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Briar: Sweden’s pride and joy has crossed the rainbow bridge

Briar (Magini - Charis x Krocket) ridden by Jan Brink

By Kim Lundin
Photography: Peter Llewellyn

Swedish Warmblood’s elite stallion, Briar (Magini - Charis x Krocket) passed away in January, just before his 31st birthday. He brought fame and joy competing at the highest level through his lifelong partnership with dressage international rider Jan Brink of Tullstorp Stables. He had remained fit and well and enjoying his retirement at his Dalhem Farm birthplace in Vellinge.

Briar was bred by Hans-Yngve Göransson and Kristina Gustafsson with whom he remained until the end of his life.

The legacy

Swedish-born dressage stallions with an international reputation and legacy are few and far between. It is hence only fitting that the one Swedish dressage stallion in modern times descended from a former icon in his pedigree’s damline, that of Olympic stallion Gaspari (1949: Parad [Trak] - Russi x Haffner[SWB])– Briar’s maternal great-great-grandsire.
Briar was born in 1991, sired by Magini out of Charis, by Krocket. His pedigree is as much Swedish Warmblood as it gets. In his third generation it’s possible to find the first individuals from other studbooks, with Hanoverian Utrillo as his great-grandshire and Illum as great-damsire. For those who are a little familiar with Swedish showjumping, you might recognise Magini’s name as an international showjumper with Rolf-Göran Bengtsson. This well illustrates the essence of Briar – his career could have gone either way when he did his performance test as a young stallion. As it went, he became one of the greatest dressage stallions with an international career almost spanning a decade.

Competing internationally and breeding

Briar made his debut at championship level as a nine-year-old at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games with Jan Brink. It would be his first but not his last Olympic Games, as he finished seventh individually in Athens 2005, and 10th in Beijing 2008 (Hong Kong). Finally, in 2009, Briar said farewell to international competi-tion in qualifying for that year’s World Cup final in Las Vegas. He finished ninth after becoming a little too exuberant with spec-tator interaction, with a smiling Jan Brink in the saddle. Briar, as the happy athlete that he was, could have continued down the centre line of his career forever had it been his choice – and he never ever called it quits until the day in late January 2022.
During all his years in sport he continued to breed every season, delivering fresh semen. A tough dual career, but Briar never tired and his longevity resulted in some 700 offspring in Swedish Warmblood’s database.
So far, some 300 have entered competition on different levels, two-thirds in dressage and one-third in jumping. International breeding recognigion for Briar came as early as 2003 when he was acknowledged by KWPN, and was then approved by German studbooks, incliuding Hanoverian and Oldenburg, among others. To date, in Germany, Briar has 55 competing offspring who have gathered some €54,000 in prize money... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber