This week's Euro Update talks about a new, cool British website which brings almost daily video diaries of top ranked British riders. Laura Bechtolsheimer is one of those's online video stars. In Denmark, the annual Danish Stallion Licensing took place and a Rhinelander bred stallion became Champion. French team rider Constance Menard switched nationalities and will be riding for Israel. Swedish team rider Tinne Vilhelmson purchased a new Grand Prix horse, Favourit.
Laura Bechtolsheimer, A Horse Hero
A fantastic new website has been launced in Great Britain half a year ago: Horse Hero. It records video diaries of renowned British dressage, show jumping and eventing riders. One of the keynote heroes is British top ranked dressage rider Laura Bechtolsheimer. The young rider is having a new Kur to Music designed by Cees Slings for her top horse Mistral Hojris (by Michellino) and she regularly travels to Germany to train with Klaus Balkenhol.
Horse Hero's Laura Bechtolsheimer takes you on a tour of Balkenhol's premises in Rosendahl, Germany. Check out the video here
You can also see her schooling Andretti in Klaus's indoor arena
Foreign Bred Stallions Reign at 2009 Danish Stallion Licensing
Two foreign bred stallions became the champions of the 2009 Danish Warmblood Stallion Licensing in Herning, Denmark, March 5-8, 2009. The Rhinelander branded L'Espoir has been named dressage champion of the Licensing. Out of 17 licensed 3-year olds, the Danish Stallion Licensing Committee selected 8 stallions in total for the premium ring.
Poul Graugaard, Ole From Christensen, Jens Trabjerg, Bjarne Nielsen and Karina Christiansen considered L'Espoir (by Lord Loxley x Warkant x Gelria/T) the best stallion of the collection. Owned by Per and Lotte Skjaerbaek of Priess Stutteri and Paul Schockemöhle, the bay sire is also the reserve champion of the 2008 Mecklenburg licensing.
For the first time, dressage stallions did not have to do free jumping at the Danish Stallion Licensing, but they were judged on their conformation and gaits. The stallions were presented in hand, on the lunge line and in freedom. L'Espoir scored a 10 for his canter. "He's the prototype of the future dressage horse," said Danish breeding director Karina Christiansen. "He moves uphill all the time with swing and elasticity."
The auction price record holder Le Champ ASK was named show jumping champion of the licensing. This Oldenburg bred colt by Last Man Standing sold for 1.1 million euro to Blue Hors Stud at the 2008 Oldenburg Stallion Licensing a few hours after he had received the licensing champion's title there.
Le Champ received two tens for his show jumping capacity. "He is totally without limits," said Christiansen. "We regret that the scale doesn't go higher than 10!"
Constance Menard to Ride for Israel
French Grand Prix team rider Constance Menard is to ride for her home country Israel as of 2009. The 41-year old Constance is trained by Michel Autran and has been a member of the French team since 2005.
"I wish to represent Israel because of the story of my familly and country. Israel is a young country, modern and dynamic," Constance Menard told Eurodressage. "I am proud to wear my new flag and I will do my best to represent Israel with honour and try to change the thinking of most of the people about my country: Peace and welfare!"
Constance has been a Grand Prix rider since 2001. Aboard the Guelderland mare Lianca, she became member of the French team in 2005 and finished seventh with the team at the 2005 European Championships in Hagen, the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, and the 2007 European Championships in Turin. She was a reserve member to represent France at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong.
Favourit Sold to Tinne Vilhelmson
Hermann Gossmeier's Rhinelander gelding Favourit has been sold to the Swedish Tinne Vilhelmson. The 10-year old liver chestnut gelding is Vilhelmson's new hope for the future.
Bred by the renowned Eberhard Schulte-Böcker (breeder of Florestan I), Favourit is by Fidermark out of Wonne (by Worldchamp x Fidelio). Austrian owner Ursula Jungwirth put the gelsing in training with Hermann Gossmeier four years ago. The professional dressage rider trained the liver chestnut up to Grand Prix level and competed him last year in the Medien Cup, the Upcoming Grand Prix horse show circuit in Germany.
"He only did three Grand Prix tests in his life," Vilhelmson told Tidningen Ridsport.
This weekend, Vilhelmson rode Favourit at the Swedish Dressage Team training seminar in Ericsberg under the supervision of new Swedish team trainer Hubertus Schmidt.