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Unforgettable: The one-and-only Briar 899 (SWB)

Briar with Jan Brink at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong

By Hillevi Brasch
Photography: Tullstorp, Peter Llewellyn

The year is 2005… Who can forget when Jan Brink (SWE) and his longtime partner, the beautiful liver chestnut stallion Briar 899 (SWB: Magini 695 (SWB) - Charis (F.2) (SWB) x Krocket 651 x Illum 527 x Gaspari 340) danced their way down the centerline in that ‘oh, so picture-perfect powerful passage’ to win the prestigious Grosser Preis von Aachen as the first Swedish rider AND Swedish Warmblood horse ever!

Of course, this was not their first Grand Prix win and nor was it their last, but certainly a crowning jewel of a win! It put them at the top in the global dressage rankings for 2005.
The power duo made their mark on the international dressage scene for many years; winning too many Grand Prix’ to count and with a partnership that lasted 18 years total! The Brink and Briar saga is a one in a lifetime; together they were unstoppable, a merger of outstanding talent, dedication, perseverance, and true respect.

Åke Björsell, Briar, Hans-Yngve Göransson, Jan Brink

Starting out

Briar was born in the southern part of Sweden; at Dalhem Farms owned by Hans-Yngve Göransson, where close to 80 horses today, including mares, foals, and youngsters roam the vast fields. His damline (F.2) the so called ‘Spinda’ family dating back a couple of centuries in Germany, began in Sweden when Spinda was imported in 1927. This family is recognized as one of the most successful mare families in producing top horses, not only in Sweden but also worldwide, and often ranked in the top three in the world. Many horses competing at top international level have descended from this family. For example, in international Grand Prix showjumping: Feliciano (SWB: Irco Marco - Felicia x Utrillo); Corrmint (SWB: Cortez 679 - Col-Rawil 8787 x Utrillo); So What (SWB”: Irco Mena - Drava x Anart); and in international GP dressage: Briar 899 (SWB); Mistral Höjris (DWB: Michellino - Virginia x Ibsen); Tellwell (SWB: Tip-Top - Tarantella x Bayard)... to name but a few. Basically every generation in this family has produced world-class horses.
Briar’s sire Magini was competing successfully in jumping at the time under Rolf -Göran Bengtsson, while his dam, Charis, was by Krocket, a stallion combining Hanoverian blood with Thoroughbred that brought lightness, quick reactions, soundness, and longevity to the table. Krocket earned a whopping 10/10 in jumping at his stallion approvals, however, did not compete much as his breeding career earned a more coveted spot... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber