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The Danish Warmblood

By Amber Heintzberger

Today the Danish Warmblood is the largest horse

breeding federation in Denmark, with approximately 5,000 members. H.R.H. Princess Benedikte is the patron of Dansk Varmblod, and the Danish Warmblood brand, the crown over the wave, is carried by the offspring of graded parents only. The crown and wave symbolize one of the oldest

monarchies in the world, Denmark’s royal family, as well as the endless coastline surrounding Denmark. It was designed by the world-famous goldsmith George Jensen. The brand is trademark registered and owned by the Danish Warmblood Association in Denmark, so it is not legal to use or reproduce this brand without their permission. The Blue Hors Stallion

Station in Randboel, Denmark is at the forefront of breeding top-quality Danish horses. Andreas Helgstrand is the former head trainer at Blue Hors and was recently replaced by 34-year-old Sune Hansen, who took the reins of such acclaimed Grand Prix horses as Blue Hors Romanov, Blue Hors Don Schufro and Grestedgardens Casmir, as well as a string of talented youngsters.

DANISH HORSES IN THE UNITED STATES

Melissa taylor and

Danish rider Lars Petersen has competed in the Olympics and World Championships and was Danish National Champion five times. Now based in Loxahatchee, Florida with partner Melissa Taylor, he is a much sought-after trainer and clinician. He has students across the United States and Canada and works with professionals, amateurs and junior and young riders alike. In addition, he is

Schumacher.

Photo © Susan J Stickle

currently the head trainer for approximately 30 horses at Legacy Farms. The couple has been very influential in the growing popularity of Danish horses in the U.S., having imported approximately 50–75 horses. Melissa Taylor has ridden a variety of breeds in her

lifetime, but has especially found success with Danish horses. Her first Danish horse was Schumacher, now 15, which she purchased six years ago. She says of the bay gelding by Schwadroneur out of Patricia Solyst (by Ragtime), “He’s kind of like a Formula 1 racecar driver— he always wants to go! He’s very forward and all about business. He’s only 16.2hh, but he puffs up and looks bigger. I’m 5’10” and he fits me well. He’s surprising, because he’ll also act really calm, but for instance I was riding at a CDI and the judge dropped some papers and he jumped almost across the short side of the ring.” Schumacher had competed

in a couple of shows at Prix St. Georges when Melissa purchased him from Lars. He is competing at the Grand Prix level now, though Melissa held him back an extra year hoping to go to the Pan-Ams, for which they were second alternate. “Susie Dutta was first alternate so she traveled with the team and I stayed home; I was happy for her and glad that I tried out for the team.” Melissa travels to Denmark

three or four times a year looking for sales horses. “Lars has good friends who are

breeders so we have a lot of foals over there now,” she says. “We’ll buy into good prospects; it’s the easiest way to have a selection as we are training up the horses and it’s great for the sales business.” “The small breeders in Denmark take it very seriously.

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