Sweden’s Linda Heed is another top rider who is very successful with a former auction horse of The Youngsters Auction. With the now 8-year-old Calvin, Heed competed in the World Championships for 7-year-olds in Lanaken, won the CSI1* Grand Prix of Drammen and already successfully made their debut in CSI2* 1.45m ranking classes. In 2022, Linda Heed is a member of the Hamburg Giants in the Global Champions League and plans to compete Calvin in some GCT shows as well. “Calvin is a superstar; time will tell what the future might bring for us”, Linda Heed says about the son of Calvados Z.
Calvin was sold in 2019 as a 5-year-old in The Youngsters Auction; although he was rather unexperienced back then, he stood out for his way of jumping and beautiful looks. Via some detours, Calvin ended up in Denmark and that is how Linda Heed’s and Calvin’s paths crossed. “An owner of mine works very close together with a dealer from Denmark, since she sells horses in Sweden. A couple of the dealer’s horses came over for me to try and then there was this little grey gelding. I thought he was a nice horse; very green, but very careful and a nice horse to ride”, Linda Heed explains.
The son of Olympic mare Maike
“When we finished riding, I asked to see the passport, since I always want to find out about their origins. The dealer said: ‘By the way, I think his mother is an Olympic horse.’ Then I saw his mother was Maike of Jessica Kürten and I thought: this has to mean something! I have been training with Jessica Kürten for many years and back in the days when she had Maike, I was in her stable. Having a horse out of Maike coming to my stable; that must be destiny”, Linda looks back.
Although Linda Heed really liked Calvin, she did not immediately see his potential. “I did not really see he could be a superstar. I thought he might be a nice children or junior horse. I told the owner he needed some time to develop, since he was quite spooky. And then corona came along, so we had a lot of time at home. Finally, there was a family close to my yard looking for a children horse and they ended up purchasing him. The plan was that I would ride him for a few years, before their children would take over the reins.”
Elasticity in his body
However, Calvin started to develop better and better. “I took him to the Sunshine Tour as a 6-year-old and then the following year as a 7-year-old. The more secure and confident he got, the better he started to jump. He was placed in almost every 7-year-old class in the Sunshine Tour. Then the owners and I saw that he is quite a bit more than just a children’s horse; he can be a very good horse!”
In 2021, Calvin won the CSI1* Grand Prix of Drammen and then went to compete in the World Championships for 7-year-olds in Lanaken. “He jumped that very easily and later we took him to Spain again. More and more people came to ask for him and we got some big offers for the horse. We then wanted to see whether we should sell him or whether he could be a horse for the bigger classes, so we decided to jump him in his first CSI2* 1.45m ranking class. He almost jumped it easier than the smaller classes before! From then on, we understood he as some elasticity and athletic ability in his body, you cannot tell where he will end up!”
Heading for the Globals
As a team member of the Hamburg Giants, Linda Heed has an exciting season ahead with multiple Global Champions Tour shows. “The plan is to take him to the Globals to let him get used to the big and impressive arenas. We are for instance planning on taking him to Hamburg to compete in the 8-year-old classes”, Linda explains. Hopes are high for Calvin, but Linda doesn’t want to put any pressure on him. “Calvin has never disappointed me. I do not want to say he will be a Grand Prix horse, but I also do not want to say he won’t be one! As long as he tries to be clear and wants to do it for me, that is the most important thing. He is a superstar no matter what level he will end up on; time will tell. However, I will not be surprised if he can jump much bigger classes than anyone expects!”