Behind the Scenes – A Day in the Life of the Horses at Helgstrand
Welcome to Helgstrand Dressage - October 17, 2023,
And welcome to an exciting day where you can experience an ordinary day at all our locations: Helgstrand Dressage, Helgstrand Academy, and Helgstrand Youngsters.
From the start of the workday at 7 am until it ends at 4.30 pm, all 3 locations; stables, riding arenas/halls, offices, etc., will be open for everyone to walk around and see how we work with the horses in our daily routine.
Helgstrand Youngsters: From foals to horses in training
Helgstrand Academy: Development and training of our young horses
Helgstrand Dressage: Training of the more experienced horses
You are also welcome to have lunch with us in the cafeteria between 12.30-2:00 pm. Simply register for lunch by Wednesday, October 11, at 12 pm at the latest.
Join one of our guided tours, which run several times during the day, where you also have the opportunity to ask questions.
You can also experience what it's like to be a groom and what a groom actually does here at Helgstrand. Get tips and tricks on how to groom your horse, so it's ready to take on the competition arenas, and have a good chat with our grooms – maybe grooming is in the future for you?...
Helgstrand Dressage & Academy
Uggerhalnevej 80, 9310 Vodskov
- 9:00 – 10:30 am
- 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Helgstrand Youngster – Ny Ravnstrup
Ravnstrupvej 41, 9320 Tylstrup
- 9:00 – 10:00 am
- 1:00 – 2:00 pm
All day: There will be ongoing training sessions in both arenas. If you want to be sure to catch a training session, stop by during the following times:
- 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
- 2:30 – 3:30 pm
- 10:30 am: Presentation by Signe, who is a groom for Bettina Jæger and former groom for Carina Cassøe Krüth – What is it like to be a groom? In daily life, but also at major events like the Olympics, World Championships, Young Horse World Championships, and more. What is the sense of community like? What do you learn? And much more!
- 11:00 am: Washing Course – How to make your horse shine
- 11:30 am: Hoof Care for Everyday and Competitions
- 12:00 pm: Braiding Course
- 1:30 pm: Presentation by Signe, who is a groom for Bettina Jæger and former groom for Carina Cassøe Krüth – What is it like to be a groom? In daily life, but also at major events like the Olympics, World Championships, Young Horse World Championships, and more. What is the sense of community like? What do you learn? And much more!
- 2:00 pm: Washing Course – How to make your horse shine
- 2:30 pm: Hoof Care for Everyday and Competitions
- 3:00 pm: Braiding Course
All day: There will be ongoing training at Helgstrand Academy. If you want to be sure to catch a training session, stop by during the following times:
- 10:30 – 11:30 am
- 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Helgstrand Youngster – Ny Ravnstrup
All day: Experience how our foals and young horses live and what a typical day looks like at Helgstrand Youngsters.
The event is free but requires registration via this link: Click here to register
The deadline for registration is Sunday, October 15th
We look forward to seeing you on a beautiful autumn day, where we are excited to show you what our daily life with the horses looks like here at Helgstrand. See you on Tuesday, October 17th!
Global Player, who won silver at the World Championship for 7-year-old horses, has been sold to Marie Sohler.
He’s awarded Champion Stallion in Oldenburg, Premium Stallion in Danish Warmblood, he won silver at the Bundeschampionate for 4-year-old stallions in 2020 with our rider Eva Möller, he was World Champion of the 6-year-old horses in 2022 with Eva Möller, and this year he won Silver at the World Championship for 7-year-old horses with our rider Leonie Richter.
He is for sure a horse for the future, and he showed his big capacity already from the straight beginning. We are super proud that we now can handover one of the best 7-year-old dressage horses in the world, to such a dedicated team. We are sure, that we will see Global Player in the top sport later on.
We wish the new owner, Maria Sohler, the best of luck, and at the same time, we want to thank the breeder and Co-owner Henrik Hansen of HH-horses, DK, and our German riders Eva Möller and Leonie Richter for all the good experiences with Global Player.
Quinn G: A World Champion Acquired by Fiona Bigwood
She has just been crowned as the World Champion of the 5-year-old horses. Quinn G (by Quaterhit / Fassbinder, bred by Stutteri G - Helene Geervliet) is a mare with lovely power, graceful balance, and impressive self-confidence, which she showed the judges at the World Championship for Young Horses last week. She went around in the arena easily and with a lot of surpluses. She was rewarded with nothing less than 9,7 in trot, 8,5 in walk, 9,5 in canter, 9,7 in submission and a 10 in perspective - A true World Champion!
