Swedish trotting (or harness racing) was one of the only equestrian sports in Europe to have thrived during the pandemic. With lighter restrictions than much of Europe, the horse racing industry was allowed to stay open for business, unlike other major racing countries like Italy, France and Britain who have only reopened recently.

Kelpies is a proud supporter of the Swedish trotting industry; providing vitamin and mineral rich feed for the country’s top performing horses.

One of our favorite racing ambassadors is trotting trainer Maria Törnqvist.

Two of Marias most memorable wins happened when Rolex Bigi won the Jubileumspikalen and when Maze Runner won the V75.

Maria is a self-confessed adrenaline junky and lifelong horselover. She grew up fascinated with all things equine, and was introduced to the sport through childhood friends and neighbors.

Some of these neighbors had racehorses, and she was introduced to the sport this way.

In Sweden trotters  are ridden as well as driven during their race preparation, and Maria initially helped ride trotters at a local stable where her friend rode. But once she was given the opportunity to try driving a sulky, that was it. She was hooked!

She decided to pursue a career in racing and enrolled in a high school in Wången to gain her training qualification; graduating in 2006. That school offered her an internship in France, which led her to work throughout Europe for some of the biggest trotting trainers in the world. The experience gained working at these stables helped define her own style of training. 


“I have been influenced by various people, but as far as trainers go, none more than Åke Svansted. I learnt so much from him! If I could name one driver that I admire, it would be Jorma Kontio. He is an inspiration to the sport, not only due to his successes but also his sportsmanship and fairness when racing. Horse wise, I have to say it was the very special Rolex Bigi, he was my best equine mentor. All horses can teach you something, but he was special.”

The Stable

Maria bought Däningsholm stable 4 years ago, when she was only 29.  Goals are important to Maria. “If I put my mind to something, there’s no way I won’t make it happen.”

The property is situated in open Swedish countryside with large pastures, various stable buildings and forest protection all around. In the spring of 2019 a new competition stable was added to the location, providing another 24 boxes.  At the moment Maria has 35 horses on the property.

Maria’s advice for newcomers is to learn how to cope with setbacks. “There are so many things that can happen. A horse can get injured, he can go down with a virus and for reasons beyond you, you might not win the race you thought you would win. There are many factors beyond your control and that’s something I too have to work hard to to deal with daily.”

Sponsorship with Kelpies

“Kelpies is a super product that the horses love and we love using – it is so easy to feed now and the results were noticeable in just a short time. Within weeks there was a visible difference in performance.”

“I believe success starts from the inside out so working with Kelpies has me 100% sold on the quality of their products. The horses have improved their performance a great deal. They are looking amazing – with shiny coats and optimum digestive health. The team behind Kelpies has been a great help. They always assist us in a very professional manner and are there to help if we have any questions or requests.

Each of my 35 horses have an intense training routine and a rigorous racing schedule, yet with Kelpies products they are happy, healthy and winning!”


Author Cristina

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