How 900,000 Euro went missing in sale of Uno Donna Unique

Andreas Helgstrand and Uno Donna Unique.

Andreas Helgstrand

Danish horse dealer Andreas Helgstrand sold the former world champion of the 6 year old dressage horses Uno Donna Unique to Edwin and Arlette Kohl in January 2012. He owned the mare with her breeder, Joan Andreasen from Stutteri Uno. What Helgstrand did not tell her though, was that he sold Una Donna Unique to the Kohl’s for 2,7 million Euro. He said the price was 1.8 million, so an additional 900.000 euro went into his own pocket.

As soon as the owner of Stutteri Uno found out about the missing sum of 900,000 Euro, she confronted Helgstrand with this fact. The horse dealer settled his financial deceit with retroactive effect, but the next thing that happened was an invoice from Patrik Kittel – at that time the new rider of Donna Unique – falling on the door mat of Stutteri Uno.

The Swedish dressage rider had persuaded his sponsors at that time, Edwin and Arlette Kohl, to buy Uno Donna Unique for him, in view of the Olympic Games in Rio. This didn’t keep him from demanding 250,000 Euro commission fee from Stutteri Uno, behind the backs of his sponsors.

2,7 million
In January 2012 Edwin and Arlette Kohl paid the sum of 2,7 million Euro on a blocked account from Andreas Helgstrand. The money was going to be released after eight months, due to a guarantee concerning the soundness of Donna Unique.  Andreas Helgstrand’s lawyer was going to draft the contract for the sale, which would cost 6,720 Euro in lawyer’s fees. After a long time Andreas called his co-owner, saying that Donna Unique was going to be collected the next Friday. Of course Andreasen asked immediately about the contract and the money.

In Helgstrand’s name only

Consequently Helgstrand told a long and complicated story about Edwin Kohl being incredibly rich, about these buyers who would believe anything Andreas would tell them and that he could sell these people anything. After a long discussion, Helgstrand said that the contract was in his name only, because the buyers didn’t want Andreasen or her stud to be part of the contract. Andreasen pointed out to Helgstrand that he had sold her half of the horse without him actually owning it! According to Andreas the buyer was a somewhat peculiar man, who didn’t want to have anything to do with ordinary breeders.

Joan Andreasen became really suspicious upon receiving the invoice of Helgstrand’s lawyer. For the draft of the contract, of which Andreasen was not supposed to be part and which she was not allowed to see, Andreasen had to pay not half of 6,720 as agreed upon, but half of 29.570 Euro!

Again she asked Helgstrand to let her see the contract. But he didn’t want to show it to her The contract was in his name, Joan Andreasen had nothing to do with it, that’s what Helgstrand said. The fact that she didn’t get to see the contract and the amount of the lawyer’s invoice,made Andreasen initiate some investigation. With the help from people in the financial sector she found out that the buyers had paid 900,000 Euros more for Donna Unique than Helgstrand had told her.

Mrs Andreasen confronted Helgstrand with her findings and threatened to file a complaint against him. All of the sudden Helgstrand became a lot more friendly. Joan Andreasen’s lawyer consequently drafted a contract for Andreasen to receive half of the 900.000 Euro that Helgstrand had concealed, so 450.000 Euro. For this amount Andreasen was not supposed to pay commission to Patrik Kittel.

500,000 Euro commission
However, at the stallion show in Herning, in the beginning of March 2012, Andreas Helgstrand did manage to convince Mrs. Andreasen that it would be fair for Patrik Kittel to receive 500,000 Euro commission. And that she should pay half of that money. Consequently, Mrs. Andreasen added to the contract that her lawyer had drafted: ‘Both parties pay 250,000 Euro commission fee to commissioner’.

But when Andreasen received an invoice from Patrik Kittel, it only contained the word ‘commission’.  Andreasen wanted a specified invoice, with name, pedigree and registration number of the horse and with the description that this was half of the commission. But Kittel wouldn’t add the latter to the invoice, because Helgstrand was not going to pay a part of the commission. For the second time Mrs. Andreasen had been cheated.