It's not the first time Quinn G has been rewarded as a champion. She was the true winner of the Young Horse Championship in Herning earlier this year, where test rider Cathrine Dufour enjoyed the ride and gave her a score of 10 in both rideability and capacity.
Now it's time for Fiona Bigwood, the British Olympic team silver medal rider, to take over the reins of this outstanding mare from Betina Jæger. We are super proud to handover one of the best young dressage horses in the world to one of the best riders in the world. We are sure this is a perfect match.
"I tried Quinn G, and from the first steps, I was sure, I needed to own this mare. She possesses endless power, balance, and rideability. She gives the feeling, that she has no limits, and you just want to stay in the saddle. I am super excited about the future, and hope that we one day will enter the big arenas. She is one of the best young horses, I have ever ridden" states Fiona Bigwood.
Betina enjoyed the journey with Quinn G:
''She is one of a kind. She is so special, and I had enjoyed every ride. I am so happy, that I got that opportunity, and I think, that we finished in the best possible way! She is not just special to ride; she is also a super sweet and curious horse in the stable. My groom, Signe, loves her too'' says Betina.
"I'm looking forward to see, what Fiona can achieve together with Quinn G, because this horse has no weaknesses, that's for sure" states Andreas Helgstrand.
Meet Emma – Our wonderful Groom Manager
Meet Emma – she's our wonderful Groom Manager. She is 26 years old and has a bachelor's degree in public administration, which she uses in the administrative part of her job, keeping track of all our grooms. Emma is passionate about working with young people, which shines through in all her volunteer work at her local riding school, where she works extensively with children and teenagers and organizes events for them. These experiences make Emma the perfect person for this job.
Emma's love of horses began when she was 6 years old. Her parents even tried to encourage her to try other sports like handball and football; however, Emma had fallen in love with horses and everything around them.
Emma also has her own horse, or rather, she borrows the horse Macee. Emma and 6-year old Macee are still relatively new to each other, so they are still getting to know one another. Emma is also an experienced competition rider, and she hopes to compete in dressage with Macee, and also reach higher levels in the future.
So, what does a Groom Manager do? Emma's primary responsibility is making sure that all the grooms are happy and thriving. This extends not only to their working environment but also to their personal lives. Many of our grooms are living away from home for the first time when they join us, which can be scary. Therefore, Emma also has a “big sister” role for these grooms – she is someone they can come to for support and guidance, and she is always ready to just listen and be a confidant no matter what they want to talk about. In addition to our Danish grooms, we also have several foreign grooms whom Emma helps with all the practicalities when they move to Denmark – from opening a bank account in a Danish bank to assistance with various administrative matters.
Our grooms have many reasons for choosing to become grooms, but two answers stand out: some want to spend their gap year working with their passion, which is horses, before starting university studies, while others want to explore potential careers in the horse industry, such as professional grooming, master rider education, horse management, or even veterinary science. This means that motivations, interests, and ambitions are very different from groom to groom, which is something Emma also needs to take into consideration when talking with our different grooms, so they get the most out of their time here.
Emma loves her job, which she calls "the best job in the world". She feels that she makes a difference every day. When she walks through our stables (she is the groom manager for all three locations here at Helgstrand), it's often where she has really good conversations with our grooms. It's much easier to start a good conversation over the back of a horse, which is why they often open up about what's happening in their personal lives, how things are going in the group, how the job is going, and much more. "It's the best way to get to know each other and build trust. If they have to come to the office every time they want to talk to me, it might stop some of them, as it can be scary to have to go to a formal office," Emma explains. That's why Emma spends a lot of her time simply walking around the stables and helping with various tasks.
Emma has also learned a lot about herself in the few months she has been here. One of the most significant things she has learned is her own ability to quickly adapt, which is key in the fast-paced environment of our organization - being flexible is essential
While we focus on our fantastic grooms this week, we also want to give Emma a pat on the back. Emma's passion for horses and her dedication to our grooms make her an invaluable part of the Helgstrand team. Thank you, Emma!
Meet Signe: From Dreaming of Horses to Living the Dream
Meet Signe, a 25-year-old whose heart belongs to horses. Her story began at just 10 years old when she first stepped into the bustling world of the Herning stallion licensing event. It was there that she first felt the stirrings of a dream - the dream of becoming a groom.
From a young age, Signe found ingenious ways to slip away from school every year for the Stallion Show in Herning. Her favorite place was not in the schoolroom but among her beloved horses, caring for them and dreaming of the day she'd be part of it all.
At 11, she welcomed her very own pony into her life, a companion she lovingly trained from the ground up til National level. Horses soon became her world, and her affection for them grew stronger with each passing day.
