As Andreas Helgstrand has been suspended from the national squad by the Danish Equestrian Federation for 2024, the horse dealer has opened the door to new riders for Jovian and Queenparks Wendy in the Olympic year.
Excluded from Danish Team
Helgstrand has been facing turbulent months since September 2023.
Only two weeks after winning team bronze at the 2023 European Championships in September, Helgstrand lost the bronze medal he won at the 2023 Danish Dressage Championship (and team selection trial) following a decision of the Danish Equestrian Federation's appeal committee. Andreas' horse Jovian was treated without previous approval of a DRF Veterinary Consultant for mild colic signs. The rider got disqualified from the Danish Championship Freestyle class held on Sunday 4 June 2023, and had to return received prizes, as well as pay a fine of DKK 5,000.
In November the undercover documentary "Operation X: Secrets of the Horse Billionaire" was broadcast on Danish TV2, showing footage of alleged systemic horse abuse at Helgstrand's yard in order to sell horses at a fast pace. Only after that broadcast the wheels of the board of directors at Danish equestrian federation went into overdrive and they decided to exclude Andreas from representing Denmark in 2024 at competitions. He also got expelled by Danish Riding Instructor Association (DR-IF).
So What About Jovian and Wendy?
Helgstrand has two internationally competed Grand Prix horses in his barn, licensed stallion Jovian (by Apache x Tango) and Bolette Wandt's Queenparks Wendy (by Sezuan x Soprano).
As both horses have not been sold yet by the horse dealer, their Grand Prix talent would seemingly remain untapped in the 2024 Olympic year.....until today.
As expected, Jovian has been declared for Sweden for business partner and Global Equestrian Group co-owner Patrik Kittel to ride. Jovian was originally owned by Norwegian Grand Prix rider Cathrine Rasmussen of Kleppenhus, but in 2022 Helgstrand became listed as the full owner. For 2024 Kittel's name has been added on the FEI passport.
Queenparks Wendy has been declared for Germany with Isabell Werth's long-time sponsor, Madeleine Winter-Schulze, listed as co-owner on the passport. This has opened the door for Wendy to be Isabell Werth's Olympic hopeful alongside Victoria Max-Theurer's Quantaz (and Emilio, who was supposed to be retired at the end of 2023 but has been squad listed for 2024).
Isabell Werth confirmed Wendy's arrival in Rheinberg today. "I am very proud and grateful to welcome this outstanding horse as a new addition to my stall. Special thanks to Madeleine Winter-Schulz, Bolette Wandt und Andreas Helgstrand for facilitating this partnership," Werth stated.
Germany's most decorated dressage rider continues to collaborate with Helgstrand into the new year, having previously sourced horses at his barn in Denmark for herself and clients, such as Skovens Tzarina, Joshua, D'Avie , Majestic Taongo and So Unique
Helgstrand Makes Statement
An hour after publication of this article Helgstrand issued a statement.
”We have made agreements with two of the world's absolute best dressage riders, allowing both horses to showcase their worth and continue on their journey towards the stars,” said Andreas.
Photos © Astrid Appels
Helgstrand Excluded from Danish Team Until 1 January 2025
Operation X Documentary Causes Cascade of Anger, Indignation, Disapproval
Danish Equestrian World in Turmoil as Ethics of National Federation Are Questioned
Helgstrand Loses 2023 Danish Championship Bronze Medal
Patrik Kittel Buys Into Andreas Helgstrand's Global Equestrian Group