Helgstrand invests in robot company
Picture: Andreas Helgstrand and Anders Bjørnstrup.
Helgstrand Dressage ApS and X-Drive Robot ApS jointly invest in the new company Riding Arena Robots, which, as the name might indicate, shall develop and sell autonomous robots that even and maintain riding arenas all over the world.
- It takes a lot of man-hours and tools in terms of tractors etc. for our riding arenas to be maintained and always primed to ensure the best ground for the horses to work on, Andreas, owner and CEO of Helgstrand Dressage, says and continues; We have been introduced to a business project that has been thoroughly worked through – it involves the development of an autonomous robot that can prepare riding arenas, and as we find a huge potential in this field of business, we have chosen to invest in it.
The new robot has already been projected, technical requirements are specified and the product development has got off to a good start. Prototypes will be ready for launching before summer 2021 and will afterwards go through numerous tests before the product can be released to the market, expectedly ultimo 2021.
A sustainable solution with huge potential
- The robot is power-driven and should be able to drive all by itself. It can be compared to an autonomous lawnmower and the way it works in peoples private gardens. It will be able to charge itself and with built-in sensors, it can steer around fences as well. That way the robot can both be used on dressage as well as showjumping arenas. As the robot is electric, it is concurrently a sustainable solution, not only climate-wise but also in a way where it doesn’t pollute the same way a tractor does, Andreas concludes.
Helgstrand Dressage has chosen to inaugurate their commercial director, Anders Bjørnstrup, as the CEO in the new firm, Riding Arena Robots. This is partly to manage the supervision of the process of development, partly for quality assurance as well as preparing the products for an introduction to the market, including organizing the company to ensure abilities within sales management, support and further product development.
- There are lots of advantages for the end-user by using this product: it is time-saving, it cuts costs related to tractor and fuel, the robot can work during the night, when the arena is empty and then such a quality robot will be more precise and careful, making sure that the arena will be absolutely perfectly evened, Anders says, and continues; When we look at the market potential, there are more than 33.000 riding arenas only in Europe, so we see a lot of potentials.
- We could not find a more suitable partner for this project, says Klaus Kesje, sales director for X-Drive Robots and adds; Helgstrand Dressage has the complete knowledge about the market and the customer needs, which would be hard to find in another partner. At the same time, Helgstrand Dressage is a very big international player, which creates an even better opportunity for us to pursue our common ambitions about going global.
Helgstrand Dressage acquires the luxurious horse farm Gestüt Famos in Germany
Picture: Gestüt Famos - indoor arena and the stable area.
In December 2019, Helgstrand Dressage acquired the property Windsome Farm in the horse mecca Wellington in the American state Florida, and now all the final details with the acquisition of Gestüt Famos are falling into place. Gestüt Famos can from a breeder’s perspective be seen as the German counterpart to the property in Wellington. As a result of the acquisition, the name of Gestüt Famos will be changed to Helgstrand Germany.
The German cities Vechta and Verden constitute the heart of the German world of breeding, and it is completely intentional that Helgstrand Dressage decides to invest in this luxurious farm in Germany, that is founded by the now-deceased rich man and legend in the field of bread production, Klaus Ostendorf. The place is located half an hour drive south of Bremen and is thereby just in between Vechta and Verden, which every year is hosting the joint stallion shows between Helgstrand and Shockemöhle.
- For a long time, we have been looking for a base in this area, that has the potential of redeeming our high ambitions. Not only in relation to responding to the demand of sales horses on the German market, but also allowing us to expand our stallion station, that until now has been run at Sudenhof in Hagen. Germany is one of our biggest markets and the potential is even bigger, if we are present with an independent sales division, in order to appear where our customers are, Andreas states.
Picture: Eva and Ulf Möller standing with our breeding stallions, Valverde and So Unique.
Gestüt Famos was founded in 1906 and has in 2002 gone through an extensive renovation, making the place appear state-of-the-art with a main house made in timber frame and facilities allowing the absolute best training also securing the possibility of hosting major events. In unique park-alike surroundings like the property in Wellington, Helgstrand Germany is soon ready for the family Möller consisting of Dr. Ulf Möller and his wife Eva Möller. Ulf has since 2017 been the head of both the German and American departments of Helgstrand and will now be the daily manager of Helgstrand Germany, where his wife Eva as well will be employed full time as a rider.
