Polly Bryan travels to Denmark to meet the super sire Blue Hors Zack and the other stallions set to keep this stud’s star rising for many years to come
Strolling through one of the spacious, airy barns at Denmark’s famous Blue Hors stud, I spot a bay horse cross-tied in front of me, having the mud washed off his legs. I do a double take – this is Blue Hors Zack, one of the most renowned breeding stallions in the world and a serious medal contender for the Tokyo Olympic Games, now in 2021. Here at home, just in from a morning in the field and bottom lip drooping as he relaxes and enjoys the attention, I barely recognise him.
Blue Hors breeding manager Martin Klavsen chuckles at my reaction to seeing Zack “out of context”.
“All our horses go in the field every day, even the top stallions,” he tells me. “Horses are built to go outside and move, so they all come out at least twice a day.”
It’s refreshing to hear. Back outside, we stand among the cobblestones and striking red walls of the original stable block – now the stallion barn – and gaze over the quaintly rolling hills that seem to come from nowhere in this pancake-flat part of central Jutland, Denmark. It’s January, grey and chilly, but I can picture the summer scene, with young horses roaming the paddocks. With just over 300 hectares, Blue Hors makes all its own hay “so we know exactly what we’re feeding”.