Global Equestrian Group invests in company that will improve horse welfare
Picture: Horses at Helgstrand Youngsters
Back in 2018, horse owner Jacob Wandt encountered a problem with the supply on the market of foaling alarms for horses. There were only a few, and very expensive products to choose from. With a background from the IT world, Jacob therefore launched a project to develop both a better and cheaper foaling alarm. By the end of 2020, the Ruxbury product became a reality, and the final product includes - in addition to a foaling alarm - a wide range of other features that are ideal for any horse owner, professional or amateur rider. The product includes health data from the horse, information that can limit injuries and a number of features related to training of the horse. The final solution consists of a small device with a built-in heart rate monitor - which is easily and conveniently attachable to the horse's headwear and smartphone application which can connect via Bluetooth.
Early in the process, Tomasz Goldman, previously Senior Director of GN Netcom, became involved in the project as development manager. "The most difficult thing was to solve the challenges of reading the horse's heart rate with a sufficiently high quality," says Tomasz, and continues: "It is easier on a human where the heart rate monitor is close to a blood vessel. On a horse, the coat which creates distance from the monitor to the blood vessels must be taken into account. We have solved this challenge and at the same time created a product that is very easy to use and disturbs the horse as little as possible”.
Andreas Helgstrand from Global Equestrian Group (GEG) sees great potential in the new product and says: “Many horse owners invest a lot of money when acquiring and caring for their horses, but very few owners know anything about how the horse actually feels physically. In the daily training when you ride the horse, and especially when you participate in competitions, many will do too much warm-up which drains the horse of energy before it enters the arena. Ruxbury can provide the horse owner with a lot of information about the horse's well-being, which we think is very valuable for any horse owner or rider”.
GEG has acquired a 45% ownership in the company Ruxbury and has appointed GEG Commercial Director Anders Bjørnstrup as chairman of the company's board of directors to help making the new product ready for market launch. "We see great potential in Ruxbury", says Anders Bjørnstrup, and continues: "No matter what type of horse or what level you ride at, I think everyone wants more knowledge about how their horse actually feels, as well as how to limit injuries and train the horse most optimally. This, together with the fact that Ruxbury will be simple to use and very affordable to purchase, makes us believe that the product has great potential internationally”. The product is expected to be launched during the autumn of 2021.
About Global Equestrian Group: The group is headquartered in Vodskov, Denmark and includes the following brands: Helgstrand Dressage, Ludger Beerbaum Stables, Riesenbeck International, Kingsland Equestrian, Helgstrand Jewellery, X-Drive Robots - Riding Arena Robots, ZibraSportEquest and now also Ruxbury. The group is owned by Waterland Private Equity, Andreas & Marianne Helgstrand, Ludger Beerbaum and a small number of key employees. The group employs a total of almost 200 employees and works on the vision of becoming the world's leading company within the Equestrian industry.
For further information, please contact:
Response to DW related to Jan Pedersen's statement regarding Helgstrand Dressage and the process of the 10-day test 2021
The last 10 years, Helgstrand Dressage has had a goal to promote and improve the breeding within Danish Warmblood through purchasing of horses, sales of DW horses, export of DW horses and thereby broaden the awareness about DW over the whole globe.
We therefore wonder about the accusations about wanting to set the agenda within DW. Jan Pedersen directly accuses us of wanting to boycott and wanting to be in charge of the 10-day test, through threats.
With this statement from chairman Jan Pedersen, we would like to provide everyone with our perception as well, as we cannot accept the wording. We are not happy with the fact that we, and especially Esben Möller, are put in bad standing with our breeders, and are recognized as people who force a decision and an opinion.
As of the first day, when it was announced that the licensing process of 2021 would be different than other years, we have been in dialogue with DW. We have talked to all parties about the consequences of postponements and changes in the whole process. Everyone knows that Helgstrand Dressage is a business of international character and we have a close collaboration with international stallion stations, including Paul Schockemöhle, and therefore our basis of decision related to which horses, that will stay at the stallion station here or abroad, is depending on the demand from various breeding federations.
Already as COVID-19 led to a delay of the 10-day test, we shared our opinion about the potential process of the 10-day test. As then also EHV-1 started rummaging and both DRF and FEI stated that it was not reasonable to put horses together from different stables, it was an obvious case for us to have an open dialogue with our foreign partners and DW about this fact.
