The winners of Tallinn International Horse Show Grand Prix :
|• 2023 Madis Morna – Herbert (EST)|
|• 2022 Janna Jensen – Hamont (FIN)|
|• 2021 Abdullah Alsharbatly – Quincy 230 (KSA)|
|• 2019 Laura Penele – Dundas V.D.M. (LAT)|
|• 2018 Kristaps Neretnieks – Moon Ray (LAT)|
|• 2017 Michal Kazmierczak – Stakorado (POL)|
|• 2016 Andis Varna – Coradina KS (LAT)|
|• 2015 Alexandr Belekhov – Bivaldi (RUS)|
|• 2014 Tiit Kivisild – Cinnamon (EST)|
|• 2013 Vladimir Beletskiy – Mats’ Up Du Plessis (RUS)|
|• 2012 Gunnar Klettenberg – Ulrike R (EST)|
|• 2011 Anna Gromzina – Pimlico (RUS)|
|• 2010 Peter Geerink – Scotch (NED)|
|• 2008 Hanno Ellermann – Poncorde (EST)|
|• 2007 Raimo Aaltonen – Lumonia (FIN)|
|• 2006 Łukasz Jończyk – Lavida (POL)|
|• 2005 Gunnar Klettenberg – Novesta (EST)|
|• 2004 Camilla Enemark – Diamant du Gaty (DEN)|
|• 2003 Matthias Granzow – Cabrol Amicor (GER)|
|• 2002 Rein Pill – Ecuador (EST)|
Dressage, FEI World Cup™
|• 2022 Jennie Larsson – Bonafide (SWE)|
|• 2021 Jennie Larsson – Zircoon Spring Flower (SWE)|
|• 2019 Rose Mathisen – Zuidenwind 1187 (SWE)|
|• 2018 Natalie Oldfors – Mickey M (SWE)|
|• 2017 Dina Ellermann – Landy’s Akvarel (EST)|
|• 2015 Inna Logutenkova – Don Gregorius (UA)|
|• 2014 Inessa Merkulova – Mister X (RUS)|
19 years of Tallinn International Horse Show
Horse enthusiasts have come together in the Saku Suurhall to watch the biggest equestrian event in the Baltic area for 19 years already. Through the years, Tallinn International Horse Show has offered the audience top level equestrian sports, entertainment and many unforgettable experiences.
2002. The beginning
The first Tallinn International Horse Show took place in Saku Suurhall, October 18.-20. 2002. It was the first major indoor international equestrian event in Estonia and the whole Baltic area. 85 volunteers participated in preparing and holding the event. Athletes from 11 countries competed in the horse show and there were over 12 000 spectators. The main sponsor that year and the two following years was Kommest Auto, importer of Peugeot.
Musical interludes were provided by Siiri Sisask and Tõnis Mägi who performed songs from the musical “Evita”. Thus began the tradition of using live music in the show program, one of the main trademarks of the Tallinn Horse show today. The highlight of the event was Rein Pill’s and Ecuador’s victory in the Grand Prix class to the ovation of the home audience.
Although it was the first experience of this magnitude for the organisers, which meant that holding the show incurred great risks, the post-event comments from the organisers, competitors, spectators and also the organising team of the prestigious Helsinki Horse Show were highly positive.
This year the long-standing tradition of costumed riding began. Pernilla Bendiks from Denmark and her western riding show also enjoyed great popularity. Since 2003 Tallinn International Horse Show belongs to the World Cup series of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) .
The main sponsor put up a Peugeot as a prize in the main class of the competition. The finals of the highly popular Estonian Palladium Cup series in open, amateur, junior and young horse classes were also held within the event program.
Memorable moments from the entertainment program included dog agility and the emotional show of Ukrainian cossacks.
Confectionery company Kalev became the main sponsor of the event. The show program was grander than ever. In addition to the French “horse whisperer” Jean-Francois Pignon’s show the audience was treated to the performances of Maarja-Liis Ilus and Koit Toome, Diana Klas and Jüri Aarma and Happy Feet Dixieland band. Home audience had a reason to rejoice once again because the victory of the World Cup event stayed home again thanks to outstanding performance by Gunnar Klettenberg and Novesta.
The audience was entertained by Noorkuu and Lament, dressage quadrilles and small ponies. At the insistence of the audience, the Ukrainian cossacks performed once again. The Grand Prix class was presented by the local fuel station chain Alexela for the first time.
2007 – 2008
The main sponsors of the event were two big local companies, Alexela and Kalev. Tallinn International Horse Show had found a place in the equestrian event calendar of Estonia and neighbouring countries and in the hearts of the audience. More and more visitors came from Finland.