In 2017, after completing her EUX Business degree, Signe took a leap of faith. She sent an unsolicited application to Helgstrand Dressage, never expecting what would follow. To her astonishment, a mere day later, an invitation for an interview arrived. On October 10, 2017, her journey as a groom officially commenced.
Initially, Signe felt like a small figure in a vast, professional stable, and the transition was overwhelming. She found herself in an English-speaking environment, surrounded by experienced riders and seasoned grooms. Yet, her passion for learning and her love for her work propelled her forward.
Within a few months, Signe became the dedicated groom of Betina Jæger, and their partnership blossomed. Being a groom meant stepping into diverse situations, fostering not only the care of horses but personal growth. Signe gained insights into herself and others, forming friendships and collecting experiences that were truly priceless. Her time with Betina saw her participating in prestigious events like the 2018 World Equestrian Games, the 2018 CHIO in Aachen, the 2019 World Young Horse Championships, and numerous Danish Champion ships and national competitions. Each day, she woke up with one purpose - to provide the best care for the horses.
In January 2020, Signe took on a new role as the groom for the Danish national team rider Carina Cassøe Krüth. This chapter added further layers to her international competition experience, with events like the SAAB Top 10 in Sweden, World Cup qualifiers, and even the 2021 Tokyo Olympics!
But then, the pandemic arrived, bringing challenges for Signe, as it did for many. After the Tokyo Olympics, she grappled with the "fear of missing out" on typical youth experiences. To challenge herself, she embarked on a journey of higher education, living away from the world of horses. Initially, the newfound independence was enticing, but as time passed, something vital was missing.
In April of the current year, during a night out, Signe had a significant conversation with Mik, another experienced groom at Helgstrand, who was returning from a competition in Hagen. The following day, she met with Helgstrand Dressage’s General Manager, Thomas Sigtenbjerggaard, who warmly welcomed her back with a simple phrase: "You're welcome to come back; we'll figure it out." Signe made the decision to leave her studies after nine months and returned to Uggerhalne and Helgstrand Dressage.
During her break from grooming, Signe had pursued a teaching degree with a deep sense of purpose. Although she paused her academic journey to return to her true passion, the pursuit of that teaching degree carried significant meaning. Signe's aim was clear: she wanted to convey a crucial message to children - that they can achieve remarkable success even if they don't excel in traditional academic settings. Signe herself stands as a shining example, adorned with a gold medal at the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses, participation in prestigious World Championships and European Championships, and the remarkable achievement of having an Olympic Games appearance on her impressive resume.
So now, Signe is back with Betina, reunited since June 1, 2023. Their connection is great, a match made in equestrian heaven. It's a feeling of coming home, with the horses right outside her door once more. The journey of the 10-year-old Signe has unfolded into a life she could have only dreamed of. Her story is a testament to passion, hard work, and the unwavering belief that you can achieve anything when you're truly dedicated to your dream.
28 Daughters of Helgstrand Stallions at the Danish Warmblood Krafft Elite Show
Last weekend was one we had been looking forward to for a long time – it was the Danish Warmblood Krafft Elite Show, where the best mares from the assessments under saddle in the regions were awarded breeding medals and competed for the title of the country's best young dressage mare.
A total of 48 top mares participated in the elite show, and we are super proud to say that out of them, 28 were sired by Helgstrand Stallions.
Franklin was the stallion with the most offspring represented. Eight of these beautiful elite mares are daughters of our renowned breeding stallion, who himself has achieved many impressive results in dressage top sport.
D'Avie and Janeiro Platinum offspring were also well-represented with four and five beautiful daughters, respectively, who qualified for the Elite Show with impressive results from their assessments.
Revolution had three daughters represented, each demonstrating excellent qualities inherited from their talented sire.
Also well-represented were the breeding stallions Quaterhit, Grand Galaxy Win, and Springbank II, each with two promising daughters at the Elite Show.
Last but not least, both Lord Europe and Vitalis had one offspring each in the ring at the Elite Show.
After the breeding medals were awarded, only three mares were selected for the final as the year's dressage mare, and among them was the Springbank II daughter, Atterupgaards Daimi, bred by Stutteri Atterupgaard.
The judges commented on her, saying: "An incredibly charming and well-proportioned mare. She is extremely flexible and uses herself well in all gaits and consistently with ease”
Unfortunately, she didn't become this year's winner, but congratulations on the impressive gold medal and the fantastic spot in the final.
Daimi's full sister, Atterupgaards Delora, also achieved a very impressive result. She left the Elite Show with a prestigious silver medal.
