Danish Grand Prix rider Martin Christensen has left his long-time sponsors and employer, Stable Tannenhof in Wedel, for a new future at Hof Etzer Heide.
Christensen made the move mid December.
Martin Christensen began his professional career as an assistant rider at Heike Kemmer's Amselhof, then worked for Herbert Schlüter in Bremervörde and at Hof Kasselmann, before moving to Stall Tannenhof in Wedel, Germany, in the late 1990s.
For the past two decades Tannenhof's owners Wolfgang Stritzke and Bettina Schellin generously sponsored and supported the Danish rider.
Stritzke and Schellin purchased numerous highly expensive horses for Martin to ride, starting with Walkie Talkie, who was bought for 110,000 euro at the 2002 Hanoverian Autumn Elite Auction in Verden. They also secured Bacchus von Worrenberg (by Belissimo M x Calypso II) at the 2008 Verden Autumn Elite Auction as the price highlight for 195,000 euro. They further bought Eviva (by Estobar), who was bred at Hof Borgmann, and Santander (by Sandro Hit x Weltmeyer).
Tannenhof sourced numerous horses for Martin at Hof Kasselmann and the PSI auction, including Bundeschampion Samira (by Sandro Hit x Rockwell), Aribo (by Acord II x Admirano), and Weissager (by Welt Hit I x Onyx). In addition they bought Lone Jorgensen's Grand Prix level confirmed FBW De Vito for Martin, which turned out to be his most successful international Grand Prix ride between 2014 and 2017. They competed at CDI's in Saumur, Deauville, Doha, Zakrzow, Vestfold, Wiener Neustadt, Oslo, Verden, Radzionkow and Donaueschingen. Christensen ended up Danish B-squad listed with De Vito.
In addition, Christensen has even more sponsors who have bought talented horses for him to compete: Dancing Elvis (by Del Piero x Espri), Hicksteadt (by Hudson x Walt Disney), Westminster (by Weltissimo x Davignon), Rossano R (by Rohdiamant x Weltmeyer), as well as Hedwig Hensel's Anatol (by A Jungle Prince x Raphael).
Hof Etzer Heide
In December 2021 the year-long collaboration between Christensen and Stritzke/Schellin came to an end.
Martin relocated to Hof Etzer Heide in Appen, Germany, where the Hamburg-Schleswig Holstein regional champion Felix Kneese manages the yard with Mareike Groth-Becker. Christensen has known the duo for decades. Mareike owned Maverick (by Eon), which she bought as price highlight of the Westfalian auction and which Martin rode.
"I was looking for new challenges and am looking forward to my new professional set-up of being a trainer of riders and horses to Grand Prix level alongside my own riding," Martin told Eurodressage. "I already have a long-time connection with Mareike Groth-Becker und Felix Kneese (...). We have mutual perspectives in sport and look forward to a constructive collaboration."
Kneese and Christensen will now work together at this yard for the training of students and horses.
The two most prominent horses which Christensen took with him are Fior (by Furstenball x Sandro Hit) and Bitcoin (by Bordeaux Rubinstein), both owned by Gudrun Bauer.
Photos © Astrid Appels - Ruchel - Astrid Appels - private
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