Tobias Hansson with his mother Birgitta Hansson and the 2014 World 3yo Breeders Trophy 2016 winner, Florence VH

SWEDEN (by Hillevi Brasch) Few breeders in Sweden have a longer tradition of breeding horses in the family than Tobias Hansson of VH Stud in Västra Hoby, located in the very south of the country, a mere 10 minutes from Flyinge – the Swedish National Equestrian Centre. Beginning in the early 1900s with Tobias’s grandfather, John Hansson, a farmer with a passion for horses breeding for the military services, has today evolved in to a successful sport breeding operation.

The stud farm has produced dressage horses of international calibre such as Darcia VH [31] (Danone - Dakarta [31] x Don Schufro), a team horse for the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Caen. Future stars include the three-year-old 2016 Breeders Trophy champion Florence VH [31] (Floricello - Rakel VH [31] x Rohdia- mant), and the runner up Floricella VH (Florencio - de la Reinne VH [31] x De Niro) and her half brother, the three-year-old Springbank II VH (Skovens Rafael), an approved stallion in Danish Warmblood.

The Västra Hoby Stud now ser ving Tobias and his family has been in the family since the 1800s, possibly even earlier. Today it extends to 70 acres of pas- ture and 30 acres for producing hay. The acreage is needed as Tobias has some 30+ horses to feed, so the passion has carried through the generations of the Hans- son family. I was, therefore, curious to talk to the man behind today’s successful sport horse breeding programme.

Q Tell us how it all started?

My father Torsten Hansson was a true horseman in every sense of the word, bolting onto the scene at 16 years of age when presenting Swedish Warmblood horses in hand in 1956 at the Olympic Games in Stockholm, and was then invited to show Swedish Warmbloods for HM Queen Elizabeth at Windsor. He eventually competed in dressage, jumping and three-day eventing, all at national S-class level. Throughout his life he was also a GP dressage judge, a member of the SWB Inspection Committee, a member of the SWB Board as well as a dedicated breeder and farmer...

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