Helgstrand bets on new markets in 2020
Since the equity fund, Waterland Private Equity Investments bought into Helgstrand Dressage in 2018, there have been made some serious investments, amongst them are the purchase of Ny Ravnstrup and Windsome Farm. But the ambition to become the world’s leading equestrian company requires the strongest profiles, which is why Helgstrand just expanded the staff with master rider Mikael Stevn, who has helped many riders achieve great goals.
- We have great visions for Helgstrand Dressage, and the wish to enter new markets demands that we are present and able to make new relations. Unfortunately, I don’t always have the opportunity to leave myself and I have come to learn that entering new markets requires a lot of research. Therefore, we are delighted to be able to ad Mikael to our team, says Andreas.
In 2003, Mikael Stevn became an educated master rider from Hasse Hofmann and has in the last couple of years been operating Stevn Equestrian, where he besides selling horses to many high-profiled riders, also has been focused on developing talented riders. During his time as self-employed, Mikael has helped riders achieve numerous victories, both at national and international competitions. Among them, Agnete Kirk Thinggaard, who has been on the Danish dressage national team for several years, and among others, has participated in two World Cup-finals and once in the Olympics on her resume.
- Since 2007, I’ve been operating my own sales stable, and like many others been following Andreas from the sidelines, whilst admiring his impressive results. I’ve come to a place in my career where I feel, that I need new challenges and would like to be part of a successful and skilled team, which is why I contacted Andreas to ask whether my experience abroad could be used at Helgstrand, says Mikael Stevn.
- Mikael has a great network along with many years of experience, which we can benefit from. Furthermore, he is an entrepreneur, like me, which has opened up for many new ideas and actions, that are already on the drawing board, ads Andreas, who looks forward to seeing the new collaboration develop.
Mikael assumed the position as Head of International Development at Helgstrand Dressage on January 1st, 2020.
Helgstrand in new clothes
The celebration of the 10-year anniversary of Helgstrand in 2019, which was marked by the annual Open House, really initiated the thought of renewing the visual impression of Helgstrand.
- When we founded Helgstrand Dressage back in 2009, we obviously set some ambitious goals, but to be where we are today, is something we would’ve never dared to dream of. Even though we have renewed our self on the way, which amongst others has resulted in being awarded Børsens Gazelle, we feel the time is right to mark the quantum leap we are currently making in cooperation with Waterland, says Andreas.
Helgstrand was founded in 2009 and has become one of the leading sales stables within a very short timeframe, and especially in the market for young horses, where our riders have taken home more than 15 medals at the WCYH throughout the years. After the equity fund, Waterland Private Equity Investments, bought some of the company in 2018, the ambitions raised and the wish to create one of the world’s leading equestrian companies were added to the agenda.
- In daily life we only use one name, Helgstrand. Therefore we feel it makes more sense to collect all the current and future subbrands in one logo, says Andreas and ads; that the new identity comes at a time, where Helgstrand seriously starts to make new initiatives, for example with the purchase of Windsome Farm in Wellington and thus mark a new era.
Because Helgstrand as a logotype gets such fundamental importance, the H becomes the center for the logo or the monogram, which gets a subtle hint of horses with four horse heads. Therefore, the new logo embraces all the subbrands of Helgstrand, which we know today as Helgstrand Denmark, Helgstrand Dressage, and Helgstrand Stallions.
- Even though Helgstrand is a well-known international brand now, it was important for us to maintain something personal in the logo or monogram, which is why the H is an important element. Simultaneously, the four horse heads are an expression for the four of us, Marianne and I, along with our two children, William and Alexander, finishes Andreas.
We hope you will embrace the new identity for Helgstrand Dressage, which will be implemented in all our online and offline material continuously.
Fantastic offspring by Totilas for Helgstrand Dressage
Total McLaren by Totilas/De Niro. Picture: horses.nl
At the 2020 KWPN Stallion Licensing in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, Helgstrand Dressage managed to secure a very interesting offspring by Totilas. The mother Deja Vu is by De Niro and in the third generation, we have the legendary Sandro Hit – an extremely strong and desired pedigree.
- McLaren looks just like his father with the black look, but he varies from the typical Totilas look with his long-legged and very modern expression, which we believe characterizes the modern sports horse. Of course, he also has three amazing gaits. We are very much looking forward to showing him to the breeders already tomorrow at our stallion show in Verden, Germany, says Andreas Helgstrand.
The pedigree of McLaren is very interesting with Totilas as the father, who is a three-time world champion and already as a 9-year-old, he managed to win the Grand Prix freestyle with no less than 90.75% at the European Championships in Windsor under Edward Gal.
