World Championships Day 5 – Blue Hors tour

Commanding the entrance to Denmark’s Blue Hors Stud is a statue of its late 1993 stallion Blue Hors Don Schufro (Donnerhall x Pik Bube I), who won bronze at the 2008 Olympics and topped the German dressage index for breeding stallions 10 times

Behind the Scenes at Blue Hors

Tour the world-famous Danish breeding and training facility

Text and photographs by Jennifer O. Bryant

There are beautiful equestrian facilities, and then there’s Blue Hors Stud.

Like no breeding and training facility I’d ever seen, the renowned operation is home to about 350 horses—including some of the world’s most famous breeding stallions—plus one newly minted Danish World Championships team gold medalist. They live and work in serene magnificence in Randbøl, less than an hour’s drive south of Herning, site of the Ecco FEI World Championships Herning 2022.

Blue Hors opened its doors to credentialed Herning 2022 personnel August 9, the “rest day” with no Herning 2022 competition scheduled, for an exclusive tour. When the invitation landed in my e-mail inbox, you’d better believe I rushed to sign up.

Established in 1982, the facility occupies about 330 bucolic acres with stunning hill and valley views. Some architect knew what they were doing in designing the layout, with the multiple barns and outbuildings managing to feel spacious yet easily walkable. It’s obvious that Blue Hors was designed for and with experienced horse people: For instance, each of the three main riders has his or her own bank of grooming and wash stalls in the main barn so that the grooms can work efficiently and without getting in one another’s way. Water treadmills, heat lamps, paddocks of various sizes, grippy rubberized footing in the grooming areas—there’s everything one could desire for the care and maintenance of the elite equine athlete. And there are plenty of them, including rider Nanna Merrald Rasmussen and the 2004 breeding and performance stallion Blue Hors Zack (Rousseau x Jazz), both of whom greeted tour participants fresh off their Herning 2022 Danish team dressage gold medal, which Rasmussen wore around her neck.

The architectural centerpiece of Blue Hors is the main barn/indoor riding hall complex. The arena features permanent seating, expansive windows, and high vaulted ceilings with windowed skylights for plenty of natural light and ventilation in warm weather. A sleek lounge on the second floor opens onto a deck overlooking the arena. Everyone in attendance agreed that we’d happily move in.

But enough description. Enjoy this behind-the-scenes photo tour of an unforgettable facility.


Leave a Reply