The Danish Equestrian Federation has appointed Kenneth Damgaard as the new team trainer for the junior, young riders and Under 25. He succeeds Dennis Fisker.
"The group of applicants was large and showed interest from highly competent candidates," the DRF communicated. "The association is thankful for the great interest in the further development of Danish youth dressage and looks forward to welcoming Kenneth to the talent and elite team."
Fisker resigned after he refused to sign an updated contract which included a clause that does not allowed for private business relations between squad members and the team trainer.
The new national coach, Kenneth Damgaard, was trained as a certified rider by Niels Henrik Christensen at Viborg Rideklub. He received his diploma in 2014.
Damgaard first worked at Blue Hors stud before joining Helgstrand Dressage in 2016. Damgaard competed at the 2017 and 2018 World Young Horse Championships with Hojgaardens Santos and Stenagers Wyatt Earp.
In March 2020 Damgaard left Helgstrand to start an independent business with his then-partner Anne Marie Hosbond. They ran Stald Fredenshøj as "HosBond Dressage" until their split in the autumn of 2021.
In 2023 Kenneth competed at the Nordic Baltic Championships in Drammen at Grand Prix level with UNO Day Say (by UNO Don Diego x Blue Hors Rosoff). He won individual silver.
"Kenneth has extensive experience in teaching combinations at all levels, and with his own experience from international event participation, he is ready to support and strengthen the Danish riders in their work as part of the elite sport," the DRF stated. "In his work as a trainer, Kenneth has during the past four years, in particular, participated in many national and international competitions as a trainer for some of the riders in and around the squads. Kenneth has an eye for detail and focuses on giving time to both horse and rider to ensure the best possible training."
"I didn't expect that I would become the new national coach. I'm probably a bit Jutish when it comes to that part," he said about his appointment as Danish youth team trainer. "But there there were quite a few who poked me and encouraged me to apply for the position - both parents of former riders and colleagues in equestrian sports."
He continued, "I hope that I can help to continue the good and positive direction in youth dressage. I would like to help ensure good riding and that we develop riders that Denmark can benefit from in the future. It is important to me that we maintain a healthy competitive sport that is full of joy and fun to be a part of. You are always welcome to call me, and I will be happy to help as much as I can. Whether it's help for the collaboration with their own coach, themselves and their development, or something else entirely, it doesn't matter - I'm ready to share my best advice and together make a plan that we can work from."
The DRF is still in search of a "Team Captain" (Chef d'equipe) to support Damgaard in the youth work.
Photo © Ridehesten