Andreas Helgstrand has in the week towards the inspection, several times been in dialogue with Jan Pedersen, where he stated that we considered to stay home from the 10-day test, since both Paul Schockemöhle, Ludger Beerbaum and all German federations made it clear, that they did not want to expose the horses to such a risk, and he thereby expressed his deep concerns about completing the 10-day test.
18th of March, Jan Pedersen is by Esben Møller informed that FN Zucht (the federation that controls all German breeding federations), will host a meeting about the potential cancellations of the German demand for the 14-day test within this year – this as a request by several German breeding federations- related to the EHV-1. With this knowledge, Jan Pedersen told Esben Møller that DW is a small player in this game, however it is possible that they should follow this decision as well, since an opinion from DW cannot be drawn out internationally. However, Jan Pedersen said that he would approach Dr. Klaus Miesner from FN Zucht and get back to Esben Møller with a reply. This never happened. We therefore distance ourselves from the statement from Jan Pedersen, that Esben Møller reportedly should have threatened with a boycott.
In the weekend before the test, Andreas Helgstrand informs Jan Pedersen, that Helgstrand would not participate in the 10-day test. They discussed the consequences related to the 3-year-old stallions. Jan Pedersen expressed that it could be a possible solution, to register the foals, if the stallions take part in a 35-day test later this year, with a minimum score of 800 points. If DW would offer the dispensation. This declaration from Jan Pedersen was obviously no guarantee. Since Helgstrand Dressage is a business, we would like to inform our customers about the possibilities we can offer, if they want to use one of the 3-year-old stallions.
Another opportunity, that also occurred last year, is that the breeders have their mares/offspring licensed in a German federation and that way can use a stallion from Germany, if it is approved in the specific breeding federation.
Andreas Helgstrand has informed and harmonized with Jan Pedersen, what we will inform our breeders.
It can be no surprise for DW, however choosing to accuse Helgstrand indirectly, that they want to draw members from DW, is outrageous.
Helgstrand Dressage has completely by ourselves, decided to not participate in the 10-days test of 2021. The decision was made based on a health and business-related matter. It is perhaps worth noticing, that we have approximately 600 horses stabled at Helgstrand Dressage, and the consequences of getting a potential EHV-1 in, would be such a disaster, hence our decision was made. Our various stakeholders trust us in taking the right decisions.
Considering the fact, that in the very same week as the 10-days test, an outbreak of the EHV-1 was found not far away from Tørring and that DRF closed all show activities, we are very certain that we made the right decision.
With this said, we do not allude to the fact that others, who took part of the 10-day test, acted irresponsibly. It is more a question about, whether they had the alternatives, as we had.
As a final note related to possibly participating in the 10-day test, that started 13th of April, we would like to inform the breeders, that a consequence was, that the stallions in Germany would be out of the covering program for 6 weeks, as a new EU regulation per 21st of April imposes strict regulations related to transport of horses across EU borders. DW should be well informed in this regard. Therefore, we see no opportunity and no benefit for the breeders nor Helgstrand.
We therefore hope that we have demonstrated our acumen in our decision-making processes related to not participating in the DW 10-days test. We have no intentions to harm DW, quite the contrary, we would like to develop the activities together with breeders and DW.
We have no intentions deciding anything else but the things that are related to our own business.
Stallion station in Denmark reopens!
After an unfortunate procedural mistake at the latest blood sampling of the stallions, the stallion station in Denmark was forced to temporarily close until new samples were made. We have now carried out new samples, received the results with correct answers leading to a full reopening of the Danish stallion station.
As of tomorrow, Saturday 10th of April, all ordering and transport of semen for our Danish customers will proceed as usually and all export of semen for customers abroad will continue on Monday 12th of April.
We apologize to all breeders for the inconvenience, this procedural mistake has caused, however we are now pleased to announce that the mistake has been remedied and we can now return with a full and safe reopening of the Danish stallion station.
In case of any questions, please direct them to Lene Birkemose:
+45 22 57 44 11
Stallion station in Denmark temporarily closed due to procedural error
At EU stallion stations, blood samples are taken on a regular basis to ensure the necessary control of the stallions who are part of a breeding program. Unfortunately, it has become evident that two samples were mistakenly swapped at the most recent blood sampling in Denmark and the result is now incorrect on two of the stallions. It is important to note that the closure has nothing to do with the Herpes virus, but that it is only a procedural error related to one of the mandatory blood samples taken at our stallion station in Denmark.