The format of the show was well established, encompassing top level equestrian sports and interludes on horses, live music and other kinds of entertainment. In 2007 the interludes included Tobbe Larsson from Sweden with his Spanish Riding School show and Birgit Õigemeel. Horse Show’s own production presented a mixture of dressage and dance arranged by Märt Agu.
At the prize-giving ceremony of the main event on the last day in 2008 the hymn of the Republic of Estonia was played for the third time, on this occasion in honour of Hanno Ellermann and Poncord.
Like the Estonian economy as a whole, the Tallinn International Horse Show didn’t remain untouched by the recession of 2009, so the next major event only took place in spring of 2010 thanks to the support of Alexela.
The audience of the Tallinn Horse Show could also enjoy international dressage for the first time. They were also entertained by Marten Kuningas, known from the recent Superstar TV-series, and horse show “Nordic night”.
In addition to the jumping World Cup qualifier and FEI dressage event, incredible horsemen from France and the orchestra of the Defence Forces with folk dancers offered entertainment.
2012 – 10 years
The jubilee show brought the audience three days of dressage and jumping classes and spectacular performances in the show program. Among others, Tanel Padar & The Sun, small ponies, folk dancers, the orchestra of the Defence Forces, fast dogs, motorbikes and many others took the stage. “My Estonia”, the grand production of our own team, was created with the help of 80 people and 40 horses. A gift appropriate for a jubilee was Gunnar Klettenberg and Ulrike R winning the World Cup qualifier to the tumultuous ovation of the home audience.
This time the Horse Show began on Thursday evening already, when young horses entered the arena. The farthest guest of the main event came from Turkey, athletes from Lithuania won the most prizes and Uku Suviste gave a great performance in the show program. The fire show by Excalibur Horse Shows and Dina Ellermann’s victory in dressage were also memorable.
Tiit Kivisild’s and Cinnamon’s victory in the World Cup Qualifier is heartwarming to this day. Everyone remembers the twelfth Tallinn International Horse Show as the „Cinnamon Show“– the winner of the World Cup qualifier, Alexela Grand Prix was also the “cover girl” of our event this year! For the first time in Estonia a World Cup qualifier in dressage was held. It was won by the Russian pair Inessa Merkulova and Mister X.
The performers included James Werts World Project, Lenna and Tanel Padar Blues Band. The elite team of the gymnastics club Piruett and the striking Kelfirius fire show troupe gave a memorable performance together.
The driving demonstration enlivened the audience and helped popularise this discipline that is not widely practised in Estonia yet.
The devil’s dozen Horse Show offered the organisers plenty of challenges which culminated in the sky stage getting stuck under the ceiling of Saku Suurhall. All is well that ends well – neither jumping World Cup qualifier nor Koit Toome’s concert were cancelled. He performed Jaak Joala’s songs at the closing ceremony on Sunday evening instead.
Both big stars and local prospects put themselves to test in dressage. The latter rode their marathon-like class at late-night hours, with sleepy-looking fans egging them on.
For the first time in the history of the event opera music could be heard in the show program. In addition, the audience got to enjoy beautiful guitar music by Heiki Mätlik who was accompanied on the arena by a gorgeous “dancing” Spanish horse under Dina Ellermann. The brilliant trio La Phoenix left no-one cold and fabulous vaulters from Finland showed off their skills.
14th Horse Show goes into history with the fact that Saturday’s tickets were sold out in advance and it was barely possible to fit the crowd into the hall of Saku Suurhall.
This time there were lots of national classes in the program of the event which gave many local athletes a chance to come and compete in front of a large audience. After many years there was costumed riding in the entertainment program and the Estonian audience also got to see Ukrainian cossacks whose performance received a standing ovation. Anne Veski, Ruslan Trochynskyi with friends and Klassikatähed also took the stage. The show team staged a splendid production about the 160-year history of the Tori Horse Stud. And there were small ponies, of course, this time with a highly memorable quadrille.
Continuing the tradition after a one-year break
The eighteenth Tallinn International Horse Show took place a year later than planned due to the global COVID pandemic. For the first time, there was a one-year break in the tradition of organising a major event with nearly twenty years of history. Despite the organisational challenges, where, among other things, the vaccination certificates of all visitors had to be checked, the region’s biggest equestrian event was still a success in every way. In addition to the excitement of the reunion, the event offered positive emotions from a sporting point of view, because to the delight of the home audience, it was Gunnar Klettenberg with horse B Captain Norman who managed to pick up the winning points of Alexela’s FEI World Cup stage. The competition was won by Abdullah Alsharbatly with horse Quincy 230, the farthest guests at the event, being from Saudi Arabia.