Congratulations to all the breeders – we highly appreciate our collaboration and are filled with pride every time we see the beautiful and promising offspring you produce. You simply do an exceptionally fantastic job, which thankfully bears fruit, as evidenced at this year's Elite Show.
Mares by Helgstrand Stallions that competed in the Elite Show:
- Gracie by Franklin, bred by Charlotte Prang - Bronze Medal
- Gørklintgårds Malibu by Franklin, bred by Gørklintgård by Jørgen Ravn - Bronze Medal
- Midt-West Present by Franklin, bred by Stutteri Midt-West by Poul Erik Nielsen - Bronze Medal
- Félicité by Franklin, bred by Steen F. Andersen and Dorte R. Schmidt - Bronze Medal
- Kotys Á Fenris by Franklin, bred by Søren Bjerre - Bronze Medal
- Netstutteriets Fascination by Franklin, bred by Meret & Bo Brink - Bronze Medal
- Faretti III by Franklin, bred by HH Horsen by Henrik Hansen - Bronze Medal
- Sybil Nobel by Franklin, bred by Ulrik Stadelhofer and Helgstrand Dressage - Bronze Medal
- Midt-West Salvie by D’Avie, bred by Stutteri Midt-West by Poul Erik Nielsen – Bronze Medal
- De La Vie Bang by D’Avie, bred by Bang Dressage ApS – Bronze Medal
- Dahlia V. by D’Avie, bred by Iben Leere Kamp – Bronze Medal
- Darling Lightfoot by D’Avie, bred by Stutteri Lightfoot by Annet Lyngs and Torben Damsbo – Bronze Medal
- Tjørnelys Jamile by Janeiro Platinum, bred by Jørgen Kaspersen – Bronze Medal
- JJ Jolie by Janeiro Platinum, bred by JJ Horses – Bronze Medal
- Je Suis Gâtée Vrejlev by Janeiro Platinum, bred by Stald Vrejlev by Katja Henriksen – Silver Medal
- M’s Stella by Janeiro Platinum, bred by Siri B. Smørdal – Bronze Medal
- Hedelunds Miss Platina by Janeiro Platinum, bred by Rikke Kvist – Bronze Medal
- Skovgårdens Hollie by Revolution, bred by Bjarne Lunde – Bronze Medal
- Shirley DWB by Revolution, bred by Jane and Erik Bech – Silver Medal
- Højgaardens Menduza by Revolution, bred by Lene drejer and Brian Jensen – Bronze Medal
- Graastengaards Faquira by Quaterhit, bred by Graastengaard Dressage by Helle Andersen – Bronze Medal
- Raabehøjgaards Quaterbell by Quaterhir, bred by Pia Berman and Louise Rich – Bronze Medal
- Gutte by Grand Galaxy Win, bred by Bodil and Jan Pedersen – Bronze Medal
- Hesselbjergs Grand Galactic S by Grand Galaxy Win, bred by Maj-Brit Junker – Silver Medal
- Atterupgaards Daimi by Springbank II, bred by Stutteri Atterupgaard – Gold Medal - Final
- Atterupgaards Delora by Springbank II, bred by Stutteri Atterupgaard – Silver Medal
- Lygum’s Zleep by Lord Europe, bred by Tine and Henning Lygum Jensen – Bronze Medal
- Voilá Joleen by Vitalis, bred by Trine Norborg Simonsen – Bronze Medal
Notice Regarding the Ruling in the Case between Helgstrand Dressage and TV2 on September 4th, 2023
Celebrating Success at the U.S. Dressage Festival for Champions 2023
As we wrap up the thrilling U.S. Dressage Festival for Champions, it's time to look back at the awesome performances that lit up the arena, courtesy of both our fantastic Helgstrand riders and horses.
Let's kick things off with Nora Batchelder and her beautiful mare Nova, a shining four-legged gem from Helgstrand. Together they delivered one show-stopping performance after another. Despite their relatively short time together, they blew everyone away, landing a solid 2nd place and nabbing the silver in the thrilling U.S. Intermediare Championships (top photo).
Charlotte Jorst took on the challenge with two horses purchased from Helgstrand, Zhaplin Langholt and Federle, in the Intermediare Championship. Their hard work paid off big time – she clinched the Inter I Freestyle victory with Zhaplin and locked in a well-deserved bronze in the U.S. Intermediare championships. With Federle she showed their stuff too, grabbing a solid 5th place in the Intermediare Championships.
Our General Manager at Helgstrand USA, Lars Petersen, also had great rides in the Prix St. Georges Championships for Developing Horses. He competed with two horses, Giovanni Bell and S-Express. With Giovanni Bell, he secured a 2nd place, among other achievements. Overall, he finished in 10th place with Giovanni Bell and 11th place with S-Express.
