On Tuesday Jan. 11 2022 I went to a gala evening at Helgstrand Dressage; a clinic with Andreas Helgstrand and Ludger Beerbaum. There was ample parking which is critical at a big event like this and also there were people to direct us to where we should park. The facility is beautiful.
My coach Belinda Trussell and two of her other adult amateur students came too. We all stood at the side of the arena. This is the best place for me to take photos. If I was sitting in the arena I would have to get up and disturb people to get my photos. But standing, on the side, outside the arena ,we were a bit higher and able to see everything. Unfortunately we had trouble hearing Andreas speak. The sound system was loud enough but his words were not clear. If we had been sitting in the arena seats we would have been able to hear much better. However it was fun to see the horses and riders who came in.
The Dressage Horses
The first horse was a 5 year old gelding: Atterupgaards Franz.
The next horse was a big fellow, also 5 years old, MSJ VIPs. He had tremendous gaits and an exuberant canter, as well as lots of lift and air time, in his very expressive trot . We decided that perhaps we amateurs might not be the right riders for this horse but he would be suitable for a professional like Belinda. Here are two photos of this charismatic horse.
Next we saw a 7 year old gelding, Kadensky de Jeu. He was a very attractive chestnut.
The fourth horse was an 8 year old chestnut gelding, Floridor. He was ridden in a double bridle for more advanced work.
The horse that followed, Hot Game, was a 10 year old, very attractive, black gelding, also in a double bridle. They showed us some of his more advanced work which you can see in photos below. We all loved this horse and said that if we were looking for a horse this would be the one for us .
The Jumper Horses
The second part of the evening we saw Ludger Beerbaum and the jumpers. They started with poles set in an arc and trotted over these.
Then Ludger had them canter over poles set at a greater distance apart and take two strides or shorten to three strides.
Finally he set up a small jump and the first horse over it was Montiego Bay, an 8 year old grey gelding. Montiego took this easily and then the jump was increased in height and width. He still cleared it with ease.
I was not able to stay to see the second group of dressage horses or jumpers as the person giving me a ride had to leave then. Nonetheless, it was still a very enjoyable evening.
As some of you may be aware Ludger Beerbaum has been seen, allegedly , in a video where the horse is being rapped while going over a jump at his barn in Germany. If you are not familiar with this suffice to say it is a strictly illegal practice. The FEI (international equestrian federation) made this statement:
“The FEI has released the following statement on the allegations raised of unauthorised training methods in RTL News report:
The FEI is aware of the allegations made in the documentary broadcast on RTL in Germany on 11 January 2022 and is making enquiries regarding the matter. We are already in touch with the German National Federation and will continue to liaise closely with them in order to assess the appropriate course of action.”
There are always two sides to every story and here I have copied some of the statement made by Ludger Beerbaum about the video in the documentary.
“Regarding the allegations against me and my team:
The well-being of the horses is the top priority for me and my team. Only a horse that is treated appropriately, professionally cared for and fed, trained and managed can achieve sporting performance. The horses are our capital, which we take care of day in and day out.
The scenes in the riding arena shown in the article have nothing to do with parallel bars. This is permitted touching, which was carried out by an experienced horse specialist. The object seen in the video met the requirements of the German Equestrian Federation for permissible touching: no longer than three meters and a maximum weight of two kilograms.
I run my stable as an open stable where groups of visitors are guests every day, customers pick up their feed for their horses, and “interns” are also welcome. Here is ridden on openly visible places and the daily training is completed. Nothing hidden or forbidden is done.”