‘I’d trade him for my fiancé’: why Charlotte Dujardin rates this four-year-old as the best she’s ever ridden

  • If there’s one young stallion you should know about right now, it’s Springbank II VH.

    This four-year-old Swedish warmblood stallion, by the grand prix sire Skovens Rafael out of the De Niro mare De La Reinne VH, claimed an emphatic victory at the Breeders’ Trophy in Sweden earlier this month and it was none other than Charlotte Dujardin who awarded him the maximum marks.

    For the third year in a row, Charlotte was the test rider for this final, and made no secret of how she felt about the spirited little chestnut stallion, who was presented by Spanish Olympian Severo Jurado López.

    “It’s like getting in a Rolls Royce and just cruising,” she exclaimed as she put Springbank through his paces in front of an appreciative crowd. “He’s super hot and very sensitive off my leg. I touch, I breathe, and he goes. He’s everything I dream of — my ideal man. I’d even trade him for my fiancé!” she joked.

    The compliments kept coming, with Charlotte declaring: “He’s the best four-year-old I’ve ever sat on.”

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    She rode him mostly in rising trot, explaining that she rarely did sitting trot with four-year-olds as it’s so important to keep the horse loose and swinging through the back. Springbank showed absolutely no sign of stiffness; in fact Charlotte couldn’t find a single weakness during her ride.

    “If I could give him 100 out of 100 I would — 10 is not enough,” said Charlotte, who went on to award the young stallion full marks. “I can’t think what more I could want from him aged four: he has the ability to go and come back, he has power and balance and suppleness, he’s an absolute dream in the contact. There’s nothing I would change and I’m very jealous that I have to give him back.

    “You always wonder what these stallions will feel like to ride, whether it feels as good as it looks and with him it does. Talk about putting a smile on your face — not even chocolate cake can make you feel this good!”

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    Springbank, who was bred at the Västra Hoby Stud in Sweden and is owned by the stud and Hennix Horses, stood head and shoulders above his competition with an overall score of 96.5% — making it the second year in a row he has triumphed in the Breeders’ Trophy. He went on to win the four-year-old division of the Danish Young Horse Championships the following week.

    Springbank currently stands at Helgstrand Dressage in Denmark and has limited semen available for a fee of €1200 + VAT.

    Photo courtesy of swedehorse.swb.org

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