About Us

Andre Hecker was born on September 14, 1975 in Kassel where he grew up out in the country with an older brother. Contact with horses began right from his earliest childhood at the farm of his grandparents and quickly turned into a passion that has never waned.

"I sat on the backs of the cows and rode the carriage horses when I was just four years old – and could never get enough."

After his family moved to Sigmaringen because of his father's job, Andre started vaulting and riding lessons. After attending clinics at the State Stud in Marbach given by Karl Single and having the opportunity to often ride a Grand Prix horse owned by a school friend of his brother that included riding lessons from Herbert Näher, it soon became evident that dressage was what he wanted to focus on.

"Riding the classic dressage movements was always something that I found to be very exalting and because I was so tall and had rather poor vision, jumping simply wasn't my thing.”

I got my first own horse when I was 17. “Ramiro” (by Ramiro As x Grünspecht, Admiral), a six-year old Oldenburg, accompanied me in riding right up to old age. After graduating from high school in 1994, Andre was given the unique opportunity to do his military service at the German Army's Sport College in Warendorf.

"The time in Warendorf was one of the best times in my life. Not just because I could ride all day under the direction of Siegfried Peilicke but also because I found friends for life!"

When his military service was over, Andre went to Hanover to study veterinary medicine, moved into the Academic Riding Club (ARC) dormatories and spent a lot of time riding during his years as a student. In 1998, the student riding team from Hanover won the German University Championships and Andre the Vice Champion title in dressage. After his 2nd State Examination, Andre went to Klaus Balkenhol as working student for awhile.

"The chance to ride with Klaus Balkenhol, to learn from him and his horses, was one of the best experiences I ever had – as a rider and also from a human relation standpoint. Klaus Balkenhol is an exceptionally gifted rider who always promotes the talents of his horses slowly, never overworking them. And as a person he's also really great!"

When his time in Rosendahl ended, Andre finished his veterinary medicine studies and worked on his thesis but his long cherished dream of being able to train horses all day and not just after a long day's work as a veterinarian specialized in large animals grew instead of diminishing.

"Together with my wife Franca – also a veterinarian – I always trained horses and rode them at shows while we studied. Franca is my best critic and she shares my passion for riding. Without her, I would never have been able to work independently. What we learned about the anatomy and physiology of sport horses has turned out to be an outstanding foundation for training dressage horses appropriately in a way that preserves their health!"

In 2003 the first horses that went into training moved into the stables at the Klussmann family's facility in Schillerslage.

"Ursula and Jürgen Klussmann, who are horse people through and through, provided a great home for our horses and their facility had the best prerequisites for training them."

In August 2005, daughter Pauline was born and her brother Josch followed in 2009. Inbetween, in 2008, the family moved into their new home in Klein Schillerslage, a farm that had lots of space for the budding breeding operation and plenty of other animals.

"Our family is very happy here in the middle of our animals – and we now live our dream!"

Clinics held at the German Equestrian Olympic Committee (DOKR) in Warendorf are scheduled in regular intervals and Jonny Hilberath, the honorary German national trainer, comes to visit often and provide additional support.