Helgstrand Forced to Close Danish Stallion Station for 10 Days after Blood Sample Swap

Wed, 03/31/2021 - 20:19
Helgstrand Dressage in Vodskov, Denmark

Andreas Helgstrand has been forced to close his stallion station in Denmark for 10 days, from 31 March till 9 April 2021, after a procedural mistake in a routine blood test check at EU stallion stations.

Blood Samples Swapped

Helgstrand released the news yesterday in a press release:

"At EU stallion stations, blood samples are taken on a regular basis to ensure the necessary control of the stallions who are part of a breeding program. Unfortunately, it has become evident that two samples were mistakenly swapped at the most recent blood sampling in Denmark and the result is now incorrect on two of the stallions," the PR stated. 

"The procedural error means that the stallions stabled in Denmark will not be available for breeding until new blood samples have been taken. Due to these circumstances, it is up to the authorities to carry out the new blood samples and the response time has therefore been extended. We will not receive the results of the new blood samples before Friday April 9th, thus the stallions in Denmark will not be available from Wednesday March 31st until Friday April 9th."

Popular breeding stallions such as newest hit, Iron, as well as regulars Revolution, Franklin, Jovian and the recently returned Valverde (previously in Germany in training with Eva Möller) are now going into a 10-day breeding stop at Helgstrand Dressage in Denmark.

Helgstrand Germany Fully Operational

Although Helgstrand Denmark has to close its stallion station for 10 days, the branch in Germany can continue to cater to the breeders.

The German station, based at Gestut Famos in Syke,  stands a collection of twelve Helgstrand sires this year; several of them having arrived in Germany on 29 March 2021, a day before the news was announced of the closure of the Danish stud. 

The German based stallions are Global Player, Rheinglanz, Total McLaren, It's Easy, Bonjour, Zico, Fortunate, For Real, So Perfect, Fynch Hatton, Dynamic Dream and Danciero. 

Human Error

Helgstrand Germany at Gestut Famos
Stallions in a EU station are kept in a quarantaine modus and are not allowed to come in contact with other horses. If an issue arrives with a blood sample, the entire quarantined group is affected and all horses have to be retested. 

"This is a human error and it is very unfortunate," said Andreas Helgstrand. "We obviously have to follow the authorities' recommendations, and hope for understanding from our breeders."

Easter Delay

Per Jensen, Head of Operations at Helgstrand Denmark, explained to Eurodressage that the blood tests are carried out "with the regularity required from a EU station. The samples are taken by our home vet, who is authorised to do so, and sent to the Böse lab in Germany. There the swap was detected, so the entire stable block has to be re-tested."

Jensen continued, "because of Easter we can only send the new blood samples to a lab in Copenhagen as of Tuesday (6 April) and the B-sample is counter-checked in Sweden. So Friday is the earliest the station can be released again. Because of Easter we would have been open much sooner. We loose about three days because of it."

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