European Championships Riesenbeck 2021

Pictured: Ludger Beerbaum and Andreas Helgstrand at the Riesenbeck International showground. Photo credit: Pauline von Hardenberg.

Recently expanded Riesenbeck International will play host to another major Championship, when the European elite of Dressage and Para Dressage head to the spectacular showground in the Surenburg Forest of Germany.

For many equestrians, the esteemed Riesenbeck International might be synonymous with show jumping and the likes of Ludger Beerbaum, who hosted the Longines FEI Jumping Europeans Championships in September this year.

The Championship saw the debut of the transformed Riesenbeck International, and cemented its status as one of Europe’s most spectacular showgrounds. Wise investments and a massive focus on horse and rider welfare are key factors according to CEO Karsten Lütteken:

“Whether we’re hosting dressage or other disciplines, we’re going above and beyond to secure the best possible settings for riders, horses and spectators alike. Welfare is our main priority and the pillars of hosting fantastic shows for years to come. Therefore, we’re incredibly excited to continue our great collaboration with the FEI and to welcome top dressage riders from all over Europe in 2023.”

The FEI Dressage European Championships will take place in the incomparable ambience of the Surenburg Forest, where Riesenbeck International now operates several outdoor competition arenas, one indoor competition arena and 336 state-of-the-art stalls located just next to the official show office.

Spectators and participants are offered a variety of exclusive dining, exhibition areas, shopping and other first-class facilities, not to mention huge areas for parking and loading.

The comprehensive expansions and modernisation of Riesenbeck International came to be following the acquisition by Global Equestrian Group earlier this year. CEO of the Group Andreas Helgstrand states:

“I have the utmost respect for the entire Riesenbeck team and being a dressage rider myself, I can’t wait to see how they take the FEI Dressage European Championships to a whole new level. You need to be here in the middle of the forest to really feel the unique atmosphere. I’m quite frankly overwhelmed by the beauty and show management of Riesenbeck International, which dressage enthusiasts will also get to experience now. We couldn’t be happier,” Andreas Helgstrand adds.

The exact dates for the FEI Dressage European Championships are yet to be determined, but will likely take place in the beginning of August 2023.

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Pictured: Patrik Kittel and Fiontini efter Fassbinder/Romanov. Photo credit: Eurodressage.

Fiontini is a well-known name in the sport – not only because of her distinguished title as a triple World Champion, but also as a contender for the Danish Olympic team with Andreas Helgstrand and subsequently her top placings with the Swedish Olympic rider Patrik Kittel. But during a visit to Patrik’s, the internationally successful Grand Prix rider Anna Buffini has fallen in love with the extremely talented mare, and Fiontini – who was jointly owned by Danish Stud EVO and Helgstrand Dressage – will now have a future in the US.

- It only took me a few seconds to fall in love with her when I rode her the first time. She is a very special horse, but also incredibly sweet. She has a big heart, which is something that means a lot to me when I look for a horse, Anna Buffini says.

American Anna Buffini has had great success as a U25 rider and since then as a senior with Sundayboy (by Kennedy/Zevenaar), (Wilton by Jazz/Contango) and currently FRH Davinia La Douce (by Don Frederico/A Jungle Prince). Among the latest results, Anna impressively placed fourth in the Grand Prix Special at the 5-star show CHIO Aachen this year.

The 11-year-old Fiontini has a spectacular resume with three victories at the prestigious World Championships for Young Horses, several other young horse championship titles in addition to numerous victories and placings up to international Grand Prix level. Patrik Kittel took over the training of the mare in the spring, when Andreas recognised he did not have the time to train a horse with the level of show activity required. Patrik debuted Fiontini this summer and took their first international Grand Prix victory in Grote Brogel, after which they rode their impressive freestyle at CHIO Aachen scoring 83.5%.

- On the one hand, I am incredibly sad that she is now leaving the stable, because I am really happy about her. She is a world-class horse and when I think about our experience in Aachen and watch our ride, I get goosebumps even now. On the other hand, I'm also aware that it is part of the game. The new owner is really lucky to get such a good horse and I have no doubt that they are the perfect match. I will enjoy the last days with Fiontini and of course I wish them the best of luck in the future, where I look forward to following them on their path to success, Patrik Kittel says.