The Dressage World Cup stage presented by Ideal Auto was influenced by the Tokyo Olympics this year, as Estonian dressage leading lady Dina Ellermann made a comeback at the Horse Show with her former competition horse Landy’s Akvarel, giving her main partner Donna Anna a well-deserved rest. Although Dina and Landy’s performance was very emotionally charged and touched the hearts of the home audience, the Estonians did not win a prize on the World Cup stage this year and a double victory of the competition went to Sweden instead. Jennie Larsson won first place with horse Zircoon Spring Flower, Gunylla Byström and Vectra came second.
Traditionally, show jumping and dressage riders can shine in the Tallinn International Horse Show arena, but this year the audience was also introduced to world-class vaulting. The spectacular field was presented by the Brüsewitz Brüder team from Germany, which also includes two members of the German vaulting team who were named world champion this year. The world-famous HorseMan Team from France, who overcome course obstacles without horses but by imitating them, entered the arena as well. The emotional support of the audience in Saku Suurhall had such an encouraging effect on the artists that they were able to overcome obstacles that were higher than 170 cm.
In summary, it can be said that in 2021, the long-term tradition of the Tallinn International Horse Show was successfully restored and despite the intervening break, both the audience and the athletes found their way to Saku Suurhall again on the first weekend of October. See you next year!
A happy reunion during a difficult time
The 2022 Tallinn International Horse Show will be remembered in shades of blue and yellow. This colour combination was worn by the volunteers who managed the event, the flower girls who gifted sunflowers, as well as several members of the organising committee, showing their support for Ukraine, which has suffered in the war. A support campaign for Ukrainian horses and horse owners was also organised as part of the festival to help supplement essential feed supplies and keep evacuation stables running.
We thought about Ukraine in the moments between the competitions, but during show jumping, Finland earned the biggest ovation, as Janna Jensen with horse Hamont took the first place in the Alexela grand prix. Course designer Stefan Wirth had built a technically complex course and out of 29 starters, which only three athletes were able to pass without mistakes of whom Gunnar Klettenberg and Hunter, unfortunately, missed the jump-off due to 2 penalty points for exceeding the time allowed. This result secured them third place. Nerijus Sipaila with horse Charalambos JU, who were the first to start the jump-offs, got the winning points of the World Cup stage and since Finland is not part of our World Cup league.
Only four athletes participated in the 2022 Dressage World Cup. In addition to our representative Dina Ellermann, there were two Swedish and one Finnish athlete. The first place went to Jennie Larsson from Sweden, who was also victorious in Tallinn in 2021, with a result of 75.175% on horse Bonafide. The second place went to another Swedish athlete Jeanna Hogberg on horse Astoria with a result of 74.920% and the third place went to Dina Ellermann on horse Finalist with a result of 71.235%.
During the show programme, the Spanish animal tamer Santi Serra, who also performed at Saku Suurhall in 2019, entertained the audience. This time, in addition to the beautiful horses, he also had a dog and two falcons with him, with whom he performed an emotional performance accompanied by beautiful music. In addition, the audience was entertained by the show jumper Paul Argus, who as if by accident got into the starting line of the dressage World Cup with horse Jay-Z Bee and decided to maintain his composure and ride the course despite the mistake. He was later joined in the arena by Dina Ellermann, with whom they exchanged horses and tested themselves in each other’s fields. Everything worked out perfectly. Ellermann showed class in show jumping, overcoming the obstacles in Argus’ style by waving with one hand to the audience and Argus showed off his skills in dressage by changing leads every two strides. At the end of the show, when giving an interview to Mart Mardisalu, it was agreed that in the future they would stick to their “lane” in terms of sports. Whether or not they keep their word will be seen in 2023, when we can celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Tallinn International Horse Show.
Festive anniversary show and emotional finale
The 20th Tallinn International Horse Show will go down in history as festive and emotional. International showjumping competitions were held at the three-star level in accordance with the jubilee of the great event, and a versatile show program brought sports, music and virtuosic cooperation between animals and humans to the arena.
In addition to the athletes, legendary animal trainer Anne Krüger from Germany, Estonian rapper villemdrillem and JJ-Street street dancers, students of Kaie Kõrbi’s ballet studio, small ponies and pony riders, winners and performers of previous years’ Horse Show and many others appeared in front of the full house of Unibet Arena. In addition to other performances, Sunday’s show program also summarized the emotional history of the Tallinn International Horse Show, which paid tribute to the organizers, supporters, athletes, performers, audience and volunteers, as well as to the legendary sports journalist and equestrian lover Lembitu Kuuse.
While a real stormy wind raged outside during the event, emotions became extremely stormy inside the walls of the Unibet Arena on Sunday evening too, when after more than eight years Alexela grand prix, the FEI World Cup stage in show jumping, was won to the delight of the home crowd by Madis Morna and horse Herbert. It would have been impossible to ask for a better anniversary present. Among others, world rally champion Ott Tänak also congratulated the winner with many words of praise.