By Kim Lundin
Photography: FEI/De Coster
A gold medal winning elite and Grand Prix competitor at age eight, Hesselhøj Donkey Boy is one of a kind. Since becoming a premium stallion as a three-year-old, there has been a constant flow of positive words about this stallion with the gentle expression and big movements.
Now, at the age of 10, he’s already becoming a living legend, as a breeding stallion as well as for his success in the competition arena.
It’s only seven years since Hesselhøj Donkey Boy exited the ring as a premium stallion at the Danish Warmblood Stallion Show in Herning, 2015. Even then he was a beacon of light in the darkness after his sire ERA Dancing Hit’s untimely demise. Since then, Hesselhøj Donkey Boy has collected more prize rosettes, challenge prizes and awards, followed by his record-breaking elite stallion announcement in 2020 in Danish Warmblood than any other stallion of his birth year.
Even as a four-year-old the Danish stallion committee, then led by Poul Graugaard, awarded Hesselhøj Donkey Boy the prestigious Aage Ravns Vandingspokal for dressage-bred stallions, with his breeders Dorthe and Hans Jørgen Hoeck of Stutteri Hesselhøj receiving a breeder’s gold medal when he was named the winning stallion. This gold medal is a rare honour within DWB, and only the sixth ever awarded since the association was founded.
The story could have ended there as for so many, but the elegant brown stallion – with a white nose, long legs, uphill with a lot of air and swing in his movement, a great walk and slightly longer back – has only continued to fulfil all the expectations that were placed upon him. Hesselhøj Donkey Boy quickly became popular as a breeding stallion, covering 167 mares in his first season for DWB, and around 20 for other studbooks, including Swedish Warmblood.
From this first crop came Diploid, who represented SWB in Ermelo at the dressage World Breeding Championship for Young Horses. And although the number 167 may not sound so impressive by European standards, it should be remembered that DWB is a smaller, albeit a very successful studbook for dressage breeders. Hesselhøj Donkey Boy’s numbers have held up with several years of over 100 mares, and it’s only after 2020 that he is surpassed in popularity by his son Hesselhøj Donkey Boss, among others. He is a full brother to Jeanna Högberg’s five-year-old winner in Verden last year Hesselhøj Down Town, also approved and used in breeding... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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