By Thomas Bach Jensen/DWB Photography: Ridehesten.com
Danish Warmblood recently held its 40th stallion licensing in MCH Messecenter Herning, hosting a major event that united sport and breeding. During the five-day celebration, March 6-10, some 67,211 visitors found their way to Herning – the place where, in the past, Sezuan was awarded as a four-year-old champion, and where the five-year-old Fiontini won the young-horse championship after test rider, Charlotte Dujardin, awarded her with two maximum tens.
Every year, this major event presents the grand finale of the European licensing, season as many of the best colts from the foreign licensings are purchased by Danes. Some of the best three-year-old stallions from the German and Dutch stallion licensings gather to face-off against the best of the Danish young stallions.
Stallion of the Year 2019: Skovens Rafael
Danish Warmblood’s 22nd Stallion of the Year title was awarded to the Grand Prix dressage stallion Skovens Rafael, who was honoured and celebrated by an enthusiastic crowd.
As a foal Skovens Rafael, by Blue Hors (Glock’s) Romanov x Blue Hors Don Schufro x Zorro Z – bred by Kirsten B. Hansen and Jens Lund Pedersen – was sold at the DWB Elite Foal Auction to foreign investors and he grew up at the Blue Hors stud in Denmark. As a three-year-old he became a premium stallion and, at the time, the most expensive young stallion ever sold at the spring auction in Herning. Rafael is out of a dam line that has produced several top horses, and his breeding line shows a string of international Grand Prix stallions.
His new owners, Lotte and Per Skjærbæk and Lotte Lindgreen have developed Rafael into a superb dressage horse. Ridden by Lotte Skjærbæk, he won the Danish young dressage horse championship as a four-year-old and was a finalist at the FEI/WBFSH world championships in Verden at the age of five and six. Skjærbæk and Rafael have developed into a successful pair at international Grand Prix level, becoming Nordic champions in 2017.
Not only in international sport, but also in breeding Skovens Rafael has placed himself on the world map. In Danish Warmblood he holds one of the highest dressage breeding values because of his many very rideable and talented offspring. Also in Sweden, Skovens Rafael is highly valued as a sire and his most famous young offspring at the moment is the Swedish bred stallion Springbank II VH.
Functional sport stallions became champions
During the stallion licensing in Herning the audience was treated with a marvellous collection of four-year-old and older stallions that were already licensed on Thursday, and most of them had been competing in sport classes throughout the even in Herning. On Sunday the stallions were presented in front of the spectators in the huge Boxen arena where the breeding committee elected the champions, including the best Danish-bred dressage and showjumping stallions out of the approved group.
The performance test winner in showjumping, Vong’s Brunello DWB TF was appointed champion stallion and winner of the Elvin Rasmussen challenge trophy. In the dressage ring, the Dutch-bred Kremlin MD claimed the champion’s title, while Got It was awarded the Aage Ravn challenge trophy for best Danish-bred dressage stallion. Both these horses also receives silver breeder medals...
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