- Fiontini has made headlines no matter what she has participated in. It is rare that we have horses of that calibre in our stable, because she is so unique. Therefore, it is also with a bit of sadness that we are now saying goodbye to her, but I am sure she will have a great future with Anna. She deserves a rider who takes her all the way, and Anna can do that with the help of her skilled trainer, Günter Seidel. Fiontini has been a fantastic ambassador for Helgstrand's high level of horses, and she has truly written herself into Helgstrand's history, Andreas Helgstrand adds.

Following Anna's acquisition of Fiontini, the mare will not compete at the World Cup Herning with Patrik Kittel, but Anna herself is planning for the first show in the new year:

- I look forward to getting her home to the US and getting to know her better. If I feel like we are ready, it is my plan to make our debut in Wellington next year, Anna says.

- Personally, I am very impressed with what Andreas and his team have built. Therefore, it also seemed natural for me to contact Helgstrand when looking for a new horse. It has been a really good experience throughout and with such a large selection of horses, the probability of finding the right match also increases. And that means a lot to me, Anna adds.

Fiontini is by Fassbinder/Romanov, bred by Henrik Hansen and was co-owned by Danish Stud EVO and Helgstrand Dressage. 

anna buffini

Pictured: Anna Buffini and FRH Davinia La Douce. Photo credit: Shannon Brinkman.

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Pictured: Sebastian Horler. 

The demand for top dressage horses continues to increase. Therefore, Helgstrand is now teaming up with a well-known German face, Sebastian Horler, who has been employed by Paul Schockemöhle and has several years of experience in training horses, presenting stallions at licensing etc.

- We cannot keep up with the high demand for good dressage horses, which is why we are proud to add another competent profile to the team. Sebastian has solid experience and a good network that we can benefit from, Andreas Helgstrand says.

With a Master Rider education and experience from several sales stables, including Helgstrand's German partner Paul Schockemöhle and Wolfram Wittig, Sebastian Horler has the ideal background to be able to select the good horses. Sebastian is a resident of southern Germany, which will continue to be his base.

- We already cover large areas of Germany, but since there is great potential in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland, we have chosen to employ Sebastian. He has ridden everything from young horses to Grand Prix horses, participated in the Bundeschampionate, not to mention his experience with stallion licensing. There is no doubt Sebastian has the ideal background to assist us in finding potential breeding stallions and sales horses, Andreas adds.

Sebastian is looking forward to being a part of Helgstrand:

- I have been in contact with Andreas, Ulf and the rest of the team several times regarding sales horses for Helgstrand Dressage. And since I have been extremely pleased with the whole experience, I took the chance when Ulf told me they were looking for someone to help find horses. Needless to say, Helgstrand is a market leader in buying and selling the best dressage horses. And of course, it is a unique opportunity for me to join the team. I look forward to the future collaboration and hope to contribute to Helgstrand's future success.

delight finale

Pictured: Dante's Delight and Betina Jæger Jensen placed 3rd in the 6-year-old final.

It has been a fantastic weekend for the Helgstrand Team with lots of beautiful riding and top places finishing with 4 horses in top 10 of the strong field of 6-year-old horses tonight.

Dante’s Delight (Dante Weltino/Hohenstein) and Betina Jæger Jensen showing so much power scoring 85.6 for the third place with among others 9 for canter and 8.8 for perspective. Dante's Delight is bred by Sonja Gerdes and owned by Allan Hansen.

Rikke Dupont earned 85.4 for the 4th place with the amazing Grand Galaxy Win offspring Nova, who showed a very enjoyable test with lots of potential for future top sport. She is co-owned by Rikke Dupont, Allan Hansen and Helgstrand.

Moving into 6th place, Merita Hagren and De Angelo (Don Schufro/Stedinger) scored 83.4. He is indeed a real eye-catcher as he enters the arena and tonight he delivered a super performance with his natural swinging trot as one of his highlights. Bred by ZG Heinz and Elisabeth Schulte and co-owned by HP Horses, Paul Schokemöhle and Helgstrand.

