Wednesday Jan was taking photos of the stallions for the Tulstorp website. Melanie and I were sweeping the aisle when we saw this flash go by and thought it was a bird. When all the horses in the barn went mental, we realized the streak had been one of the stallions. lt took almost and hour to catch him. He was having a blast and ripped up Jans beautiful manicured lawns… It looked like a polo field after a match once the stallion had finished having fun. He is only three, so I am sure he thought he was entitled to rip around or maybe he was just camera shy. Jan has a great sense of humor so he didn’t get upset.
Off to Stockholm
Wwe were all packed and ready for a 7-8 hour drive to a National show in Stockholm. It was a show for Young Riders Krafft Cup a 15000KR prize for the winner. Young riders have to qualify for a season to make it to the Krafft Cup Grand Prix and Psg I ‘1. I was lucky enough to have earned a qualifying score for the PSG class which Jan had to submit before they would accept my entry.
We left at 12:30 and arrived at 7pm. We got star stabling because of Briar and his demo. The demo is the story of Briar with a slide show of him growing up from a foal through all his competitions. The main stable has black pete moss for bedding. This particular barn doesn’t let you use straw or shavings because they think it is dusty and harmful to horses so they use this nasty black stuff… Emelie’s, the groom, and my jaw dropped because their white legs are no longer going to be white… we will be showering while entering the ring.
The owners of the stables were very kind and welcoming. There is also a big riding school so it was cute to see all the kids bareback on their ponies in the indoor which is soon to transform into a show arena. The cafe was nice enough to stay open so we could eat late and sat patiently while we ate. On the way to our hotel we got lost and went to the wrong hotel. The girl at the counter gave us a map but neither my mom or I can read maps very well so we got lost again trying to find the correct one. Usually I have a great sense of direction but I was so tired from the long drive my head was scattered.
Jan and I worked Vitall in the big arena to get him accustomed to the indoor with all the spectator seating. The show started in the evening with the first leg of the Grand Prix so we were able to ride during the day. We were not showing until Saturday so I was glad to have a day for Vitall to become accustomed to the environment. The warm up area was very, very small which is common at most indoor shows. Everyone seems to manage and not get in each others way. I picked up a class list for Saturday’s classes, which noted 30 entries in my class. This is Vitalls first PSG and since he is only seven I just wanted to ride a good test and have a positive experience in the big ring. Vitall can get a little tense, especially in the collected walk.
Up early show day. I ride at 8:22 am, 4th in a class of 30. Most of the entries are coaches and professionals. We warmed up loose, relaxed, without any tension and felt good going in. Vitall got a little behind my leg just before the first pirouette so it was a bit large. I gave him a tap to move him up in front of me and the next one was good. The last 4 tempis he jumped behind, too bad, but the threes were good. I was really happy with him and we placed 9th with 67%. As Vitall gets stronger we can work on making everything more consistent. I was just so excited that he stayed with me through the test. Winning/placing wasn’t important to me, having a solid test was my goal and Vitall met that in spades. I gave him a bag of carrots (small bag) and fussed over him.
Sara Henrietta the top Swedish Young Rider (she lives at the barn and trains with Jan) won the first leg of the Krafft Cup with 71%. The freestyle is to be ridden Sunday and she is ahead by 6% so has a good chance.
Jan rode the small Grand Prix with stallion Okeanas and was third. Jan also rode the big Grand Prix with Biggles, a son of Briar. The class was so large it went on for 4 hours but Biggles ‘WON’ with 71%. The huge class with over 30 Grand Prix horses was incredible, lots to watch and learn.
Freestyle day… lots of freestyles starting at noon. I’1 starts at 8am so we were up early at 6am to get into the big arena to stretch. Afterwards, we went on a trail ride by the waters edge which I could have followed for hours. I went back to the hotel to pack and had a nap for an hour before heading back to watch the freestyles. As soon as Jan and Sara were done showing we had to load up and drive the 7 hours home and hope to be make it by midnight.
The show is extremely well run and on time. Each class has a panel of 3 judges for a total of 6 judges. Since the classes were so big, each judge had a lot of breaks to eat and rest. We were given VIP bands which entitled us to lunch every day and dinner on Saturday night. Food was excellent.
The young kids from the riding school were volunteers for the show and took their jobs very seriously but did everything with a smile. I watched them clean washrooms, run tests, acting as hosts to the judges, make sure coffee, drinks and snacks were always available… All were dressed in the colors of the ‘bright red’ colour of the riding school. They also managed a fundraiser sausage stand which was very busy. The eager beavers did not wait for customers to come to them! Instead, they asked everyone as they walked to the seating area and took the prospective customers back to their stand. Most people complied since the kids, with their ready smiles and enthusiasm, were hard to resist. One smart kid had a candy stand and was cleaning up $$$$$. Great idea for a fundraiser!
Stockholm is beautiful, I have never driven over so many bridges in one city! The old city is just incredible and of course the SHOPPING…. We spent half of Friday sightseeing around the city. Jan had given us a map and Katarina, his wife, pointed out all the great shopping areas. I didn’t spend much, just bought a few sweaters for the cold weather on its way.
****News Flash****Baby Brink due in March****
Sara Henrietta won the Krafft Cup! She won the freestyle with a 73%! Jan won the Grand Prix freestyle with Biggles!
Krafft, the title sponsor, is a feed manufacturer. Sweden, like most of Europe, have many corporate sponsors supporting the sport of Dressage. In addition, Sweden, like Holland, United Kingdom and Germany, has a young rider development program that gives financial support to the riders.