A smiling Charlotte Dujardin test-riding the 4yo Springbank II – “The best four-year-old I’ve ever ridden”

By Hillevi Brasch
Photography: Roland Thunholm

Before dwelling on the overall results, the breeders’ showcase and the elite foal auction, there is one thing we can say for certain; a star was born that Saturday night at Flyinge with the four-year-old approved SWB stallion Springbank II (Skovens Rafael x De Niro) receiving rave reviews from none other than superstar dressage rider, Charlotte Dujardin.

Springbank II was already the talk of the town at last year’s Breeders Trophy. However as the four-year-old dressage horses are put under the saddle of a test rider in their final phase, it was Charlotte Dujardin’s words that stuck in everyone’s minds for days after the event: “He is by far the best four-year old I have ever ridden,” she exclaimed to the full house at Flyinge. Springbank II’s regular rider is Spain’s Severo Jurado Lopez, and he is co-owned by Helgstrand Dressage, Tina Hennix and Västra Hoby Stuteri. Västra Hoby Stuteri also bred this chestnut stallion that is taking everyone by storm – in breeding as well as mares covered worldwide this season.
The Breeders Trophy is traditionally held at the beginning of October and is truly a highlight for any breeder in Sweden as it is the Swedish Warmblood Association’s young-horse championships. This is the event where not only horses, riders and owners are recognized, but breeders are also at the forefront. The overall prize money awarded is ample (close to €50,000) and comes out of the Breeders Trophy fund – fees originally deposited through the registration of each year’s new foals, dating back to 1985 when the Breeders Trophy was first established. But more importantly comes the pride of having produced a horse that not only qualified to compete, but perhaps also placed in the event. The competition is fierce, and only the top horses in the country, between the ages of three and seven in dressage, jumping and eventing, are invited to the finals.
The event is only open to horses birth registered in SWB. For stallions originally registered with a ‘foreign’ studbook but who are approved for SWB breeding, there is the Swedish Warmblood Stallion Trophy and, throughout the week, close to 500 horses compete, representing owners who are vying for the fame and fortune (well, perhaps not so much fortune – this is horses!) that typically comes with a Breeders Trophy victory.
It was an impressive week, with the SWB three-year-old mare championship, the Stallion Trohy, the SWB elite foal auction, and the highly anticipated test-riding classes by Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin in dressage and, from the Netherlands, Jeroen Dubbeldam in jumping. And, for those unable to attend, the whole event was live-streamed.

Dressage Breeders Trophy

Vesicula (Totilas x Ampere), a strikingly beautiful mare, could not have started her career in a better way – winning both the three-year-old division overall AND the national mare championships in dressage. Vesicula was bred and is owned by Lena Nyström and was expertly ridden by Sandra Sterntorp...

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