Trotting Champions League Final



Commanding personality




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The Champions League Final was an star studded affair  –  and one of the last chances to see a shining star – 11-year old Commander Crowe who two months later won America’s Breeders Crown Final.


By Camilla Alfthan


Europe’s best trotters had travelled to the outskirts of Copenhagen to race in the finals of the 2014 Champions League Final. The field of 12 included the French star horse Timoko, Italy’s Pascia Lest and Sweden’s Commander Crowe – the ultimate money maker with over 32 million Swedish kroners – or 3.5 million euro – under his girdle placing him among the top six trotters in history for career purses.

While Commander lead the way during most of the 2,500 meter race his compatriot; the seven-year old gelding, Ed You, was first in the finish and closely followed by to other Swedish stars, Mosaique Face and Canaka – one of only two mares in the race.


The victory was great news for the sport and for bringing new fans into the fold. As it turned out, the Champions League winner is owned by the hugely popular Swedish ice hockey stars, Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

The twins, who have long and successful careers playing on the same team in Vancouver Canucks, have lately enjoyed great succes in the world of trotting.

In May 2013 they had a monumental moment when they clinched the ice hockey world title for their home country in Stockholm and  their top horse, Nahar, took home Sweden’s prestigious, Elitloppet. Earlier this year their new star, Ed You, joined the ranks with a victory in Aaberg’s Memorial.


Though the Sedin brothers rarely have the chance to watch their horses race from their home in Canada, they have six trotters in training in northern Sweden and a seventh horse is coming up by the name of Songdance Hanover – a yearling bought at the Lexington sales for over 100,000 dollars.


For Commander Crowe the all star meeting was yet another day at work. The following month he boarded a plane to win the American Breeders Crown Final.


With young talents are pushing forward the future of trotting looks bright. For Commander Crowe the all star meeting was yet another day at work. In his career, the 11-year old has won 61 of his 102 races thanks to his enduring stamina and a mind of steel.

In October he boarded a plane to compete in the following month’s American Breeders Crown Final  – harness racing’s equivalent of the Breeders’ Cup – that he won! After which, he had accumulated a total of 34,7 million Swedish kronors in prize money  – nearing the 4 million euro mark.


In Copenhagen, however, everyone was not celebrating. For the hosting nation their first Champions League Final may have been their last. As of 2015 the Danish State has proclaimed that it will slash the money that goes back to the sport from its gambling revenues.

Currently, only 7,8 percent of that money is returned to racing and in the future it could be cut down by yet a third making it impossible for tracks to sustain themselves. For the Danes, their most important race of the year thus remains to change their politics before it is too late  – to do as the (successful) Swedes and turn trotting into a business as well as a thriving sport.




His shoes left behind