- This is a procedural error from us, and it is very unfortunate, as it now influences our breeders, says Andreas Helgstrand.
The procedural error means that the stallions stabled in Denmark will not be available for breeding until new blood samples have been taken. Due to these circumstances, it is up to the authorities to carry out the new blood samples and the response time has therefore been extended. We will not receive the results of the new blood samples beofre Friday April 9th, thus the stallions in Denmark will not be available from Wednesday March 31st until Friday April 9th.
It is also important to note that this does not have any consequences for the stallions that are stabled in Germany, neither at Helgstrand Germany nor at Deckstation Paul Schockemöhle. Thereby, semen will still be transported from Germany to our Danish breeders.
- This is a human error, and it is very unfortunate. We obviously have to follow the authorities' recommendations, and hope for understanding from our breeders, Andreas concludes.
If you have any questions, please contact:
+45 22 57 44 11
Online Open House 2021
Online Open House 2021
We really wished that we were able to welcome you all to a physical open house, however once again, corona is in the way for our plans. Instead, we have planned an enormous ONLINE open house, since we had plenty of exciting things on the programme as well as some great prizes!
Since we recently had our online stallion presentation, we wish to demonstrate the stallions in quite another angle: By showing you some of our upcoming offspring from some of our great stallions. Moreover, you will get on a tour around our different venues, both in Germany and USA. And finally you will also take part in an exciting talk at Helgstrand Youngsters, where Stable Manager Peter Kofoed and Head of Purchasing Esben Møller takes you into the universe of the young horses - they will enlighten you about the process our foals go through, how we ensure a solid and healthy development as well as some selection criteria along the way.
So mark your calendars on Saturday 17th of April 14.00-16.30 - we can't wait!
Helgstrand refrains from the inspection for the observation test due to the EHV-1
Picture: Fortunate by Foundation/Quaterback
Danish Warmblood has just announced the results of this year’s stallion licensing, which were held at home as a result of COVID-19. This year Helgstrand could add yet another 12 licensed 3-year-old stallions to the collection, including no less than 4 premium stallions, as well as a champion stallion in Danish Warmblood – that is namely the 4-year-old stallion Iron by Asgard’s Ibiza/Hohenstein. Normally the 3-year-old stallions go to the inspection for the 14-days test at Tørring Ridecenter, however due to the terrible EHV-1 virus, Helgstrand decides to keep the horses at home.
“It hasn’t been an easy decision as we have a new generation of breeding stallions to whom we have a lot of high expectations. We know that the breeders have been looking forward to the announcement of which stallions the Danish Wamblood breeding commission would approve for testing. However, the outbreak of the Herpes virus has already hit Europe and incidents are also found in Denmark, so we do not dare to take the risk to move the horses to Tørring, Andreas tells – he is very worried about the situation.
The EHV-1 virus is airborne and very contagious. We have seen how the virus hit at the showgrounds in Spain where several horses lost their lives. FEI has afterwards cancelled several shows until the 11th of April and that tells a bit about how serious this situation is.
“Even though the situation is under control in Denmark at the moment, we also need to think about our stakeholders. They have trust in us taking the right decisions at all and that we do everything to ensure the well-being and safety of the horse. We cannot take the risk to put the horses in stables where horses from various different locations will be stabled. So, we hope to find a solution together with Danish Warmblood to have our horses tested and receive their 1-year breeding approval another way, Andreas ends.
In total 52 3-year-old stallions were selected for the stallion licensing, and 20 got their approval for the inspection. 12 of these 20 stallions come from Helgstrand. At the end of the Danish Warmblood stallion licensing 6 premium stallions were appointed of which 4 were Helgstrand stallions.
Moreover the 4-year-old stallions received their final breeding approvals and this year’s champion stallion was appointed.
Find the videos of all 3-year-old stallions right here:
Find the whole stallion collection of Helgstrand on the homepage:
Global Equestrian Group expands with two new employees
Picture: Peter Munk on the left and Martin Thorbøll Pedersen on the right.
In the beginning of March, Martin Thorbøll Pedersen and Peter Munk have joined Global Equestrian Group in their roles as Head of Partnerships and Events and Head of Digital respectively.
