On Sunday January 10, 2009, the third Swedish Riders' Gala Ball took place in Stockholm. The Riders' Gala honours Sweden's best performing riders and horses of the year. Sara Henrietta Kallstrom Bergstrom, Brita Stina Eriksson, Eva Fraim and Gunilla Bystrom were the recipients of the "dressage" related awards.
After the arrival of all guests, the attendees were treated to a dinner with salmon and mussels followed by the award ceremony.
Comet of the Year, which honours Sweden's shooting star of the year, is young rider Sara Henrietta Bergstrom Kallstrom. Bergstrom Kallstrom has achieved tremendous successes nationally and internationally with her mount Garcia, a 12-year old Swedish warmblood mare by Bernstein x Brisad.
"Foremost, I want to thank my horse Garcia, and not least my mentor Jan Brink," said an ecstatic Sara Henrietta.
Brita Stina Eriksson from Flenmo, Sweden, was proclaimed Breeder of the Year. Eriksson bred Kyra Kyrklund and Yvette Conn's 13-year old Swedish warmblood gelding Max (by Master x Alpenfürst). Max was the best Swedish born horse at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong finishing eighth overall in dressage.
This year's Horse of the Future in dressage is Quite a Miracle, a show jumping bred mare by Quite Easy x Irco Marco which turned out to be one of Sweden's most promising young dressage horses under Gunilla Bystrom. Quite a Miracle's breeder is K. Wallunger and she is owned by Eva Fraim and Gunilla Bystrom.
Alfonso Romo's show jumper Ninja La Silla (by Guidam x Lys de Darmen) became the Horse of the Year. Under Swedish rider Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Ninja won individual silver at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Full coverage of the Riders' Gala by Sarah Thunholm for Tidningen Ridsport
Photo copyrighted: Ronald Thunholm