The following equivalents of Golden Helmet competitions are addressed on this webpage:
Golden Key  - Bremen, Gy.
Master of Speedway - Gy, Dk, Sw.
Gold Bar   - Denmark
Gold Bear - Dk. & Gy.

Silver Steelshoe  - Germany
Golden Ribbon 
  - Olching, Gy
Golden Hammer
  - England
Golden  Gala        -  Lonigo, Italy

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    Click thumbnail for full-size tables.


   The Hansa Stadium in Bremen, North Germany held annually post war a major international speedway meeting on May1st, sponsored by the city authorities as part of its May Day celebrations along with music, dancing, beer-kellars and similar festival activities. From 1959 the city Senators for Welfare Youth & Sport presented an award of a Golden Key, (a key being the historical city symbol of Bremen,) to the top rider of the day. The format of competition varied over the years, (as the Dutch Golden Helmet did,) from straight 16-rider:20-heat individual meetings, to Best Pairs, 4TTs and even World Championship qualifying rounds, the Golden Key recipient sometimes decided by an additional 4-man or 6-man Final, sometimes going to the top point-scorer over all of the days' races.

     Later, the Golden Key was sometimes awarded in conjunction with a meeting of the 'Masters of Speedway,' series held initially between a few Hanseatic cities of Sweden, Denmark and Germany from around the Baltic, - see below. In the final years before the loss of the stadium to development in 1989 the recipient was the highest total point scorer of all races, including the Semi-finals and Final, (so the winner of the Final of the day may be different to the winner of the Golden Key !) In the '80s the Finals became 6-man races, and this pre-empted the move in the last few seasons to 6-man races throughout the programmes, - 12 riders:8heats +2 semis and a final.

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    Devised as a potential rival to the individual speedway World Championship, being a forerunner of the Grand Prix, the 'Master of Speedway' competition was initially a series of meetings around the Baltic, held at Vojens Denmark, Bremen Germany, and a varying Swedish venue. Interest had waned by the third season, as British promoters begrudged the drain of their contracted riders, and the MoS became a German-only event until the closure of the Hansa stadium at the end of 1988. (See above for Indoor-Ice MoS, '90,'91.) In the mid-'90s the Master of Speedway title was resurrected by the Moorwinkelsdamm club (between Bremen and the Dutch border,) following the club's conversion of its 500m Long Track (Sandbahn) to a 360m speedway dirt-track, and only rain in 2005 has broken the event's continuous staging.

    The MoS series winners were Peter Collins, Bruce Penhall and Hans Nielsen, the American taking the title Master of Speedway in 1979 without winning a round, but having been the only rider to have appeared on the rostrum at each of the 3 meetings. Nielsen went on to win 2 more Bremen events, as did Sam Ermolenko who won the last 2 which were all 6-man races.

    At Moorwinkelsdamm Swedes Gustafsson and Lindgren have twice taken the title, but Tomasz Bajerski topped them with a hat-trick in 2002-'04, Poles having had a greater presence on the podium in latter years.

                  1978 MoS, Bremen: Ole Olsen (2nd), Peter Collins (1st), Michael Lee (3rd)



       Bremen 1979:  B.Penhall, O.Olsen, P.Collins                    Moorwinklesdamm 2010: T.Proctor,
                                                                                                                   B.Barker, A.Skornicki



     The first of 30 years of the Golden Key presentations was made to Swindon & Stoke rider Ray Harris, being equal top scorer of a Best Pairs meeting but having recorded the faster time. Finnish champion Kalevi Lahtinen then had 3 consecutive wins in the mid-'60s before Ivan Mauger (with Lahtinen, rt.) entered the scene and dominated it for the next 10 years, only World Championship qualifying meetings, for which he was ineligible, preventing him from making a clean sweep. His 8 wins nonetheless remained unsurpassable. Though the fields of the FIM-status meetings included many world champions and stars, after Mauger's time only Hans Nielsen(3x) and Sam Ermolenko(2x) were subsequently able to replicate a win.

  1966: the evening Civic Reception, Rt:                                                   
  Mrs Gunkild Malmqvist, Gunnar Malmqvist (Sw.2nd),                                                  Hans Nelsen,1983 
  Kahlevi Lahtinen (Fin, Winner),                                                                                   + MoS Trophy &
 Conny Samuelsson (Sw.7th), Matti Olin (Fin, 8th)                                                              Golden Key

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 n.b:    With loss of the Hansa Stadium the Golden Key became an indoor Ice-speedway event in the Bremen Stadhalle for the following 3 years. A 2-day event initially, the 'Master of Speedway' was added to the week-end programme in the second and third years. (This site does not cover indoor speedway but these results are included here for completeness of the G.Key & MoS story.)