- The fact that Helgstrand Dressage now has acquired Gestüt Famos is strategically a good decision, as the location of the place is very attractive. Right in between Hannover, Oldenburg and Westfalen, which are the three biggest breeding associations. The place is the best foundation for running a solid sales stable, as we can now welcome clients here as well, and not only in Northern Jutland. At the same time, it is not further away from the Headquarters, that by special wishes from clients, we can transport the horses from there to the department in Germany, Ulf Möller states and continues: we are additionally very pleased with the possibility to control and further develop the place as we wish to, and in line with the established Helgstrand concept.
- It is an amazing opportunity and challenge for my family, and I am pleased that Andreas and Waterland Private Equity are trusting us with this decision. It will be very exciting coming along on the journey of building Helgstrand Germany with a sales stable and a stallion station. Moreover, I am looking forward to ascribing all my time to Helgstrand Dressage, as I think the last 4 years has been an absolute pleasure. The future looks bright and brings a lot of challenges, but we are very excited to see where it takes us, Eva Möller narrates.
Picture: Indoor arena at Gestüt Famos.
Picture: One of the stable areas. There is room for 45 horses.
Picture: The house, where Eva and Ulf Möller are going to live, only a few metres from the stable area and indoor arena.
13 horses from Helgstrand selected for the 2020 WYCH
Picture: Queenpark's Wendy by Sezuan/Soprano and Andreas Helgstrand.
That's for sure quite an accomplishment! We are extremely proud and happy to announce, that a total of 13 horses will represent Helgstrand at this year's World Championships for Young Horses being held in Verden, Germany on 9-13 December.
Some of them have already claimed several medals and we hope to repeat the success this year!
So Unique by Sezuan/Donnerhall
Finest Black Lady by Finest/Royal Highness
Jovian by Apache/Tango
Queenpark's Wendy by Sezuan/Soprano
Janeiro Platinum by Sezuan/UB40
Springbank II VH by Skovens Rafael/De Niro
Valverde by Vitalis/Ampere
Eternity by Escolar/Sir Donnerhall I
Straight Horse Don Zuan by Zack/Don Schufro
Straight Horse De Milla by De Niro/Zack
Jaristo by Dreamboy/Nourejev
Elverhøj's Raccolto by Sezuan/Sandro Hit
Revolution by Rocky Lee/Rouletto
4 Premium Stallions to Helgstrand
Picture: Catalogue no. 76 by Zoom/Waterford
At the auction followed by the 2020 HANN stallion licensing this afternoon in Verden, Helgstrand bought another 4 Premium Stallions to add to the Helgstrand-Schockemöhle stallion collection, which already counts many Champion and Premium Stallions, stallion performance test winners etc.
Among the four Premium Stallions, we have catalogue number 76 by Zoom/Waterford, bred by Klaus Brandes. Already by having a look at the pedigree, we were convinced about the quality of this stallion, which he confirmed at the presentation at the auction. HANN Premium stallion Zoom adds both Zack and Don Schufro to the line of performance stallions of this amazing stallion.
Picture: Catalogue no. 63 by Secret/Belissmo M
Next, we have the picture-perfect and ultra-modern Secret son, catalogue no. 63, with damsire Belissmo M and bred by Karsten Harms. Secret, which is sired by Sezuan, hardly requires any presentation, since despite his young age he has already made a positive impression both in terms of breeding and sport. Among other things, he won silver at the 2019 WCYH under Jessica Lynn Thomas.
Picture: Catalogue no. 37 by Bon Coeur/Fürst Nymphenburg
Catalogue no. 37 by Bon Coeur/Fürst Nymphenburg proved to be a true Bon Coeur offspring; magnificent and impressive. He is bred by Bernhard Dodenhof. Premium stallion Bon Coeur superbly won his stallion performance test in Schliekau and became Vice Bundeschampion as a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old in Warendorf. Today, the stallion is extremely successful under Caroline Darcourt, who has taken several victories at the small tour level.
Picture: Catalogue no. 34 by Benicio/Scuderia
The collection now also includes catalogue no. 34 by Benicio/Scuderia, bred by Ludwig Fuchs. An ultramodern type with outstanding gaits. Of course, it’s no coincidence as he is sired by the Bellisimo M son, Benicio. Under Anna-Sofie Fiebelkorn, Benicio supremely won the German Bundeschampionat for 6-year-olds and received a 10 for walk, trot and canter at the stallion performance test in Schliekau.
Picture: Catalogue no. 73, Zaximo by Zackerey/Tomahawk
Gorgeous offspring by Zackerey licensed in HANN
At the 2020 HANN Stallion Licensing, Helgstrand presented a gorgeous stallion by Zackerey/Tomahawk, which got licensed with amazing comments from the licensing committee. The stallion is bred by Elisabeth C. Ahn and is co-owned by Anna Kasprzak and Helgstrand. An ultra-modern stallion with completely exceptional gaits, which during the entire selection turned out fantastic, but unfortunately did not get awarded Premium Stallion as hoped.