Find the result of the 6-year-old final here

We are delighted to have such an amazing team qualifying an impressive number of horses for this year’s finals. A huge thank you to the team and also we would like to congratulate breeders and owners on the amazing results. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for these talented young horses.

nova finale

Pictured: Nova and Rikke Dupont.

deangelo finale

Pictured: De Angelo and Merita Hagren.

downtown finale

Pictured: Winner of the 5-year-old final, Hesselhøj Downtown and Jeanna Högberg.

Helgstrand qualified 5 horses for the 5-year-old final today and 3 placed 1-3! Jeanna Högberg and the 5yo World Champion Hesselhøj Downtown by the DWB Elite Stallion Hesselhøj Donkey Boy and out of a Zack dam stole the entire show and scored impressively 98.4 for the win with the top mark 10 for trot and perspective, 9.6 for walk, 9.8 for canter and 9.8 for rideability. As the judges concluded, looking at this horse, you couldn’t ask for more. He is bred by Hans Jørgen Hoeck, who is also the breeder of Donkey Boy. The four-time winner of the Danish Championship for young horses and two-time WCYH medal winner Donkey Boy is representing numerous offspring in today’s finals.


Pictured: Fynch Hatton and Anders Helgstrand.

Andreas Helgstrand rode Fynch Hatton by Formel Eins/Sir Donnerhall I to a second place on a score of 92.4 earning 9.5 for trot, 8.5 for walk, 9.5 for canter, 9.3 for rideability and 9.4 for perspective. The judges were especially impressed by the wonderful trot and canter work with lots of power and amazing balance. He is bred by Bernd and Ursula Ilting-Reuke. Co-owned by Stutteri EVO and Helgstrand.

hotzalina finale

Pictured: Svalegård's Hot Zalina and Michael Grønne Christensen.

Moving into third place we have Danish Warmblood Silver medal mare Svalegård's Hot Zalina (Zalabaster/Hotline) and Michael Grønne Christensen scoring 87.7 with 9.2 for trot, 8.3 for walk, 8.8 for canter, rideability and perspective. The judges highlighted her strength and balance in the trot and canter work and describing her as the picture perfect type. Bred by Stutteri Svalegård and owned by Kildegården.

Moreover, Vendóme by Veneno/Fidertanz and Anne-Mette Strandby Hansen were awarded 85.2 for the 6th place with 8.5 for trot, 9 for walk, 8.5 for canter, 8.2 for rideability and 8.4 for perspective. He is bred by Paul Paessens and co-owned by Stutteri EVO and Helgstrand.

Find the results of the 5-year-old final here


Pictured: From left - Andreas Helgstrand/Fynch Hatton, Jeanna Högberg/Hesselhøj Downtown, Michael Grønne Christensen/Svalegård's Hot Zalina.

ah marianne finale

Pictured: Andreas Helgstrand and Queenpark's Wendy together with winner of the 7yo final, Marianne Helgstrand and Elverhøj's Raccolto.

Today, Marianne rode the beautiful 7-year-old jet-black stallion Elverhøj’s Raccolto to first place on a score of 87.193! They supremely won the preliminary test and repeated the success today awarded 9.6 for the trot, 8.3 for walk, the top mark 10 for canter, 9.5 for rideability and 9.6 for perspective! What a huge accomplishment!

Raccolto is definitely stepping into his father’s footsteps, the triple World Champion Sezuan. Damsire is the legendry Sandro Hit. Raccolto earned lots of success at the 4- and 5- year-old Danish Championship finals and this year winning after taking part in the prestigious World Championships for young dressage horses as well with great success. Raccolto is bred by Berith Nielsen.

The judges placed the amazing Danish Warmblood Gold Medal Mare and WCYH bronze medal winner Queenpark’s Wendy (Sezuan/Soprano) and Andreas Helgstrand third scoring 81.734 with 9 for trot, 8.3 for walk, 9.2 for canter, 8.7 for rideability and 9.2 for perspective. So beautifully presented in a nice frame showing enormous capacity for future top sport.

Find the result of the 7-year-old final here

raccolto finale

Pictured: Elverhøj's Raccolto and Marianne Helgstrand.

wendy finale

Pictured: Queenpark's Wendy and Andreas Helgstrand.