Martin comes from a previous role in one of the most exclusive high-end golf companies in Denmark. Here, he worked as the Golf Manager focusing on delivering quality customer experiences in a commercial setting. In Global Equestrian Group he will be responsible for the organization and the execution of events and shows, while also being in charge of establishing a strong network of partnerships and sponsors. Previously this area of the business has been outsourced, however now we will have a strong profile to be in charge of this, in close collaboration with the rest of the team.
Peter, the new Head of Digital, has throughout his career worked with e-commerce and digitalization in the Lego Group, Salling group and most recent in a UK startup company that has now grown to employ more than 100 individuals. The experience and knowledge from his previous work will now be used in the development of Global Equestrian Group’s digital presence across all brands and subsidiaries as well as the overall digital growth strategy for the group.
Global Equestrian Group is an already well-established company with lots of exciting subsidiaries within the equestrian industry, who continuously strives to grow and challenge status quo.
“To strengthen the global position of the group and meet the high ambitions, now was the time to add such two strong profiles to the group”, Commercial Director of Global Equestrian Group Anders Bjørnstrup Bech states and continues: “We are very pleased with welcoming Martin and Peter and look very much forward to having them as a part of the team and this exciting journey.”
Helgstrand welcomes a new supply of horse feed
“We educate dressage horses of top quality and this makes demand on our supply of feed”
For many years we have had an amazing cooperation with our feed suppliers Krafft and Pavo. While we primarily use Pavo for the foals and the young ones at Helgstrand Youngsters, we have chosen to use Krafft for the riding horses. Both types of feeding fulfill the nutritional needs of the horses in order for them to grow and perform respectively. The well-being of the horses is an important parameter for us – and even though the quality of the feeding often can be seen in the fur of the horse – the most important for us is their well-being. They need to receive the correct level of minerals and vitamins, in order to stay fit for every training.
We continue the good cooperation with Krafft and Pavo, however we will now introduce and welcome a new supplier: DuVil. Through many years of experience with competition horses, we know, that the horses have different needs, and we meet these needs by welcoming a new supplier. We have tested the new feeding for some time and are certainly satisfied. The horses thrive, they look good, and they stay energetic and fit throughout the training, which is important to perform at a high level.
We cherish our suppliers and look forward to a long-term cooperation with yet another qualified supplier.
Herpes virus: We take responsibility here at Helgstrand Dressage
Picture: Helgstrand's veterinarian, Zenta Vinther.
The outbreak of the EHV1 herpesvirus in Spain has already had very serious impacts throughout Europe resulting in FEI announcing a cancellation of all competitions until the 28th of March in light of this situation.
Here at Helgstrand Dressage we take this very seriously in order to avoid any cases of the virus, and therefore all our horses have been vaccinated regularly since 2019. Other than this, we do not let any horses on our property unless it can be documented that they have been vaccinated against the herpesvirus.
Since our business is focused on purchasing, training and selling dressage horses, we find it necessary to inform about this. If you have a horse you would like to showcase with a sales perspective or if you want your horse in training at Helgstrand Dressage, you are obliged to provide documentation that the horse is vaccinated against the herpesvirus.
This applies to all our five locations: Helgstrand Dressage, Helgstrand Youngsters, Helgstrand Academy, Helgstrand Germany and Helgstrand USA.
In case of questions, please contact:
+45 21 29 13 82
Foco Loco W sold to Austrian Young Rider
Picture: Foco Loco W and Anne-Mette Strandby Hansen (photo: Lily Furado)
The 16-year-old gelding Foco Loco W by Sierappel/Weingräfin has been sold to the Austrian young rider, Nicola Ahorner. Nicola had gained a lot of experience through her time as a Young Rider and Foco Loco is now ready to give her the best start to her coming U25 years.
Foco Loco has been a superior partner for the Danish Anne-Mette Strandby Hansen. Already after a short relationship, they were already, in August 2020, ready to attend the U25 European Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Here they performed absolutely outstanding and earned no less than 79,025% in the Kür, after which they could claim the title as European Champion. And this followed their great performance in the team competition, were they achieved a bronze medal together with the rest of the Danish national team.
-It is no secret, Foco meant a lot to me and have made all my biggest dreams come true. The Europeans Gold Medal is definitely my biggest memory, however obtaining the title as Danish Champion as well, just topped an amazing summer. I am absolutely grateful for the memories and I wish Nicola the best of luck with him, Anne-Mette tells.
We congratulate Nicola on her new amazing school master, Foco Loco!