- There is no doubt that Zaximo is a true Champion. He has everything that the modern breeder asks for. Unfortunately, he didn't get awarded Premium Stallion today, but the future looks very promising, and I am sure he will shine at future licensing shows. All things considered, we are extremely happy with the fact, we can add another 5 licensed stallions to the collection, which we hope will delight the breeders, says Andreas Helgstrand.
Kardieno sold to Dressage Mala Skala
Picture: Kardieno and Thomas Sigtenbjerggaard
The news spread like ripples in the water when Helgstrand announced the addition of another stallion with the famous Gelder-blood to the collection. A stallion who, despite his very short time in Denmark, has drawn a lot of attention to himself by winning the qualification for the young horse championship and later on the finale with Helgstrand rider Thomas Sigtenbjerggaard in the saddle. Now the stallion can look forward to a new future in Prague, Czech Republic in the stables of Dressage Mala Skala, where the purpose is to focus on his future career as a dressage horse.
Kardieno (Dante Weltino/Parcival) definitely impressed with his outstanding balance, action and suppleness, resulting in grades far above average for his gaits and perspective. Especially in the final of the young horse championship he showed a lot of potential and could obtain the prize as the best 4-year-old.
- It has been a real pleasure riding Kardieno. Some were probably a bit skeptical when we introduced him as a part of our stallion collection, but he quickly turned out to be a stallion with very appealing qualities, that could add a lot of value to the breeders. We are looking forward to seeing him on his future journey, as we believe that he has the potential to join the top league of dressage, Thomas Sigtenbjerggaard says.
Kardieno is by Dante Weltino, who qualified to the prestigious Bundeschampionate as both a 5-year-old and a 6-year-old with Therese Nilshagen in the saddle. Already as a 7-year-old Dante Weltino had his debut in S level dressage and won his first Grand Prix as an 8-year-old. Since then, the couple has achieved many victories and placements of international Grand Prix level – and among the highlights, it is worth mentioning team bronze at the Europeans in Göteborg, Sweden in 2017 and an Olympics qualification. The dam sire is the Gelder-stallion, Parcival, who also competed at top dressage level.
As Dressage Mala Skala will focus on Kardieno’s future career as a dressage horse, he is unfortunately not available for breeding anymore.
11 stallions from Helgstrand initiate the 35-days performance test of Danish Warmblood
Picture: Rockabye S by Revolution/Belstaff became Vice Bundeschampion this year under Sina Aringer
The year is soon coming to an end, and the same goes for the examination of the Danish Warmblood 35-days performance test at Tørring Riding Centre. From Helgstrand no less than 11 3-year-olds stallions will attend. The inspection with own rider takes place Monday the 19th of October. This test is performed to ensure, that the horse holds three stabile gaits, moving with no problems. In the subsequent period, the stallions will be trained by the master riders on the place and in that process, there will be a midway-assessment, where the owners can attend and have a look at the stallions’ progress.
The 35-days test is concluded on Sunday the 22nd of November – it will be exciting whether the current virus-situation will allow spectators to attend at that point in time. Finally, the stallions will be ridden by a test rider, who will contribute to the final grading, that will make the basis of whether or not the stallions can attend the final licensing at the Danish Warmblood Stallion Licensing in March 2021.
- The 11 stallions are a selection of this year’s fine young stallions, who already have presented positive development at home. The stallions represent some of the strongest bloodlines, and we especially look forward to presenting two offspring of our own stallions: Flottenheimer by Franklin and Rockabye S by Revolution, who has gone through an impressive development in Germany and became Vice Bundeschampion this year, Andreas states.
The 11 stallions for the 35-days test are the following:
Dynamic Dream by Glock’s Dream Boy/Sir Donnerhall I
Freetown by Fürst Wilhelm/Sir Donnerhall I/Latimer
Slangerupgaards Flottenheimer by Franklin/Scolari/Don Frederico
Floss Dance by For Dance/Quaterback/Lordanos
Iron by Ibiza/Hohenstein/Walt Disney I
In My Mind by Ibiza/Fidermark/Davignon I
Rockabye S by Revolution/Belstaff/Londonderry
Total McLaren by Totilas/De Niro/Sandro Hit
Majestic Taonga by Glock’s Toto Junior/Jazz/Hotline
My Toto VDT by Glock’s Toto Junior/Ferro/Calypso I
My Vitality by Vivaldi/D-Day/Argus
As some might have noticed, So Perfect is unfortunately not attending the 35-days performance test, as he sustained a smaller injury, which luckily is getting better. We hope for an opportunity later on, where So Perfect can be tested.