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Pictured: My Vitality and Eric Martinez on the right. Freddie Murcury and Jasmin Filander on the left.

Today marks the final day of the Danish Championships for Young Dressage Horses held at Blue Hors, Randbøl, Denmark. The best horses from the preliminary tests compete to become the winner of its age category. The judges were very pleased with the selection of top young horses in the 4-year-old division and Helgstrand represented 9 out of 22 horses in the final. In top 10 of the leader bord we have impressive 7 horses from Helgstrand and the gorgeous chestnut and supreme winner of the Danish Warmblood Stallion Performance Testing My Vitality sired by Vivaldi and out of a D-Day dam took the victory scoring tremendously 94.0 earning 9.4 for the trot, 9.0 for walk, 9.4 for canter, 9.7 for rideability and 9.5 for perspective.

They were definitely in a league of their own – you could hardly wish for anything more! Perfectly presented by Spanish Eric Guardia Martinez. Moving into second place, we have the impressive and extremely well-moving Freddie Murcury (Fürstenball/Samarant) also presented by Eric scoring 93.2 with 9.5 for trot, 9.8 for walk, 8.6 for canter, 9.5 for rideability and 9.2 for perspective. Freddie showed a beautiful test with lots of shoulder freedom in the trot, walk with good energy and overtrack as well as uphill canter.

1. DWB Stallion Performane Testing Winner My Vitality (Vivaldi/D-Day) and Eric Martinez – 94.0
Bred by Stal 104 BV and co-owned by Kleppenhus Invest and Helgstrand.

2. Freddie Murcury (Fürstenball/Samarant) and Eric Martinez – 93.2
Bred by ZG Fockenberg. Owned by Helgstrand.

3. Blue Hors Monte Carlo TC and Nanna Skodborg Merrald – 89.6

4. Sir Floresco (Sir Heinrich/Floresco) and Moisés Jover Azuar - 89.2
Bred by Jan Wilms and co-owned by Christianshaab and Helgstrand.

5. Freetown (Fürst Wilhelm/Sir Donnerhall I) and Jeanna Högberg – 88.8
Bred by Thorsten Hogrefe and co-owned by Rasmussen Dressage and Helgstrand.

6. Rockabye S (Revolution/Belstaff) and Anne-Mette Strandby Hansen – 87.0
Bred by Sally-Ann Hjorth Schultz and co-owned by Søren Grønborg and Helgstrand.

7. Triumph Villa (Vitalis/Zack) and Michael Grønne Christensen – 87.0
Bred by Triumph Dressage. Owned by Helgstrand.

8. Roxette and Søren Wind – 86.0
Danish Warmblood Gold Medal Mare Roxette is sired by Revolution

9. DWB Champion Stallion Iron (Asgard’s Ibiza/Hohenstein) and Mette Sejbjerg Jensen – 85.6
Bred by Nedergaard Dressage and co-owned by Stutteri EVO and Helgstrand.

10. Blue Hors Valenzo and Cristian Tudela Ruiz – 85.4

Find the result of the 4-year-old final here


Pictured: My Vitality and Eric.


Pictured: Sir Floresco and Moisés Jover Azuar.


Pictured: Freetown and Jeanne Högberg.


Pictured: Rockabye S and Anne-Mette Strandby Hansen.


Pictured: Iron and Mette Sejbjerg Jensen.




Pictured: Dante's Delight and Betina Jæger Jensen.

Today, the remaining tickets for the finals were handed out, and several of them went to Helgstrand in the 6-year-old preliminary test this afternoon. With 5 places in the top 10, Helgstrand is now ready to present a strong group of finalists aming for the prestigeous titles on Sunday.

Rikke Dupont had long been in the lead with the impressive Grand Galaxy Win mare Nova, but former Helgstrand horse Suarez (Sezuan/Desperados) ridden by Allan Grøn manged to secure the second place while RGS Finest Alegra (Finest/Ampere) with Josefine Dahl Hoffmann took the victory. Nova and Rikke finished in 4th place with 86.8, Betina Jæger Jensen and Dante's Delight (Dante Weltino/Hohenstein) placed third with 87.4 and Maria Anita Andersen finished 7th with Atterupgaard's Spiderman (Att. Seebach/Stedinger) scoring 84.8.