1989 (2-day)      Klaus Lausch   GY

1990 (Day1)        Andre Pollehn GY
(Day2)              Andre Pollehn GY

1991 (Day1)        Petr Vandirek  CZ
(Day2)              Andre Pollehn GY


     When the political decision was taken by the communist DDR authorities in 1972 to curtail participation in world championships and major international races in "capitalistic countries" and to prohibit Western riders from East Germany, a new "international" competition with FIM recognition involving only Eastern Europeans was instigated as compensation. Organized by the MC Meissen club, the race for the "Silver Steelshoe" trophy has been held in early October each year since.

     Initially a multi-round event with up to 4 other clubs, - in '74 it took the form of an international team match between E.Gy, Cz, Bulgaria and Hungary, with 3 legs in each country except the latter, and riders from Bulgaria being denied permission to travel outside their own domestic border -, after the Iron Curtain came down the competition eventually became exclusive to Meissen and open to Westerners, being won by New Zealander Mitch Shirra in '90. Martyn Cox took the trophy in '94 and Jester B.Jensen in '96: in the 21st century local lad Ronnie Weis has had 7 wins incl'g his retirement year of 2023.

               Güstrow 1984                                        Meissen 1998                                     Meissen 2011
Ronny Weis with Trophy and Silvershoe, 2011




                                                           Charlottenlund Long Track, 1959

     Sponsored by a chocolate confectioner, "Toms Guld Barre" prize was a solid gold replica of the chocolate bar, to be won 3 times before becoming the permanent property of the successful rider. First raced for in 1959 as a Long Track event at the 980m Charlottenlund track, after a fatality in '76 it transferred to the Selskov speedway track in Hillerod in 1977 where Ole Olsen was the winner. Olsen succeeded again the following year at Krosko for his 7th and final win, banking 2 real gold bars over the period.


    The Vojens Center staged the event in 1980 and it had a long run there until the end of the century. Denmark's World Champs Gundersen, Nielsen and Pedersen plus Tommy Knudsen each had 3 successes, most memorable being the exhilarating race by Jan.O. Pedersen for the 1990 title, - 8 riders over 8 laps -, a much-viewed video since that time. See table footnote for race formats: riders, laps, handicapping.

    During the same period two Long Track Gold Bar meetings were again held at Charlottenlund, in '83 and '84. UK's Simon Wigg was runner-up each time, (despite the presence of Ivan Mauger: being late in his career, a Gold Bar, like a Pardubice Golden Helmet, eluded him.) Failed noise trials ended racing at this venue. Kurt W.Pedersen had been a 6x Gold Bar winner during the years of its initial Long Track format.

                                  7x winner Ole Olsen                                         Erik Gundersen 1986



  Another gold version of confectionary, a Gold Bear, (Guldbamse, or Goldbär in German) has been presented for a Long Track competition by a Danish club during most of the last decade, initially in Denmark but latterly held just across the border in Germany but under Danish regs. of the DMU. Finn Appe Mustonen, having won 3 consecutive times at the 825m Jübek sandtrack now gets to keep the valuable 24 carat gold trophy replica of the sponsor's candy sweet.

                  2010                                     Appe Mustonen                                    2011
      (prog. & price in Danish)                                                                   (prog. & price in German)

  GOLDEN HAMMER  -  Cradley

      The Golden Hammer trophy replaced Cradley's AHMT as its big-name individual competition and has been raced for during each of the Heathens' 4 guises since its inception in 1977, - 'Cradley Heath Heathens' at Dudley Wood, 'Cradley & Stoke Heathens' at Chesterton, 'Dudley Heathens' at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton, and finally 'Cradley Heathens' at both B'ham Perry Barr and Monmore Green. Until 2010 the competition has always attracted world-class riders, 10 of its 20 winners being World Champions at some point in time, including Sam Ermolenko 3 wins, and Erik Gundersen 2 wins. Heathens' own riders have had 8 successes. At  3rd tier level speedway, Steve Worrall has been a 2-time winner.
     Cradley 1977 (1st)                          Stoke 1996                                W'ton 2010                           B'ham 2015

                                                     Golden Hammer 2016: Steve Worrall's 2nd win.


     Not to be outshone, Italy, via the Motor Club of Lonigo, introduced its 'Gold' competition to bring the world's top riders to its shores in 1980, the trophy being a gold plated rider's steel shoe, (as well as some of the largest cups yet seen, apparently to each of the 6-man finalists.) Its list of winners has 16 world champions over the 24 years of operation with Yanks and Danes dominating until the last decade, when Jason Crump matched Hans Nielsen's total of 4 wins. Ivan Mauger made just one appearance late in his riding career (in '83) but didn't make the podium.                                .      

2000,  GG Final

1980 (1st GG), Bruce Penhall             1989,  E.Gundersen, Jeremy Doncaster, Ronnie Correy    

More Golden Helmet programmes HERE

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