Springbank achieves a third win in Breeders Trophy
Betina and Springbank II VH by Skovens Rafael/De Niro. Photo: Kim C. Lundin
The riding sports centre Flyinge in Sweden these days the host of the Swedish championship for young horses. A horse that has attended all years is the now 6-year old Swedish-born Springbank II VH by Skovens Rafael/De Niro. Aged 3 and 4 he brilliantly took the victory, even impressing the test rider, Charlotte Dujardin, so much that she felt like giving the stallion grades above the scale. “He is the best 4-year old I’ve ever sat on”. Springbank continued his stream of victories this year and won the preliminary round with 95.2 points as well as the final with impressive 96.6 points, thereby seizing the title as the winner of Breeders Trophy for the third time. This time with Betina Jæger in the saddle.
Springbank had a significant lead as a result of the preliminary round resulting in sky-high expectations to the stunning stallion for the final round. As usual, Springbank didn’t disappoint and showed us once again, with his 96.6 points, that he is among the elite of Swedish bred horses. Springbank achieved the following points:
Watch the test from the finals here
“Springbank was with me the through the whole ride and the result of the day completely illustrates the feeling I sat with. He didn’t make any wrong moves and was very attentive towards all my signals”. We couldn’t bother giving it a little extra, which luckily paid off. He is the absolute best!” Betina Jæger proudly states.
Springbank brilliantly won the Breeders Trophy as a 3-year old as well as when he was 4 with the previous Helgstrand-rider Severo Jurado Lopez and attended as well the Danish championships in 2019 with Severo. Same year, he achieved an impressive 5th place at the prestigious World Championships for Young Horses in Ermelo.
The breeder of Springbank is the Swede Tobias Hansson, who runs the stud Västra Hoby Stuteri AB. Tobias is one of Sweden’s leading breeders and has throughout the years had a close collaboration with Helgstrand Dressage, where several horses are in joint ownership. Tobias is not only known for his outstanding breeding but is also servicing the Swedish breeders when they seek to buy semen of Helgstrand horses. Springbank is jointly owned by Tobias Hansson, Tina Hennix and Helgstrand Dressage.
View all results from Breeders Trophy here
Helgstrand Dressage acquires the majority of shares in Kingsland Equestrian
Picture: Founder of Helgstrand, Andreas Helgstrand to the left and founder of Kingsland Equestrian, Lin E. Kingsrød to the right.
Helgstrand Dressage, owned by Andreas and Marianne Helgstrand and Waterland Private Equity, has acquired 51% of Kingsland Equestrian.
Kingsland Equestrian was established in 1999 in Norway and has since its origin grown to become one of the world’s biggest producers of equestrian equipment including men’s, ladies’ and kids’ wear as well as blankets, saddle pads and much more.
Andreas Helgstrand, owner and CEO of Helgstrand Dressage is looking forward to an exciting partnership and states: “Kingsland Equestrian has been my sponsor for many years and they have always been associated with positive traits such as exclusive design and absolute top quality. Additionally, the company has a professional management, with whom we look forward to developing the company with. The activities of Helgstrand has a wide span globally, which is why the acquisition of Kingsland Equestrian fits perfectly within the strategy that we have developed.”
Also at Kingsland Equestrian both CEO Marianne Kjænli Fossum and founder Lin E. Kingsrød are thrilled about the new partnership. Lin states: “I am looking very much forward to getting Helgstrand Dressage on board on the future journey of Kingsland Equestrian. This is the start of a new chapter that will generate lots of interesting opportunities for us and the equestrian sport all over the world. With this partnership, we are ready to offer new and exciting possibilities for our customers in the future.”
The two brands, that are very well-established within the equestrian field, find a lot of future potential with the new ownership structure. “With our competences and network within the equestrian world, we can contribute to the further development of Kingsland Equestrian. We can provide Kingsland with resources not only in terms of human resources but also financial resources for further investments that can bring Kingsland Equestrian to an even higher level”, Andreas states and continues: “We are pursuing the strategy, that was formulated with Waterland - this strategy includes being involved in many different activities of the Equestrian industry. This is the first big acquisition, that along with other upcoming acquisitions will redeem our strategy.”