Meanwhile all bills are settled and all amounts are paid. Joan Andreasen has agreed upon a commission of 150,000 Euro for Patrik Kittel. This amount was settled in a financial acquittal between the two former co-owners of Uno Donna Unique. Andreasen is of the opinion that Helstrand too should pay commission to Kittel and in this way she leaves it up to Helgstrand to add his part of the commission before paying Kittel.

Arlette and Edwin Kohl
Question is if and how the buyers of Donna Unique will act, with the knowledge that the seller, Andreas Helgstrand, has tried to cheat on his co-owner. Even more important is the question how Arlette and Edwin Kohl, who bought several top horses for Patrik Kittel and paid him quite a lot of money in sponsoring, feel about the fact that ‘their’ rider has betrayed them by sending an invoice for commission behind their backs. At the moment of publication of this article, Arlette Jasper-Kohl and Edwin Kohl were not able to give any comment.

Joan Andreasen: ‘Far from happy’
Several reliable sources contributed to this article, one of them was Joan Andreasen. For this publication Mrs. Andreasen wanted to restrict her spoken contribution to the following:
“Andreas Helgstrand thinks that we should be glad having to pay only 150,000 Euro commission. But I am far from happy. I think it is no more than rightful that commissioners get money. But that should be done in a correct and transparent way. And it is also not right if the amounts are crazily high. This deal was supposed to bring joy. Instead it brought a great deal of worry. Only now are we able to leave re it behind us.”

Andreas Helgstrand: ‘Commercial confidentiality’

Obviously, the editorial staff has asked Andreas Helgstrand to react to this article. In addition we asked Helgstrand if initially half of the concealed 900,000 Euro was meant to be paid to Patrik Kittel.

Andreas Helgstrand didn’t answer this question. But he did issue the following statement:
‘Helgstrand Dressage A/S deals with a lot of domestic and international riders, horse breeders and horse owners on high level every day. We take pride in treating our business partners to the best of our ability and in absolute commercial confidentiality. This also applies in the case of Donna Unique, which was a horse that I actually did not want to sell because she was my trump card as a dressage star for the future. Every aspect of the eventual transaction was covered by written agreements negotiated between parties,all represented by their own lawyers. Helgstrand Dressage A/S respects and fulfills these agreements.’

Patrik Kittel: ‘Where is the problem?’
Like Andreas Helgstrand, Swedish dressage rider and horse dealer Patrik Kittel did not answer the question if – initially – he was supposed to receive a part of the concealed 900,000 Euro. But he did react to this article as follows:
‘The integrity of not only myself, but of all parties in the sale of any horse I am associated with, I take very seriously. I have sold countless horses throughout my career and have always acted with sincerity and integrity. This situation has, and will not, be any different.’

Patrik Kittel now has a different idea about the reason why Donna Unique was purchased. In January 2012 the Danish mare by Don Schufro was his Olympic hope for Rio de Janeiro. In his written reaction Kittel suggests that Arlette Jasper-Kohl bought the mare for herself:
‘The purchase of Donna Unique by Arlette Jasper-Kohl was a very successful one for herself and her stables. Frau Jasper-Kohl personally chose and acquired the mare, already a World Champion after years of careful development and attention by Andreas Helgstrand, as an addition to her own stables. Through my involvement with Donna, her success in the dressage ring continued. Her many wins, including Hagen, Aachen and Perl, on top of her record score in the Nürnberg Burg Pokal qualifier of over 78%,speak for themselves.’
‘Donna Unique is a successful horse, and the sale was clearly a very profitable one for Frau Andreasen. Donna Unique fulfilled the desires of her new owner Frau Jasper Kohl to have a competitive horse, that also contributed to the development of her new stables. The sale of Donna Unique was mutually beneficial for both old and new owners alike. The owners sold the horse …. Frau Jasper-Kohl acquired a top horse …. so where is the problem?’

© Horses International / De Paardenkrant