The beautiful exterior of McLaren probably comes from the dame line, which among others consists of the Oldenburg Champion mare, Silberaster OLD, who is a double gold winner at the German Bundeschampionate and thus has shown herself worthy in the sport.
In the third generation we have the world-famous Sandro Hit, a living legend with numerous victories. Among many unmentioned highlights, the winner of the World Championship for Young Horses and the winner of the Bundeschampionate with Dr. Ulf Möller.
After being licensed in KWPN this weekend, he will also be licensed in Oldenburg. He is named McLaren, but after being owned by Helgstrand, his name will change to Total McLaren. Total McLaren was bought together with the family Kasprzak.
The visions for Windsome Farm
The last month there have been many rumours about Helgstrand buying Windsome Farm in Wellington, Florida. But now as the contract has been signed and Helgstrand owns the property, Andreas will tell about the visions for the place.
Video of Windsome Farm: Luxhunters Production.
Offspring by Helgstrand stallions in the lead
Fransisca by Franklin/Blue Hors Romanov, bred and owned by Henrik Hansen.
Shortly before we entered the new decade, Danish Warmblood published a list of the best Danish Warmbloods within dressage. This list includes once again a large number of offspring by Helgstrand's stallions and several Helgstrand-owned horses, which have been succesfull during the year.
We especially want to thank all the breeders, who have shown us confidence by using our stallions. We congratulate you on the great results last year and wish you good luck in the upcoming season.
Below you find an overview of all results in 2019.
Source: Danish Warmblood.
Vilard’s Frina DWB by Franklin/Blue Hors Don Romantic, bred by Stutteri Vilard I/S and owned by Helgstrand Dressage ApS.
Champion 2-year-old mare
Fransisca by Franklin/Blue Hors Romanov, bred and owned by Henrik Hansen.
Champion mare with breeders medal in gold
Atterupgaards Lady Hamilton by Dante Weltino/Stedinger, bred by Atterupgaard and owned by Hamilton Horse AB, Sweden.
Grand Quest-Bell e. Grand Galaxy Win/ Blue Hors Don Romantic, bred by Tina and Nicolai Jepsen and owned together with HH Horses.
4-year-old Champion Stallion
Kremlin MD by Governor/Rousseau, bred by M. Dinnissen, Holland and co-owned with Helgstrand Dressage A/S.
Aage Ravn’s Trophy and Breeders Medal in silver
Got It by Grand Galaxy Win/Blue Hors Don Schufro, bred by Morten Thomsen by Dressage Arvé and owned by Helgstrand Dressage ApS.
Winner of the stallion performance test
Atterupgaards Barcelo by Bon Coeur/Caprimond, bred by Atterupgaard and co-owned with Helgstrand Dressage. Result: 872,5 points.
The Stallion of the year
Skovens Rafael by Blue Hors Romanov/Blue Hors Don Schufro, bred by Kirsten B. Hansen and Jens Lund Pedersen and co-owned by Lotte Lindgren and Lotte & Per Skjærbæk from Stutteri Priess.
Winner of ability test
Nobelle by Negro/Blue Hors Future Cup, bred by af H.K.H. Prinsesse Benedikte and owned by Mette Sejbjerg Jensen. Rider: Mette Sejbjerg Jensen. Result: 880 points.
Winner of Danish Championships for young horses in Herning
Queenparks Wendy by Sezuan/Blue Hors Soprano, bred by Kurt Gosmer owned by Helgstrand Dressage ApS. Rider: Andreas Helgstrand. Result: 974 points.
Best DWB horses at DEF’s Championships
4-year-olds: Highfive Fuglsang by Grand Galaxy Win/De Niro, bred by Anne Dorte Riis Meyland and owned by Family Dahlseng, Norway. Rider: Anders Uve Sjøbeck Hoeck. Result: 9,00 points.
5-year-olds: Queenpark’s Wendy by Sezuan/Blue Hors Soprano, bred by Kurt Gosmer and owned by Helgstrand Dressage ApS. Rider: Andreas Helgstrand. Result: 9,60 points.
6-year-olds: Baunehøjens Carpaccio by Charmeur/Kermo’s White Talisman, bred by Pia Gobert and owned by Anette Ejlersgaard. Rider: Anette Ejlersgaard. Result: 8,94 points.
7-year-olds: Hesselhøj Donkey Boy by ERA Dancing Hit/Milan, bred by Dorthe S. and Hans-Jørgen Hoeck and owned by Equi Stallions. Rider: Jan Møller Christensen. Result: 87.872%.
