want to see the result of your breeding decision, too. Name representatives that come to your mind for the following cues: Breed type: Fa Moniet Tail carriage: WH Justice The perfect body: Sanadik El Shaklan Carriage: Kwestura Perfect Arabian horse: Imperial Baarez / Pianissima Where did you go to school or how did you learn your craft? I am a self-taught designer, photography as well. To be any kind of photographer, you have to have taste, must know a good shot from bad, and also how to stage a shot. People without taste, who lack sensibility, will not be successful. We can tune and improve our taste, but if there is no inborn taste, you can never learn it. You can learn by noticing what people like and don’t like; try it yourself and develop your style.


What made you choose design (or photography, etc?) I always wanted to turn my passion for horses into my future life and work. That is what I have been doing for 20 years or so. I founded Eyecatcher during my days at university, where I studied marketing management for agriculture—looking for a link to a future with horses! I enjoyed seeing the photographers at work at the shows from the time I was 14 or 15. Where do you get your inspiration? In general, I get my inspiration from the horses because I enjoy them. Travel also inspires by opening your eyes; you see things like new art or a beautiful landscape that you might try to recreate later. What is your favorite part of what you do? I like the fact that I am doing what I like to do; travel, horses, people. Do your subjects speak to you? Some horses do speak to me by their expression, that’s what you want to capture. It is the essential part of a great photo— great atmosphere and a great expression. Great horses give you what they have, and you want to capture it. The same thing is true in creating an ad … great ideas come from great horses.

shooting in Egypt at night. I also love the horse, so it was special. What three photos from other photographers do you love? A Vesty shot of Pianissima in the barn aisle at Janów of her head and neck—only a silhouette really; a Van Lent Sr. taken in England of Om el Azadik on a hill during a thunderstorm, and a Vesty of Pyro Thyme tied to a wall. What is one thing you would do to change the business for the better – you have fifteen minutes to give one answer… I would like to see the pursuit of money not be at the core of everything that happens in the breed. I wish that things were handled with more respect and responsibility. Tell us about an unforgettable moment. Peter Gross holding his stallion Mahfouz as he was beginning to die. Why is photography so inherent to the breed and the business? It is because promotion is nearly as important to our world now as the horse itself. n

How do you overcome “designer’s block”? I put it away and try again later, or the next day. I work best in the early morning. If nothing is happening, you have to stop trying. How do you see yourself 10 years from now? I hope I am enjoying this business as much then as I do now. Tell us three amazing moments you’ve had as a photographer: QR Marc in Dubai, out in the desert. I had no studio lights, no smoke machines—just a Pakistani man throwing sand in the air, and several jeeps to give light. Lady Veronica and FT Shaella in the evening in the desert, together in Dubai. Lastly, Imperial Baarez,

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