Find the results of the 6-year-old preliminary test here


Pictured: Nova and Rikke Dupont.


Pictured: Atterupgaard's Spiderman and Maria Anita Andersen.


Pictured: De Angelo and Merita Hagren.


Pictured: Kadanz and Anne-Mette Strandby Hansen.


Pictured: Hesselhøj Downtown and Jeanna Högberg.

Nothing was left to chance as the World Champion of the 5-year-olds entered the arena at the 2021 Danish Championship Finals today. The picture-perfect stallion Hesselhøj Downtown by Danish Warmblood Elite Stallion Hesselhøj Donkey Boy out of a Zack dam excelled with his sublime paces and fantastic rideability. Downtown and our Swedish rider, Jeanna Högberg was awarded 98,6 for the win with three times the top mark 10!

Hesselhøj Downtown and Jeanna:

Trot: 10
Walk: 9.5
Canter: 10
Rideability: 10
Perspective: 9.8

The extreamly well-moving and talented young mare, Svalegård's Hot Zalina by Zalabaster/Hotline earned 89.0 together with Helgstrand rider Michael Grønne Christensen. She presented a nice rhythm and the very enjoyable test was awarded:

Trot: 9
Walk: 8.7
Canter: 8.8 
Rideability: 9
Perspective: 9

Fourth and fifth place also went to the Helgstrand team as Fynch Hatton by Formel Eins/Sir Donnerhall I received 88.6 points and Vendóme (Veneno/Fidertanz) with Anne-Mette Strandby Hansen was awarded 87.6 points.

Fynch Hatton and Andreas:

Trot: 9.3
Walk: 8
Canter: 9 
Rideability: 9
Perspective: 9

Vendóme and Anne-Mette:

Trot: 8.5
Walk: 9.2
Canter: 8.5
Rideability: 8.8
Perspective: 8.8


Pictured: Svalegård's Hot Zalina and Michael Grønne Christensen.


Pictured: Fynch Hatton and Andreas Helgstrand. 


Pictured: Vendóme and Anne-Mette Strandby Hansen.


Pictured: Husmann's Topgun and Betina Jæger Jensen.


Pictured: Fire Dream and Frederikke Skelmose.

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Pictured: Sir Floresco and Moisés winner of the 4-year-old preliminary test.

The last horses have entered the arena in the 4-year-old preliminary test today and Sir Floresco (Sir Heinrich/Floresco) succeded in keeping the first place all the way winning with 93.8 points with among others, 9.5 for canter, rideability and perspective. A tremendeous horse with supple movements and capacity for future top sport.

Trot: 9.2
Walk: 9.2
Canter: 9.5
Rideability: 9.5
Perspective: 9.5

It was a strong field of 4-year-old horses, but anyway Helgstrand managed to secure a top 3 placement having Freddie Murcury (Fürstenball/Samarant) and Eric on a second place scoring 90.4 and the breeding stallion My Vitality (Vivaldi/D-Day) and Eric on a thrid place achieving 89.6 and the following marks:

Freddie Murcury and Eric:

Trot:: 8.5
Walk: 9.5
Canter: 9.0
Rideability: 9.2
Perspective: 9.0

My Vitality and Eric:

Trot:: 8.8
Walk: 8.5
Canter: 9.0
Rideability: 9.5
Perspective: 9.0

Moreover, we had the chance to watch some amazing offspring by Revolution and Franklin performing so well. Among others, the Danish Warmblood Gold Medal Mare Roxette by Revolution/Quite Easy (breeder: Stutteri Sorgenfri) with former Helgstrand rider Søren Wind, who achieved a 7th place with 87.0 and Rally von Rosing (breeder: Maria von Rosing), well presented by Simone Blomme Rasmussen. The couple was awarded 85.2 and a 11th place. 

Find the result of the 4-year-old preliminary test here.

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Pictured: My Vitality and Eric. 

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Pictured: Freetown and Jeanna. 


Pictured: Fan Amour and Merita.


Pictured: Slangerupgaard's Flottenheimer and Eric. 


Pictured: Iron and Mette.

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