DWB horses with WBFSH medals
5-year-olds: Queenpark’s Wendy by Sezuan/Blue Hors Soprano, bred by Kurt Gosmer and owned by Helgstrand Dressage ApS. Rider: Andreas Helgstrand. Result: bronze.
6-year-olds: Zhaplin Langholt by Zonik/Stedinger, bred by Bente Graasbøll and Ole Magnus Jensen and owned by Charlotte Jorst. Rider: Andreas Helgstrand. Result: bronze.
7-year-olds: Hesselhøj Donkey Boy e. ERA Dancing Hit/ Milan, bred by Dorthe S. and Hans-Jørgen Hoeck and owned by Equi Stallions. Rider: Jan Møller Christensen. Result: silver.
Best DWB horse at FEI’s World Ranking List
Atterupgaards Cassidy by Caprimond/Donnerhall, bred by Atterupgaard and owned by family Dufour. Rider: Cathrine Dufour. 2632 points, rang 5.
When a customer returns
Fine Spirit and Vicky Lavoie.
At Helgstrand Dressage, a lot of our customers return. One of them, is the Canadian Vicky Lavoie from Nexolia Dressage, who just bought Sådan Que by Quaterback/Skovens Royal, and thereby can add horse number 10 to her collection of horses bought from Helgstrand Dressage.
Vicky Lavoie from Nexolia Dressage is constantly investing in the best bloodlines in order to sell more top horses in Canada. The mares continue in the sport and makes good results while getting foals via embryo. In this way, Vicky can add more top horses to Canada while training the horses to be even better, which she emphasises highly for her business.
- Like most amateurs, my goal is to become the best rider I can be and for sure compete at GP. Such high goals require great horses because you are never better than the horse you’re sitting on. An important message, which my long relation with Andreas has taught me. Therefore, I go for the horses which are well-educated and amateur-friendly besides having a great pedigree, says Vicky Lavoie, who values the genes, since the horses are bought with the purpose of breeding through embryo transfer.
- Of course, it has great meaning for us that Vicky returns to us when she wishes to buy another horse. We work very hard on ensuring the best match for the rider we have in front of us, and when it pays off now for the 10th time is it just great, says CEO and founder of Helgstrand Dressage, Andreas Helgstrand.
The latest addition is the 11yo mare, Sådan Que, who since 2016 has been quite successful with Nanna Skodborg Merrald. With Nanna as her rider, Sådan Que quickly advanced from the M-classes to Grand Prix within the first year and had their international debut in U25 the year after and started as seniors with great success in 2019. Sådan Que was on the list of horses who traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to Helgstrand Dressage in Florida at the beginning of December.
- Sådan Que is an amazing horse! She’s my second Grand Prix horse along with Fine Spirit (Fidertanz/De Niro). Besides them, I have Glenn S&S (Ampére/San Brentano), Feodoro (Fürstenball/Rosario), and Fiesta Danza OLD (Fürstenball/Weltmeyer), who currently competes in Prix St. Georges. Therefore, I have 5 FEI horses, whom I can compete with this season in Wellington. All the horses are staying at the Helgstrand Dressage’s farm in Wellington, and Ulf helps me in the daily life, which a appreciate very much, adds Vicky and continues; there are many advantages when you buy a horse from Andreas, you get pushed into the right direction.
- The primary purpose of the mares is breeding since they are a big asset for my business. I’m convinced that the mares continued success in the sport, combined with their amazing submission is paramount in order to make great offspring, says Vicky and adds, that there have already been some requests on the offspring by her mares.
- Andreas always takes his time and listens to my needs. He has an amazing talent for finding the right horses that fit my vision of breeding, training, and selling top horses in Canada. He has even managed to call me sometimes and say: “I have a horse that is perfect for you”, and he is absolutely right. He is great at knowing people, says Vicky.
Vicky has 7 horses at Helgstrand Dressage USA and will compete at PSG level and up in this season.
The story of Maria Claumarch makes Helgstrand establish a grant
Inspired by the sad story of Maria Claumarch, who, based on an accident with a horse, lost her right leg, Helgstrand Dressage has chosen to establish a grant, with the purpose of helping riders realize their goals.
- I know how difficult it would be for me if I wasn’t able to ride every day. For us, the horses are our way of life and it is our great passion, says Andreas Helgstrand, CEO and founder of Helgstrand Dressage.
