Posts Tagged ‘horses in Sweden’


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 ~



My Trip to Sweden ~ Part I of II

June 25, 2010
Hi Friends ~ I”m back 🙂  I’ve been here at my computer for two days trying to decide how to write this blog post on my Swedish horse adventure.  My trip was so full, collecting all my thoughts seems like a monumental task at this moment.  I’ve decided to break my post up into two parts. Part I will focus on my days at Ale Ridsport with my host Maria Linden in Älvängen, Sweden.  Part II, I will write about three other farm visits I had in the country and the amazing people I met along the way. I hope you enjoy learning about my travels and thank you for reading. As always, comments are welcome and appreciated.  Links of interest are highlighted, just click them for further information.

Maria's 'Richmond Refresh' - by her own stallion Richmond Parco-06 (Which brother Richmond Park/Rodrigo Pessoa, won Spruce Meadows GP - 06 and was 2:nd in WEG-04)

 Once we started our Swedish road trek to the horse farm in Älvängen, one thing was immediately noticable;  There are horses literally everywhere in Sweden, this is a horse lover’s heaven!   In my home of Ontario we have areas rich in horses, but in Sweden it would appear to be the norm across the countryside. I checked the facts today from the Swedish Riding Horse Association Statistics page and my inkling is true – Equestrian Sport in Sweden is second only to Football (what we know as Soccer here). Sweden has a rich history in horses, boasting one of the highest horse populations in Europe. It is also said they have some of the strictest of Animal Welfare regulations to ensure their well-being beyond the value they have for humans, and that they are allowed to live and act naturally as a horse.  

Maria (right) and myself in her tack shop, Älvängen, Sweden

 Arriving at Ale Ridsport was a moment of excitement. Months of correspondence over the internet with my host Maria had taken place, and now actually being there was very surreal. I know she would agree, finally meeting face to face was effortless, natural and comfortable – ‘like we had known each other for a long time already’. One stand out is the sheer kindness and generosity of her and her family to invite us to her home, into her life and accept us with open arms. She put us up in a charming Swedish cottage on her farm – and it was everything you imagine in your head to be. Peaked roof, loft bedroom and Ikea furniture. 

Albert Voorn (left) myself and the pony group riders from clinic

Dutch rider and trainer, Albert Voorn arrived for his clinic on Friday morning.  He remembered me immediately from our meeting in Canada almost 8 years ago..Small horse world we both say. Albert hasn’t changed one bit 😉  Over the course of the weekend, riders progressed under his tutelage and I met local horse people and artists.

I had planned to take many photos, however it poured rained for a good portion of my farm visit.  One morning I ventured out to photo Maria’s foals, despite the conditions. As many of you already know, I have a keen interest in learning sporthorse bloodlines and I was very eager to learn more behind the breeding of each of the foals.  This filly (below), is  “Anytime” by. Aerline H (Cortez – Nimmerdor) dam is Candyline H, a great mare-line that has produced a lot of GP-horses, by Elmshorn (intl GP-stallion). She is also full sister to After Eight  who was sold to international GP rider, Royne Zetterman. She had a super temperament and very curious with my camera in the field.  I would love to see her again after she has finished shedding out her fuzzy foal coat. 

Anytime by Aerline H - shedding her baby coat out

Eventually on my last day there, the clouds briefly parted . I darted around the farm and two other nearby farms to photo commission work. My first was Maria’s own stallion Pallie – “Polsbury Palermo RNF 178”, a black New Forest Pony. His kind eye, expressive head and super temperament made our session a breeze. I look forward to painting this little guy..(actually itching to get to some studies as i’m thinking about it right now!)

Probably one of the funnier, yet embarrassing moments of my trip happened during my photo session with Pallie. Mid shoot I felt a burning sensation on my backside (okay, yes my buttocks). I tried to ignore it, but it wouldn’t go away, and in fact got worse as the seconds went by. I had to let everyone helping with the shoot know something was stinging me – badly. There I was squealing across Sweden’s countryside and jumping up and down –  ‘it burns!!, it burns!!!’  Feverishly digging my hands down my pants I eventually pulled out an ANT..a red ant.. a ‘Swedish-red-stinging-ant’ which left my buttocks burning and red for a few yes, that is the first time I can ever say I actually had ants in my pants.. 

Maria's approved New Forest Stallion, Polsbury Palermo RNF 178

That’s it for part I. Part II will feature a few new friends I met on my trip;  Ida Finn-Melander, who shared a bit of her life as a horse person in Sweden and her life experiences working for Paul Schockemöhle;   jumper rider Sofie Andersson from Malmö and her beachfront horse farm, and lastly a photo session with a lovely 3-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Tornesch.

I will leave you with this song that I heard for the first time in Maria’s shop – turns out Sweden’s top jumper rider Malin Baryard made a song with Sweden’s most famous house music producers Spånka NKPG…what do you think?? kinda catchy..? 🙂