There is no doubt this is a special horse, but he also had a special trainer. Danish dressage trainer Bent Branderup met Hugin, a two-year-old Knabstrupper stallion, in 1988. It was love at first sight.
Hugin received the Danish Premium Champion Stallion of the Year award in 1991. Then, the unimaginable took place. Hugin fractured both of his back femurs and broke his front splint bone as a result of a breeding mishap.
The veterinarian recommended immediate euthanasia. Branderup said no. Instead, he worked for years on healing the stallion’s legs, slowly re-introducing dressage to stretch and strengthen them.
But there were more challenges ahead. In 1996, Hugin went blind in both eyes. Again, Branderup did not give up on this faithful mount. Instead, he rebuilt Hugin’s trust in a world he could no longer see, through dressage.
Despite all the hardships Hugin was given in life, he was able to overcome them thanks to his dedicated trainer. The beautiful spotted horse was able to practice dressage well into his twenties, which is an amazing accomplishment for any horse, let alone one that has faced injury and blindness.
You can feel the love this amazing trainer has for his horse.
Watch Hugin beautifully execute maneuvers at twenty-three in the following video, which shows the special relationship he had with Branderup.
After a long and loved life, Hugin passed away. At the Summer Academy 2015, Branderup revealed the lovely tribute he had made for this amazing stallion.
Always remember that once a horse has touched your soul, they will always be with you.