Interview Andreas Schou – Winning all hearts with a really small horse

21. Oct 15 | 6:01 | By | Category: INTERNATIONAL NEWS, interviews

21 oct 2015

29-year-old Danish rider Andreas Schou was one of the winners of this years European Championships in Aachen. In the end he was just one fault away from the medals finishing 9th. He won the hearts of the crowds riding the less than 1,60 meter tall horse with the cute name „Lenardo der Kleine“ – and if being asked probably almost every spectator would remember this fighting combination.

In the interview Andreas Schou talks about the event, his life in Denmark, his company there and of course about his happy little family.

 

At the European Championships in Aachen you finished on 9th place. By far the best result for the Danish team. What moment will you remember best from these Championships?

Of course being the number 9 on a Championship is a really big thing – and for sure I will remember how this little horse fighted in all the rounds. But being only one fault from a medal, is still a bit hard to accept for me as you can imagine.

Sadly at the final day your horse had one rail down. With double clear you would have been in 3rd place…

Before going to Aachen I didnt expect that I could be in the run for the medals, but of course after first final round being in 5th position, I started to dream of a medal. In the end we didnt have the last luck, but my horse did all he could, so I´m happy with where we ended up.

The Nations Cup was really disappointing for Denmark despite your very good result with just one down. How did you experience this day of really bad luck?

The Nations Cup after all was a great success for our country. Denmark never made it to the team final – but as you say, suddenly we were so close to the Olympic qualifier, so it turned out to be a disappointment. But the horses we came with do not have the routine in tracks like these as we saw in the team final and therefore it just didn´t work 100 % our way.

How did you feel riding in this big stadium with even more spectators than while the CHIO cheering for you?

The stadium is amazing and every riders big dream – especially when things are going your way. And when your horse wants to do everything for you in a ring like that, you cannot feel any better.

It seemed some people just recognized in Aachen what a great horse Lenardo der Kleine is and really liked him. What do you especially like about your horse?

Lenardo allready showed last year at the WEG that he is something speciel. He is a horse, that will do anything for you when you have him on your side. What I especially like is that the horse has no idea about how small he really is. He is just about 1,59 meters but thinks he can jump anything.

Do you know who gave him this special name „Lenardo der Kleine“? It´s clear his father is Lenardo but this name is just so cute to our German ears…

He was small from the day he was born, so therefore I think he had the name. The breeders were there in Aaachen for the European Championships and I don´t think they expected to see their little horse there! They were really happy!

What does Lenardo der Kleine like and dislike? How is he like aside from the sport at the stables?

He is the most special horse I´ve ever had. If he doesn´t trust you, you have no chance getting to do anything with him. And then he has so much energy all the time – and when he has become your partner he really uses it for you. He is a real character.

You and your brother Christian founded your company „Absolute Horses“ in 2012. It seems to be quite a big project being not just a sport stable but also a stallion station. And you have „Absolute Events“ and „Absolute Trucks“ as well. Please tell us a bit how all of this works and what is your special place in this project.

Our full company name is „Schou Absolute Horses“. From here we run „Absolute Horses“ which is a sport team we run together with our partners, the Hallundbæk family.

Besides this we have a group of stallion covering – but most of them is only on frozen semen. The ones on fresh are standing at our partners stables around Europe.

„Absolute Events“ is running some shows at our own yard every year. The last 5 years we were hosting the National Championship for seniors, U18 and U21.

„Absolute Horsetrucks“ we have together with a partner, where we sell many used trucks and new Stephex trucks.

We try to be involved in everything in our business, so here at home we have a great team managing this when we are away for shows.

You have some stallions at your farm. Are they also sport horses or just for breeding?

The young stallions we take out of the sport and send them to other stations during the breeding season. The older stallions are only available on frozen semen.

How does a typical day of yours look like at the stables? What are your tasks? How many horses do you ride?

I have nine horses on my list. So it depends if we have shows or not. Otherwise I spend some hours in the office, training a bit and then I ride the horses I need to that day. After that I try to spend as much time with my family as possible when I´m home.

Your brother and his girlfried are involved with Absolute Horses as well as you and your partner Jannike West and your son. So it is all in the family at your farm?

Yes. We have everything together and I really don´t think it could work out any better. Me and my brother have a fantastic relationship both professionelly and personnally.

What do you like to do when not riding? Do you have some other hobbies? Do you like to go on holidays?

We go on holidays every Christmas with the whole family, and apart from that we find some days in between some shows. I also like hunting, so I try to get time for that as well.

Do you have horses of who you say they will be as good as Lenardo der Kleine?

I ride a really good 8-years-old called Chalisco (Chacco Blue – Quidam de revel). He was 3rd in the youngster final in Aachen and has this summer already many international 1,50 placings. I think a horse for the really big sport.

The Olympics in Rio are less than one year from now. Is there a bit of hope for you to qualify as a individual starter?

Unfortantly there is no chance for that.

What are your plans now for the rest of the season?

My horses will now have a break and be ready for the indoor season, where we have world cups to focus on.

How and when did you start riding?

I started with ponies when I was 6. My mother was a rider herself and I was at the stables all the time.

What do your horses mean to you?

All we do is for and about the horses so of course they mean really a lot to me.

What does attract you when looking for a new show jumping horse?

I really like if they take you and you know straight away that they are doing an effort not to touch fences.

Is there a special wish you have you want to be fulfilled one day?

I always said going to the Olympics would be fantastic or winning a medal at a championship.

 

Interview: Alexandra Koch


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