By Kim Lundin
Anyone interested in breeding, in horse sport, and everything related, should visit the annual Herning Hingstekåring. A mega-event in the same venue that hosted the European Championships in jumping, dressage, and para-dressage in 2013, and in August 2022 will host welcome the world championships in four disciplines.
Traditionally held during the second week in March every year, Herning is a combination of stallion selection, high level CDI and CSI classes, a huge trade fair, plus a gala show where Danish stallion owners compete in presenting their horses in a super-trooper spotlight. It’s a horse happening of huge proportions, everything indoors, hosted in a convivial atmosphere, and all three competition arenas with VIP sections that keep the wine and beer flowing.
Another feature unique to the Herning Hingstekåring is the open stables, where all the stallions and many of the competition and show horses are temporarily housed. Spectators and visitors wander around and pet the priceless stallions like Revolution and Jovian, or sneak a kiss from Blue Hors Zirrus: Indescribable and quite lovely.
As the last stallion event on the European circuit – Germany hosts all their selections in late autumn, KWPN and BWP start in January – the DWB selection often turns into a season finale. And it all has to do with money. DWB, primarily oriented towards dressage breeding, has some of the most influential investors located within Denmark’s borders. For more than two decades investments from LEGO have gone into the influential Blue Hors Stud and the jumping oriented Stutteri Ask. The baton in the relay race as to “who invests the most millions in young stallions” has now been passed to the modern empire of Helgstrand Dressage. So, to put it simply, in this European final, many of the premium-awarded stallions from the German and Dutch selections are now owned either by Helgstrand Dressage or Blue Hors.
Out of 73 stallions of different ages and disciplines, Helgstrand Dressage owned exclusively or in partnership 25, and Blue Hors seven. Following all the selections, five Helgstrand stallions were invited to the premium ring as well as others from foreign breeding associations. Impressive as well as being scary. You have to wonder whether any player with such a huge number of participants in the selection will eventually hold sway in the outcome?
This year only nine selected stallions were listed for the mandatory DWB 10-day test, necessary to achieve permission to cover mares three-year-olds. Helgstrand Dressage, however, has listed their stallions for the new shorter tests within the German stallion approval system scheduled for late March and early April. This will likely force DWB to adapt their approval procedure, as they have previously done, prolonging the 10-day test to 14 days, to accommodate the requirements for stallions aiming to cover mares in Germany as three-year-olds... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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