Each week we spotlight a history-making moment by an equine legend–like Andreas Helgstrand and Blue Hors Matiné’s game-changing freestyle at the 2006 WEG in Aachen, Germany.
The video of their test is one of the most-watched YouTube equestrian videos of all time, with well over 12 million views.
Why was the test a game-changer? Perhaps because its coupling of spectacular technical ability with popular music truly modernized the notion of what a contemporary freestyle performance could be.
Andreas, of Denmark, and the electrifying 9-year-old mare had the sold-out audience of 40,000 people on their feet and clapping in time with their passage as they went down their final center-line. Truly, both horse and rider seemed to be dancing. Eurodressage’s report of the Games called them “the favourite of the crowd” and said they “seemed to have redefined piaffe and passage.” Their performance earned them a silver in the Individual Freestyle, in addition to a bronze in the Individual Special.
Tragically, the Games would prove to be Andreas and Matiné’s last major championship together. The mare was withdrawn from the 2007 Dressage World Cup Finals in Las Vegas after suffering a tendon injury on arrival. She was retired from competition in 2009 and euthanized in 2010 following a pasture accident.
In Matiné’s honor, let’s relive her famous 2006 freestyle once more.
Go Andreas and Matiné.
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