The FEI – WBFSH World Breeding Championships for Young Dressage Horses are always an important highlight for breeding enthusiasts, as well as riders, studbooks and owners keen to meet the up and coming stars of the future. This year, we were immensely grateful to the Verdener Turniergesellschaft who invited us to bring our own stand to provide a warm welcome to participants and visitors of this important championships, and it is a great pleasure to share some of the highlights enjoyed by all.
It was wonderful, after such a long break, to return to the wonderful showgrounds in Verden, where the FEI and WBFSH continue a collaboration and tradition close to all our hearts, to forge the deep bond between breeding and sport so central to the development of top-horses, and in doing so safeguarding the future of the international sport. The show organisers did an excellent job under challenging circumstances. With corona restrictions keeping a cap on visitor numbers of 500 per day, they nevertheless succeeded in creating a jovial atmosphere with participants and visitors alike clearly delighted to be able to see each other again after a long break. Covid rules were strictly adhered to, with testing and checking of vaccination status in place and a strict masks policy when moving from one part of the event to another.
The WBFSH stand offered a welcoming space, giving breeders from all over the world an opportunity to meet each other and network, with interesting conversations often carrying on well beyond the closing time of the other stands. We also provided some welcome refuge from the rain, which got rather heavy on the Friday, but did not detract from the wonderful atmosphere as we were witnessing Jovian with Andreas Helgstrand on top form, delivering a breathtaking performance in the qualifier, which they repeated on the last day to be crowned champions of the 7-year-old horses.
The 7-year-old KWPN passported and Danish Warmblood licensed Apache son out of a Tango mare was bred by the Ten Bosch family who came to our stand for a little celebration during which they were also joined by his rider and owner, Andreas Helgstrand. It was particularly interesting to hear stories about Jovian as a foal and to learn that in those days, he did not show much trot at all, as he rather preferred to canter everywhere!
The Championships were certainly very successful for both KWPN and the Danish Warmblood. Sunday also saw Hesselhoej Down Town DWB by Hesselhoej Donkey Boy out of a Blue Horse Zack mare ridden to victory by Jeanna Hogberg from Sweden with some very strong entries, such as the Hanoverian Danciero (Dancier x Floriscount) under the saddle of Eva Möller, also achieving excellent marks. Down Town was bred by Dorthe and Hans Jorgen Hoeck and is owned by Helgstrand Dressage.
On Saturday, it had been the KWPN’s turn to celebrate, with a convincing victory by the stallion Kjento (Negro x Jazz) under the saddle of Charlotte Fry from Great Britain. Kjento was bred by van Os and is owned by van Olst Horses who of course also own his father. We enjoyed a lovely celebration on our stand where breeders from near and far joined WBFSH President Jan Pedersen and the WBFSH team in toasting the happy winners.
This championship has been the first time in recent years that the WBFSH had a stand at this important event, and it is certainly an experience we look forward to repeating. It has been very enjoyable not only to meet the champions, but breeders and riders from all over the world, from participants to those who came to watch and be inspired for their future breeding choices, and to offer everyone a place to meet each other in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped to make it happen, and we look forward to seeing you all again soon!
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