The evening at Helgstrand began with Ludger Beerbaum showing us two of his jumpers .The first was an 8 year old mare Evita Peron ridden by Maddie Rauschenback. Ludger told us the mare was not too experienced and yet the atmosphere in the arena did not seem to phase her at all. There were some 500 people at this event and many of them were seated in the arena and also standing around the outside of the arena. They started with a smaller jump and as soon as Ludger felt the mare was ready to get going he raised the jumps. And I mean he raised them at least up three notches and widened the oxers as well. The mare did very well taking individual jumps and also the full course of jumps. Next came the grey Happy Time an 11 year old gelding who has already competed in Grand Prix jumping. He was ridden by Maria Lousie Kingsrod.
Then we started with the dressage horses. The first one was Kadensky de Jeu and 8 year old gelding ridden by McKenzie. For all of the dressage horses they would walk , trot and canter around the arena to get a chance to settle with the big audience and then either Andreas Helgstrand, Lars Petersen or Ulf Moller would come into the arena to direct them to show us a half pass, some tempi changes and for some of the more advanced horses, we would see them do some in-hand work on passage or piaffe, as well as some working pirouettes. Here is Kadensky de Jeu.
The next horse was Cosmo an 8 year old gelding ridden by Alexander and Andreas Helgstrand came in to work with them and told us that Alexander had only ridden Cosmo once before on the morning of the event. Andreas said he has known this horse since he was a youngster.
Below the photo shows Cosmo in mid flying change. He is flying indeed.
The next horse was Resperanzo a 12 year old gelding ridden by Sophia. As you can see all the horses we saw had such impressive gaits.
The fourth horse was Backstage a 7 year old gelding ridden by Amanda. She is smiling here as she knows the horse is showing us his most impressive extended trot. You can see that some audience members are applauding this trot.
The fifth horse was Giovanni Bell a 7 year old gelding ridden by McKenzie Lars Petersen came out to work with them. In the photo below he can be seen giving Giovanni Bell a light tap with the in hand whip to encourage him to show us the passage.
There were still three more horses to be shown to us but my injured right hip was letting me know that its time was over for standing beside the arena. Still it was a grand evening with so many talented horses to watch and the Helgstrand facility is truly a delight.
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