By Anette Sånesson (translated by Hillevi Brasch) / SWB
Photography: Anette Sånesson and private collection
In 2022, we saw Bertil Andersson proudly posing next to his own-bred horses during the three-year-old SWB championships for mares in both dressage and jumping horses at the SWB Equestrian Weeks.
Andersson was also among those who received plaques of honor for his elite mares. Last year, the ninth generation was born at Ängagården in Bjuv, Skåne, the result of a lifelong effort. “Horses are everything to me,” Bertil explains. “I find it difficult to part with them.”
His interest in horses dates back to childhood when there were Belgian Draft mares with foals on the family farm. Since then, approximately 300 horses have been produced under Bertil’s guidance. “It’s not spring if no foals are born,” he says.
In the early 1970s Bertil acquired his first Warmblood mare. He received a recommendation to contact Hillevi and Inge Wilhelmsson outside Lund and bought the pregnant three-year-old mare, Barbara. Barbara belonged to mare family 33 – the Varia family – and this mare line has become a signature for Bertil and his breeding. Upon the purchase, Bertil also promised the breeders Hillevi and Inge that the offspring’s names would start with the letter B, and this tradition has continued as a hallmark of the maternal line. This line has produced the nine generations, with hopes for a 10th.
Barbara produced the daughters Bocia (Ciceron) and Browalja (Dawson), each continuing a separate branch of the mare line. In 1985 Browalja was awarded a premium, as was Bocia’s daughter Bonita. The two mares ranked first and second at the three-year-old test in Hjärnarp. Both branches have since produced numerous competition horses. For example, Bocia produced Maraton’s son Marlon, who was successful in advanced showjumping with Eamon Hickey. A notable mare is the elite mare Ballerina, who had 14 offspring. Blå Fjädern and Belicia, two of her daughters, received elite awards, while Brixton competed successfully in 1m50 showjumping with Jens Fredricson. Blå Fjädern, in turn, produced Bricco, a high-level showjumper, also under Fredricson’s saddle. Hillevi Wilhelmsson and her daughter Anna Wilhelmsson-Sahlin later returned to Bertil to buy horses from the line that once began with them.
In 2022, seven foals were born on Bertil’s farm, followed by the same number in 2023. If a mare receives a premium as a three-year-old Bertil prefers to breed with her, partly because the mare is of good quality and partially because he can utilize the scholarship from Amilon’s fund for which the Skåne breeders can apply... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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