Mackenzie Peer, another shining star at Helgstrand USA, had her hands full with three young horses, but she delivered the goods. With Baileys On Ice she securing a solid 8th place among the top 5-year-old dressage horses in the USA. With Francetto, they snagged a respectable 9th place among the most talented 4-year-olds, while her work with Franeur earned them a solid 5th place among all 6-year-old dressage horses in the nation.
Concluding the list of remarkable achievements our rockstar Helgstrand rider, Codi Harrison, and her partner in crime, Katholt’s Bossco. Ride after ride, they wowed the crowd, earning themselves a very impressive gold medal and the prestigious title of U.S. Grand Prix Champions 2023.
Hats off to every rider, owner, and horse – you guys rocked it big time. At Helgstrand, we're beyond proud of the great success that our Helgstrand riders and their four-legged stars achieved. Here's to an exciting future ahead, filled with even more bright moments!
When dreams do come true
Most people remember Lorenzo. The big, charming chestnut gelding who truly found a place in everyone's mind and many hearts after his and Severo Jurado Lopez's fantastic performance at the Olympics in Rio in 2016. There, they achieved an amazing individual 5th place after a "smooth" dance in the Freestyle, which was so spot on that they were highlighted in a segment on James Corden's The Late Late Show. Lorenzo ranked 1st in James Corden's 'Power Rankings - Olympics' under the name "Lorenzo the Dancing Horse," earning cheers from both the host and the audience. And if a dressage horse makes it into such a famous TV show, there must be something truly special about that horse.
Lorenzo is something truly unique. Everyone around him knows it. Severo began riding him in 2015 when he arrived at Helgstrand as a 9-year-old, and he had that special feeling right from the start. And it held true when, after only 6 months of partnership, they delivered their impressive performance at the Olympics. It's not just his abilities, but also his distinctive personality and appearance. He always loved all the attention he received, Severo has stated.
It's not just Lorenzo's rider who views him as an exceptional horse. His grooms do as well. Especially Line Thestrup Clausen had a very special bond with Lorenzo. She formed a unique connection with him right from the beginning – after getting to know him. According to Line, you really have to get under his skin first, but once you've won his heart, he gives so much love, is always seeking contact, and just wants to be in your company. "He's simply a very special horse with a lot of personality and charisma, and he's a very intelligent horse that fully trusts his rider," says Line.
Line was Lorenzo's groom for two years here at Helgstrand before moving on to another job, but she never forgot him and always dreamt of being reunited with him. And that dream came true this week – dreams do come true from time to time.
This week, Line welcomed Lorenzo home, where he will enjoy his well-deserved retirement with her. "It's an absolutely fantastic opportunity and a dream I didn't dare to hope for, which has come true – everyone just wants what's best for him," Line says with great joy in her voice.
Lorenzo is now 18 years old, and he'll spend the rest of his life with Line, which will consist of lots of turnout time and forest rides. And Line, who is a former show jumper herself, will also continue his "casual jumping career," which he started with his former groom, our faithful Helgstrand Groom, Mikkala.
There's no doubt that Lorenzo is going to have a dream retirement, and if you ask Line, he's already smiling – which he certainly can do.
Swedish breeding stallion Rosebank VH sold
The Swedish breeding stallion Rosebank VH has been sold. Rosebank VH was bred by our valued partner Tobias Hansson, who was also a co-owner of the stallion along with Helgstrand Dressage. This partnership includes several star horses, including Springbank II VH, which was sold to Yara Reichert, the licensed stallion Knockando VH, and Vive La Reinne II VH, who participated in Sweden's last UVM observation with Maria Anita Andersen.
Rosebank VH is approved by both Danish Warmblood and Swedish Warmblood and, with his impressive results in 2023, he is the winner of the 5-year-old qualification in Billund and has been selected for the final UVM selection in Sweden.In 2022, Rosebank VH had an outstanding competition season in Sweden with multiple victories in 4-year-old competitions, with scores of over 94%, including at the Scandinavian Open. He won the preliminary round of the prestigious Breeders Trophy in Flyinge and finished in second place in the Stallion Trophy. The year before, he also won silver. In 2021, he successfully completed the 35-day test in Danish Warmblood with a total score of 836 points, placing him at the top of his age group.
Rosebank VH has not only achieved success in the competition arena but was also the most popular breeding stallion among dressage breeders in Sweden in 2022. With his impressive pedigree stemming from one of Sweden's best mare lines - mare family 31, Elmarinafamiljen, it is easy to understand why.
Rosebank VH has been sold to an undisclosed buyer, but we look forward to continuing to follow his exciting development.