Åke Svanstedt began his career as a professional trainer in 1983 and has made over 500 million Swedish Crowns as a trainer/driver, primarily in his native Sweden. He has also met with much success in several other countries including Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Italy and France.
He began his professional career in Bergsåker, Sweden at only 24 years old. It was at this time that he established his first goal: to become champion at his home track at Bergsåker within five years. He went on to attain this goal within four years.
For the next 15 years, Svanstedt dominated the harness racing scene in northern Sweden. He won 15 straight driving and training championships on his home track. Combined with success at other northern tracks, he achieved a grand total of 44 wins.
New challenges arose and compelled Åke to relocate to Västergötland, located 400 km south of Stockholm. He acquired the training camp Bjertorp , just outside the town of Kvänum. By this time, Svanstedt began to enjoy widespread fame as one of the country’s most well-known and successful drivers/trainers. At the peak, some 230 horses were in training under his supervision.
In the 1990’s Zoogin was the big star. During the next decade both Gidde Palema and Torvald Palema became top international horses under Svanstedts care. In recent years, Sebastian K has been the star attraction of the stable. In 2012, the stable earned a record sum of 48 million Swedish crowns.
Sebastian K is Åkes most famous horse while starting his new training venture in the U.S.A. The idea of a new challenge and establishing operations in North America is something Svanstedt had been seriously considering for some time. Through countless hours of training in rain, snow, mud, and sub-freezing temperatures, as well as the tens of thousands of kilometers accrued in driving cars and horse transports while traveling to race destinations had at last taken their toll. A quieter life with his family in a more comfortable environment led him to take the big step to the west.
Today Åke train 85 horses on Palema Trotting in Vero Beach,Florida. In April, the Team move the stable up to New Jersey to Legend Farm, in Wrightstown.
The racing season begins in the beginning of May and Svanstedt is as hungry for success as never before!
The big stars of Åke Svanstedt
Date of birth: November 18, 1958 in Sundsvall, Sweden
Family: Married to wife Sarah, with sons Anders, Richard, Erik and Jonas
Previous employers: Krister Söderholm, Stig H Johansson, Torbjörn Jansson, Tommy Hanné
Residences: Vero Beach, FL (winter); Wrightstown, NJ (summer)
Most successful horses trained: Zoogin, Gidde Palema, Torvald Palema, Sebastian K, Resolve.
Awards in Sweden
Trainer of the Year: 1996, 2003, 2009, 2011, 2012
Driver of the Year: 1998, 2011, 2012
Swedish Criterium (Solvalla): Zoogin (1993), Drewgi (1995)
Swedish Kungapokalen (Åby): Drewgi (1996). Fawkes (2012)
Swedish Derby (Jägersro): Drewgi (1996)
Olympiatravet (Åby): Gidde Palema (2003-2005), Torvald Palema (2008)
Elitloppet (Solvalla): Gidde Palema (2004), Torvald Palema (2009)
Hugo Åbergs Memorial (Jägersro): Zoogin (1996), Gidde Palema (2004-2005), Torvald Palema (2009)
Åby Stora Pris: Zoogin (1996), Gidde Palema (2005), Torvald Palema (2009), Sebastian K (2012-2013)
Finlandia Race (Helsinki): Zoogin (2007)
Oslo Grand Prix, Norway: Zoogin (1997), Gidde Palema (2003-2004), Sebastian K (2013)
Forus Open, Norway: Gidde Palema (2009-2011)
Copenhagen Cup, Denmark: Zoogin (1997), Gidde Palema (2003), Mr Picolit (2013)
Gran Premio Palio di Comuny, Italy: Torvald Palema (2007)
Gran Premio Tino Triossi, Rome, Italiy: Go Hammering (1993)
Elite-Rennen, Gelsenkirchen, Germany: Zoogin 1996)
European Grand Circuit: Zoogin (1996-1997), Gidde Palema 2003-2004), Torvald Palema (2009), Sebastian K. (2013)
More Facts about Åke Svanstedt
- Åke has been driving in 14 different countries and he has won in 11 countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Australia, New Zeeland, Italy and USA.
- Åke was fourth in World Championships for drivers in Australia/New Zeeland 1991, third in European Championships in Holland 1990, fourth in European Championships in Austria 1995 and fifth in European Championships i Austria 1994.
- Åke has more than 5000 win as a trainer and 6445 as a driver.
- In 1993 he won his first international race with Go Hammering in Gran Premio Tino Triossi in Rome, Italiy. Same year he won he won the biggest Swedish race for 3 year olds at Solvalla (Criterium) with Zoogin (1.300.000 kr).
- Åke has won 7 races the same day tree times.
- Åke has won 6 races the same day five times.
- Åke has won 5 Grand Circuit races one time.