My Trip to Sweden – Part II of II

July 2, 2010

Part II of my Swedish Adventure ~ if you missed Part II, click HERE to read ~Links of Interest are highlighted, just click for more information on that topic.

Ida and her Swedish Warmblood Mare, Nina Ricci

Horses and work aside, the most memorable part of my trip was meeting fantastic people along the way.  A woman named Ida Finn-Melander, was certainly one of those. A friend of Maria’s, Ida helped at the farm over the weekend I was visiting. In between translating for the occasional client for me, we shared a tour through her beautiful countryside home-to-be, plus some great stories of her life experiences working for the famed German showjumper, Paul Schockemöhle. Ida owns an elegant Swedish warmblood mare ‘Nina Ricci’, by the stallion Sandakan 1078 (Sandro Hit) When the clouds parted the same morning I photographed Maria’s Pallie, we darted off to photo Nina too. My husband and I were struck by her immediately, and her uncanny resemblance to a mare we previously owned – What do you think?

Uncanny resemblance of Ida's mare and our previously owned mare, Illusion

Next photo-session was with Hanna Neubauer’s 3-year-old gelding ‘Finetex’ by Tornesch 1042. Tall and handsome with an exceptionally laid back disposition. My helpers hid in the tall grass to get a rise from him for our photos…and super photos at that ~

3 year old gelding 'Finetex' by Tornesch

My visit at Maria’s farm ended too quickly, but we had to leave for our next stop near the city of Helsingborg, in the south of Sweden. This location brought us close to another great personality I had met during the clinic. ‘Sofie Andersson’ was a participant in the Albert Voorn clinic and lives on a farm just outside of Malmö.  She invited us over to see her farm and where she rides her horses on the beach and sand bars…BEACH..did someone say ‘ride on the BEACH??’ ..if you are a horse person..okay, maybe even if you aren’t, there is a certain freedom and magnificence when you visualize horses and beaches together. For those to have the opportunity to gallop on a beach, you likely soon don’t forget it. This we had to see!

Sofie and me ~ the beach & Denmark behind us

Sofie greeted us, took us down a grassy path to her big sand ring, out a little treed opening then there we were, on the beach in south Sweden, Malmö in the distance, Denmark across the Öresund strait, and the bridge connecting the two countries, just beyond that.  As my luck would have it, the water was high that morning, too high to ride on the beach 😦  Most days Sofie takes her horses down to the sand bar you see just poking up from the water to the right of picture. Sometimes even hauling her jumps down to the beach, as Sofie says ‘the footing is always perfect!’

Sofie's 'Cathena' - by Cardento out of a Maraton Dam

I asked Sofie about her up and coming prospects and she took us out to meet her five year old mare ‘Cathena’ – She is quite excited about this CardentoMaraton mare. She is a full sister to Olivier Philippaerts jumper mare Carisma (see inserted video below). Carisma this year, won the  Grand Prix of Junior Riders at the international show of Reims in France, and the Nations Cup for Junior Riders for team Belgium also in Reims. This jumping line is in high demand and Sofie has turned down some serious offers on this mare. Cathena had a foal last year and Sofie is just started working with her again. I will look forward to updates from Sofie on this mare’s progress. Many hopes for her that she turns out to be her next Grand Prix winner.

Sofie rode a different mare in the clinic with Albert – ‘ Handsken’ or Hanna for short.  Her breeding is Hand in Glove xx out of an IrcoMena (Irco Marco) dam.   Hand in Glove xx is considered to be one of the most successful Thoroughbred sires of performance horses of modern times. During his lifetime, Hand in Glove won races as a two-year old, then was trained in dressage up to Prix st. Georges level and continued his career as a Grand Prix jumper. He was approved as a stallion by 15 different studbooks, and used by breeders in Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Brasil, Spain, Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland, USA etc.  Remarkable!!.. and truly an influential thoroughbred stallion to many great warmblood lines today.

Sofie Andersson and Hanna, jumping in 1m40 class

Sofie sent me an update last week:

Me and my horse are doing great and I’m practicing “the Albert riding”. I can hear his voice in my head when I’m riding :).  Last Sunday I road one class with “Hanna” (Handsken), 1m40 with jump off, we were double clear and placed 2 nd. I tried to ride à la Albert and it worked super. I’m so pleased that I got the chance to attend the clinic.… my lovely mere, 🙂 I’m a lucky girl…:)

Wishing much continued success to Sofie… Thank you for joining me on my Swedish adventure. I don’t know if this makes sense to you, but I think I learned at the end of it, that there really wasn’t an end, but just a new beginning. I rather like this idea of traveling through my work and I know I will see my new friends again.  However now that I’m home, the real work begins and I must get back to painting!! I will be beginning the studies of my Swedish commissions this month, and completing my other local commissions.  One notable is Ds Wando, who is running in the Queen’s Plate this Sunday.  Good luck to him!!

Keep checking in for more ~



  1. Loved seeing the horses and hearing your stories and you said yourself this is only the beginning :))

  2. Super nice to read all about your trip. These weeks it has been very hot and dry again (as it was also two weeks before you came here). Yesterday 37 degrees Celcius!!! Poor horses.
    Really looking forward to meet you soon again! Are you going to the WEG in Kentucky? I was in Stockholm 1990 and in Rome 1998, I should really, really like to go there… =)
    Many hugs// Maria

    • I’m not going to WEG – I know it sounds crazy, that it is here on NA soil and i’m not going. Maybe someone could talk me into it, but I have a feeling accomodations in Kentucky now are slim to nothing now.

  3. Forgot to say;
    lovely horse; Carisma! Lucky Sofie to have a fullsister to her!
    I saw many years ago, watching the Breeders Trophy, that just that cross: Cardento – Maraton was exceptional: Golden cross! The Cardento offsprings in general went very well on the arenas, but this cross is often something extra!

    Olivers father, Ludo, rode the father to our Richmond Parco; Parco.

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