The touching story about Maria Claumarch has spread like rings in the water, and especially within the horse world since the prosthetic she has been given can’t be used for riding. With this in mind, her friends and family have started a fundraiser for a prosthetic she can use for riding, so Maria hopefully can realize her dreams.
- I get moved by people like Maria and her friends, who fight so much for a cause. It got me thinking about how I got to where I am today. And it is the belief that you will succeed if you just fight for it. Therefore, I have no doubt that this year’s grant goes to Maria, says Andreas.
It is not only because it’s a touching story Helgstrand Dressage has chosen the first grant goes to Maria. No, because the idea behind the grant is to give it to people, who have set a goal and gives it everything to achieve it.
- The help I’ve received in my career has been crucial for where I’m at today, and therefore it is important for me to give something back to the sport. And I fell I can do that with this grant, says Andreas, and adds that the grant will be given once a year.
Andreas Helgstrand had no doubt about who should receive the first grant.
- This year we haven’t had the possibility of an application round, and therefore we had no doubt about the first grant should go to Maria. She has set up some great goals, which I respect tremendously. She wants to participate at the World Championships in 2022 in Herning, to show that you can do what you want. So here in the last few days of 2019, I only wish Maria good luck. I look forward to following you in the sidelines, adds Andreas.
About the Helgstrand grant
The Helgstrand grant is awarded once a year based on an application round. In order to apply for the grant, you must be a rider and have a riding goal you are aiming for. Big, as well as small goals, are welcome no matter if it is jumping or dressage riders. In order to be a candidate, the applicant must make a video in English in which the applicant presents themselves and their goal and describes how the grant will help the applicant achieve their goal. It is possible for both Danish and foreign riders to be considered for the grant.
The deadline for applying is between April 1st and May 1st every year, and the grant will be given during Equitour Denmark, which is held at Helgstrand Academy in May. The grant has a value of 10.000 DKK. In order to be able to select the right recipient amongst the applicants, a jury has been founded, consisting of General Manager and rider, Thomas Sigtenbjerggaard, Manager of Helgstrand Academy and rider, Maria Anita Andersen, and CEO and founder, Andreas Helgstrand.
New semen distributor in the Netherlands and Belgium
The last stallion licensing shows abroad have taken place, which is a sign that this year is ending. New young stallions have been bought, and the stallion collection for 2020 already has a lot of new promising talent. The cooperation with one of the world’s leading stallion stations, Deckstation Schockemöhle, has led to a lot of positive changes and at this moment, Helgstrand faces another one.
After many years of cooperation with the Dutch Reesink Horses, which is also known as Helgstrand Holland, Helgstrand Dressage has in cooperation with Schockemöhle decided to achieve synergy between both companies by using a common distributor in the Netherlands. The new distributor is De IJzeren Man, which is located in the city Weert by the border between the Netherlands and Belgium.
- It has always been our goal to find common ground with Schockemöhle, and here I don’t only think of our vision to offer our customers some of the absolute best stallions. It’s also about having the same covering conditions, the same distributors, etc., says Andreas Helgstrand, owner of Helgstrand Dressage, and ads; We’ve had an amazing cooperation with Reesink Horses regarding the promotion of our stallions in the Netherlands, which we would like to thank them for.
- Björn van Kessel, who owns De IJzeren Man, has many years of experience and a huge network, which we look forward to benefiting from. The new cooperation will also make ordering semen more manageable for our breeders in the area, as well as reinforce our service in the Netherlands. At the same time, De IJzeren Man, not only covers the Netherlands but also Belgium, where we see a huge potential for our stallions, says Andreas Helgstrand.
As well as Andreas Helgstrand is pleased with the new cooperation, Björn van Kessel is also looking forward to the new cooperation.
- The question from Helgstrand Dressage regarding, if we were interested in offering the Schockemöhle-Helgstrand stallion collection in the Netherlands and Belgium, gives us a unique possibility as a stallion station to offer our breeders the best stallions in the future, including exclusive bloodlines from all over Europe. Since the breeding season in 2000, we’ve distributed stallions from Paul Schockemöhle in both the Netherlands and Belgium and in the same way, we expect a long cooperation with Schockemöhle-Helgstrand, says Björn van Kessel, owner of De IJzeren Man.
The new season will start off with a stallion show in the Netherlands on April 17th in the city Weert, where De IJzeren Man is located.
Picture: Björn van Kessel, owner of De IJzeren Man.
16 horses from Helgstrand Dressage will travel across the Atlantic Ocean
Ballando by Benicio/Le Primeur is one of the horses, who is going to the United States. Among many great results, he got a top placing at the 2019 German Bundeschampionat with Eva - picture: Equitaris.
