Princess Benedikte Awarded Her Own Trophy

  May 11, 2009 at 6:02 pm by

Princess Benedikte with Nathalie and Digby

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Royals usually give out the trophies not receive them, but how unusual must it be to receive a trophy in your own name?

Princess Benedikte, sister of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, had this unique experience when she was awarded her own Challenge Trophy by the Danish Warmblood Society this past March. The Danish Warmblood Society, of which the Princess is patron, is the pre-eminent Danish association for breeders of Danish Warmblood horses. These large and powerful, yet graceful horses are making their way into the top levels of equestrian competition including the Olympics, particularly in the area of dressage.

This past March, the princess was awarded the Princess Benedikte Challenger trophy for her stallion, Digby, who has had outstanding success at last year’s Beijing Olympics with Benedikte’s daughter, Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. The Danish Warmblood Society awards the Challenger Trophy to a stallion, which is licensed within Danish Warmblood and who by his own performance or as sire of competition horses have come to the fore in equestrian events in the previous year. Nathalie and Digby had topped off their success by helping the Danish dressage team secure a bronze medal in the Beijing Olympics.

Princess Nathalie riding Digby

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Princess Nathalie and Digby

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Princess Benedikte fondly remembered her first thrilling ride as a little girl on a gigantic native Danish horse. Her mother, the late Queen Ingrid of Denmark, saw her interest and bought a more child-size pony for the young princess to ride. At that time, Benedikte remembers, there were no small horses in Denmark, so Queen Ingrid had to import a pony from England. Now, Princess Benedikte is the most successful breeder of the Danish Warmblood in Denmark and her horses are drawing attention to discerning competitors across the Atlantic. In 2005, she sold a foal to an American for $18,000, Certainly the princess should be thrilled at the success of the breed in international competition. In last year’s Olympics at Beijing, several nations featured her beloved Danish Warmblood on their teams.

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