SWEDEN (by Hillevi Brasch) The Gothenburg Horse Show is one of the most popular and highly regarded indoor shows worldwide. It hosted its first event in 1977 so this year celebrated its 41st anniversary. Many World Cup finals have taken place here and many top riders as well as spectators have fond memories of the venue; Scandinavium located in the heart of the coastal city Gothenburg.
Last year marked a first for the young horses to take the spotlight alongside the world’s top horses in the brand new Swedish Warmblood Trophy. An event featuring the top five- and six- year old horses in jumping and the five-, six- and seven- year old dressage horses from the Breeders Trophy and SWB Stallion Trophy (Sweden’s young horse championships) the previous before. Certainly, it’s an exciting venue to bring your youngster to and also adds a little bit of extra awareness to the general equestrian community of these talented young horses born and raised in Sweden. Many of our top, international horses in jumping and dressage today, started their career at being successful in Breeders Trophy. Who knows – a future World Cup horse may have been seen at Gothen-burg Horse Show in 2018.
The judges for the jumping horses were Sweden’s chef d’equipe in jumping Henrik Ankarcrona alongside Marco Kutscher (Germany), well known to anyone familiar with show- jumping and breeding especially as he rode among others, the hugely influential stallion Cornet Obolensky for many years. The dressage judges were Jan-Ove Olsson (SWE), Wiveca Schenholm (SWE) and Peter Storr (GBR).
We had a chance to chat with a few of the judges and riders as well as getting a veterinary point of view before the first class in regards to young horses, training, talent and development. The unani- mous sentiment was, “Give a young horse TIME!” Shows geared to young horses are great – just make sure they are ready for it, both physically and mentally. It is totally fine to skip the young-horse classes a year if your horse is not ready. Taking care in training in a varied environment, giving plenty of time off when needed – all are things we can do to give the youngster the best possible circumstances for staying healthy and happy through- out a possibly long career. We also talked about talent vs temperament and everyone agreed that temperament and rideability are of utmost importance. More so than just raw talent. Yes, it’s important too – but if the horse doesn’t have the mind for it, well then the top levels will be much harder to reach...
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