The competition season in Wellington, USA, is fast approaching and soon, 16 horses will travel across the Atlantic Ocean to Helgstrand Dressage’s sales stable. Dr. Ulf Möller, who is in charge of the stable in Wellington, has been by to select prospects for the new season based on his experience from the first two seasons.
- It is now the third time we’re traveling to the United States, and with the experience we’ve achieved in the past seasons, the selection of the horses going to the USA has been easier this year, says Dr. Ulf Möller and ads; We mainly see a demand for the horses who are a bit older, which either compete at Grand Prix level or has started working on the exercises for it. Not as much the younger horses, which we are used to in Europe. The Americans go for the horses with whom they can start competing and be successful with, within a short period of time.
Before the selected horses can start their journey to Wellington, they must first be checked by an official veterinarian, have taken blood samples, and the mares must furthermore have taken a swap sample as well. When all of this is ok, they’ll drive to Guido Klatte in Lastrup, Germany, with takeoff from Vodskov on November 30th. After 24 hours, they’ll go to Lufthansa in Frankfurt who will fly them to Miami. Here follow 2 days with quarantine (a bit longer for the mares), where after they’ll drive the last part to the farm in Wellington.
- Amongst the horses going to Wellington, we see very exciting pedigrees with, among others, some of the biggest dressage horse producers in the world, such as Foundation, Sir Donnerhall and Skovens Rafael. With the impressive performance pedigrees also follow many great results, and therefore we have horses that have participated in the Bundeschampionat, the World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in the Netherlands and horses, which are placed up to international Grand Prix level, says Ulf.
Besides Ulf, the American team consists of two experienced riders, Danish Carina Nevermann Torup and German Madeleine Bendfeldt. Carina is raised in a riding family, where her mother, Jette Nevermann Torup, has been coaching the Danish national team for ponies through several years. Carina has a long list of top placings behind her, amongst others are gold-medals at the Nordic Championships, DEF Championships, and medals at the European Championships, and latest a top placing in the Bundgaard Byg Cup at the Blue Hors dressage festival. Madeleine also has a long carrier behind her with numerous top placings up to international Intermediate level. But she can also draw on her many years of experience with youngsters, where she has educated several horses who have participated in the prestigious Bundeschampionat in Germany, and amongst them several finalists.
The following 16 are going to Helgstrand Dressage USA:
• 5-year-old mare by Dancier/Lauries Crusador
• 10-year-old mare by Fineliner/Upan la Jarthe AA
• 11-year-old mare by Quaterback/Royal
• 6-year-old gelding by Benicio/Le Primeur
• 6-year-old gelding by Jazz/Florestan
• 6-year-old gelding by Foundation/Fürst Heinrich
• 6-year-old gelding by Floricello/Hertug
• 7-year-old gelding by Franziskus/Florestan I
• 7-year-old gelding by Foundation/Fürst Heinrich
• 8-year-old gelding by Bøgegårdens Boney M/De Noir
• 9-year-old gelding by Lugato/Fürst Piccolo • 9-year-old gelding by Sir Donnerhall I/Bonheur
• 10-year-old gelding by Quaterback/Rubin Royal
• 10-year-old gelding by Skovens Rafael/Castro
• 11-year-old gelding by Sir Donnerhall/Jazz
• 12-year-old gelding by Fidertanz/Welt Hit II
New Champion Stallion for Helgstrand and Kasprzak
Today, at the auction at the 2019 Westphalien Stallion Licensing, Helgstrand has together with the Family Kasprzak bought the Champion Stallion no. 40 by Dream Boy/Sir Donnerhall I.
The Dream Boy/Sir Donnerhall I colt was for sure the highlight of the auction. He is an impressive young stallion, that just have what we are looking for at a modern sport horse! Expression, top gaits and great temper.
We are looking so much forward to offer this talented young stallion to our breeders as part of the 2020 stallion collection.
The stallion has been acquired for 1,9 million euro.
Bred by C. van der Laan from Oude Pekela, the Netherlands, and former co-owned by BG Gießelmann & Van der Laan
Watch video of the stallion here
Reserve Champion for Helgstrand Dressage
Today, no. 63 by Sir Heinrich/Floresco/De Niro was approved at the 2019 Westphalien Stallion Licensing and got awarded Reserve Champion and made it to the final top 4 and got awarded Reserve Champion as well.
Bred by Gisela and Jan Dag Wilms-Ruck from Unna, Germany. Co-owned by Helgstrand and Caroline Breck.
Watch video of the stallion here