Springbank II VH supreme winner of the 6-year-old middle round
Picture: Springbank II VH by Skovens Rafael/De Niro and Betina Jæger
Prior to the middle round for the Danish dressage championships, Helgstrand had qualified a total of 14 horses, which went directly from the qualifications, and this weekend Helgstrand managed to qualify another 10 horses. One who did extremely well was Springbank II VH (Skovens Rafael/De Niro), who achieved an overall score of 9.48 and supremely won the middle round for 6-year-old horses under Betina Jæger. A horse without weaknesses, which the high marks reflected with amongst others 9.6 for capacity, which testifies to the judges' belief that here we have a horse that belongs to the future top sport.
- I have trained Springbank since May this year, and like every other horse, it takes time to get to know him. But I’m really satisfied with the test today and fortunately, the judges were of the same opinion. It's only the second time I'm competing him, but he's so easy to handle. In general, he is just a horse that will do everything for his rider, tells Betina, who is looking forward to competing in Sweden next weekend at the 2020 Breeders Trophy.
In the middle round for 6-year-olds, also Cathrine Dufour scored high marks presenting Eternity by Escolar/Sir Donnerhall I. Together they achieved a nice overall score of 9.27, with amongst others 9.8 for trot, and 9.5 for both rideability and capacity.
In total the following combinations qualified for the finals in Grindsted, Denmark:
Springbank II VH by Skovens Rafael/De Niro and Betina
Eternity by Escolar/Sir Donnerhall I and Cathrine Dufour
Eleverhøjs Raccolto by Sezuan/Sandro Hit and Betina
Dshamilja by Dancier/Lauries Crusador and Madeleine
Finest Black Lady by Finest/Royal Highness and Jeanna
Atterupgaards Spiderman by Att. Seebach/Stedinger and Maria
Ferdades by Fürstenball/Donnerhall and Anne-Mette
Special Blend by Sezuan/Hotline and Jeanna
Tophøjs Diadora by Hesselhøj Donkey Boy/Don Romantic and Eric
Svalegårds Hot Zalina by Zalabaster/Hotline and Michael
Isabell Werth buys top horse at Helgstrand
Picture: Isabell Werth and her new horse, the 6-year-old gelding, Joshua by Sezuan/Voice.
In the equestrian world she is best known as ”the queen” – Isabell Werth is the most winning rider of all time and has been number one on the world ranking list in dressage several years with her top horses Weihegold and Bella Rose. Now Isabell Werth has secured herself the very well-moving and talented 6-year-old Joshua by Sezuan at Helgstrand Dressage. If everything goes to plan, Joshua shall participate in the prestigious Young Horse World Championship in Verden this year.
- Joshua is an amazing horse that I fell in love with right away. I never thought I would ride a young horse again, but it's an opportunity that I could not let pass by. He's so talented, and after getting him home, I'm completely convinced I made the right choice. He is sensitive in a positive way and it makes him so easy to ride. Now I'm just looking forward to getting to know him even better and seeing what the future brings us, Isabell Werth tells.
- It is with the greatest humility and pride that we can bring the news, that Isabell has bought this horse at our stable. Our goal is to buy young talented horses, educate them, and sell them – so the fact that Isabell finds one of her new and young stars, here at our stable really makes us proud! It is a significant milestone in the history and development of Helgstrand, when the world’s best and most winning dressage rider throughout time chooses to buy a horse from us, Andreas Helgstrand tells.
It’s in the genes
The three-time World Champion and newly awarded “Stallion of the Year” in Danish Warmblood, Sezuan (Zack/Don Schufro) really has made himself noticed, not only with former rider Dorothee Schneider, but also with the current rider, Patrik Kittel. In the line of very successful offspring by Sezuan, can Helgstrand’s breeding stallion So Unique (Sezuan/Donnerhall) be mentioned. So Unique made quite the entrance and won the class for 4-year-old horses at the 2019 World Championships. Queenpark’s Wendy (Sezuan/Soprano) is another one on the list, that has inherited the successful genes from Sezuan. Wendy is a Gold Medal mare and in 2019 she superiorly won the Danish Warmblood Young Horse Championship scoring a 10 in rideability and capacity from test rider Patrik Kittel. The 6-year-old gelding Joshua (Sezuan/Voice) is the exact same type with excellent gaits as his sire and as the other offspring by Sezuan and therefore belongs among the elite in the equestrian world.
Joshua was found as very young by Andreas Helgstrand and moved already as a 2-year-old to Helgstrand. In 2019, Joshua went all the way to the final in the Danish Equestrian Federation’s Young Horse Championships for 5-year-old horses and secures 7th place in a very strong field, where Andreas won the class with Queenspark’s Wendy. Since then the young gelding has developed sublime and is now on the way to the next step in the career, which will be participating in the World Championships for Young Horses in Verden.
Joshua has already left the stables at Helgstrand and is now daily trained by Isabell.