Olympic Games 2008, Andreas Helgstrand (DEN) riding Don Schufro, Grand Prix Special Dressage

DENMARK (by Anne-Sofie Schou-Munk) He is perhaps Denmark’s most famous stallion and one of Europe's most popular breeding sires. It is not only his pretty face that attracts attention according to his everyday groom, Julie. He is different from the others; his temperament is also a bit unique. At his home at Blue Hors, he is treated as something really special.

Don Schufro made his last official appearance in Herning 2015, where he was presented by Karsten Petersen. He came to receive a gold medal for his achievements in breeding and his sporting career, Petersen said about the old boy of 23: “I'll soon be too old to take him around. It is possible to tell that Schufro is old; but at least he doesn’t know that himself”. Don Schufro's naughty side didn’t let last year’s audience in Herning down either, as he never had more than two feet on the ground at any one time.

Julie Abild Christiansen looked after Schufro when he was ridden by Lars Petersen, and has now returned to the famous barn of Blue Hors. Previously, it was actually Blue Hors Cavan (Cavalier - Danena x Danatz) who was her favourite, but since his death Schufro has taken his place. It is Julie who tells us what life is like behind the door at Blue Hors Don Schufro’s. “He is a VERY special horse. Most people have probably seen how he is when he is out at events where there are many people, for example if he gets applause he goes a little crazy and he can be quite a handful to walk around, or rather he drags us around. It's not just something you do... even at the vet check he will occasionally trample down hedges and various other things!

“When we take him to his paddock, he is an angel when he is going out, but when he is being brought in he is just as cheeky and potty as he is for competitions. He really likes to come back in”. A typical week for Don Schufro consists of paddock and riding three times a week. Lena Leschly Aamand has been riding the old stallion since Julie fell off and stopped riding some years ago. But she is starting again and has also taken a little ride on Schufro. “He's incredibly nice to ride, no bad manners there. The best thing he knows is to be petted and groomed. Then he stands perfectly still...

TO DOWNLOAD AND VIEW THE TABLES MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE CLICK HERE (Available to subscribers only)

TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO BREEDING NEWS