Interview Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfven – the Swedish top-rider on her way to Herning

06. Aug 13 | 6:17 | By | Category: INTERNATIONAL NEWS, interviews

6 august 2013

For more than 20 years Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfven is a world-class rider. She competed in all Olympic games since 1992 in Barcelona, last time in 2012 with Don Auriello. The 11-year-old Hannoverian gelding has been her new top-class partner for more than two years now. He is said to be one of the best dressage horses at the moment. Many experts say there is even more potential in this horse than we can see nowadays.

In May 2013 they won the World Dressage Masters in Munich – the most prestigeous dressage series in the world. They now are looking forward to the European Championships in Herning in August…

A very special relationship to Germany the Swedish rider also has because of selling her former top-horse Favourit to young Sanneke Rothenberger to make her way to the Grand Prix level.

Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfven is talking to me about all the special things about her horse Don Auriello, winning the WDM, her training and what was the greatest moment of her career…


You won the World Dressage Masters this year. What did this triumph mean to you?

To win a 5* show is of course always a big achievement.  And to win the total of WDM is even greater, so I´m very proud to do so. It was a very special win for me.


What has the WDM as a series of shows improved in the world of dressage in your opinion?

I think the WDM is great for the sport, bringing bigger prize money into it and getting a wider spread of good quality shows all around the world. You can travel to interesting shows and places, ride at nice locations and earn more money than ever before in dressage.


Don Auriello became better and better over the last year. What are your expectations with that horse?

Don Auriello is only 11 now, he is still developing and I do hope he´s going to be stronger and more mature soon. We still have a lot to achieve.


The horse is said to be one of the best in the world at the moment. What is making him special for you?

I think he has the best rideability I have ever met.  He always wants to do his best for me and he likes to present himself in front of a lot of people.  He truly enjoys himself competing.


What are your goals for this year? What expectations and hopes do you have for the European Championships in Skandinavia?

Well, part of my goals for 2013 are already achieved: WC final, winning WDM, Munich and Falsterbo. 

Next to come is the European Championship in Herning, I´m looking forward to it. Don Auriello is in a good shape and we are ready to go… Its hard to say how far we can go as a team and individually there are so many great riders and horses taking part, but we are going to fight and try to make a difference.


You´ve been at six Olympic Games so far… Which – in your opinion – were the best?

For me I think Sydney is a very special memory! We were there for 7 weeks and had         great fun. People were extremely friendly there and you felt very welcome.

London and Great Britain I think was the best horse country where dressage got a big attention. The riding competitions at these Olympics were made by horse people!


What was the best moment in horsesport for you so far?

One wonderful memory is the show in Rotterdam last year. I had already ridden and I was watching Anky and Salinero, I was in the lead and I was sure Anky should pass me. I was following the scoreboard with leader score – mine – and Ankys score and then was slowly realizing I was still in front of Salinero – just a magic moment!! I could not believe I could beat them!


You sold your horse Favourit to the Rothenberger family a few months ago. Do you think with this horse Sanneke will reach the big sport and maybe even get a senior medal?

A think Favourit is the best horse you could wish for for someone to start competing at Grand Prix level. He is very correct to ride and extremely sweet and nice.

 I´m so happy that Sanneke and Favourit fit so well together. I´m sure they will have a lot of success.


Horses seem to have always been your life… How did this fascination start?

I followed my mother to the stables as a kid and I`m still there……  It´s a way of life and I could never imagine to change my life for something else. I´m living my dream every day! How could it be better?!


What is making horses so fascinating for you?

The magic when horse and rider become one is indescribable. The horses give so much back to you and training them is the most stimulating job you can have.

 I think the fascination is a neverending story…


With the British riders and Helen Langehanenberg there seems to be a new generation of dressage winners. But still there is lot of controversy featuring the results and some kinds of training. What should be – in your opinion – being improved in dressage?

I think we need to be open and have to communicate in our sport. Transparency is extremely important.  I hope that all of us that love our sport can work together and care for our sport!


How does your daily training look like? What is most important for you training your horses?

I think its necessary to work the horses in a way that both the horses and riders enjoy the training every day. We ride a lot outside and have perfect surroundings where the horses can hack and train.

Generally every horse trains 5 days a week, hack one day and rest one. Every horse walks in the woods, if the weather allows it, 20 minutes before they start training.


How do you choose young horses for your barn? What is important for a dressage horse to have?

My stables Lövsta stuteri is a breeding station and we do breed some horses, so partly we have our own breed horses but we do also buy some. First of all the quality of the movement  is important to me, but also the elasticity and the temperament. I love hot horses that are eager to work, this suits my temperament very well.


When you are not riding how do you like to spend the time with your family?

Horses are a lifestyle and I´m blessed with a fantastic and understanding family. When there is time off we spend it together, right now in the archipelago of Stockholm.


Do you have a special philosophy in life?

Maybe not a philosophy but for me family and friends are very important, and I strive to act in a way that shows respect for everybody around me.


If you had one wish to be fulfilled what would it be?

Ohh, there is a lot of things I still want to do and fulfill, both professionally and privately.  I think you must have all these dreams that you long for, otherwise your life would be boring.


Interview: Alexandra Koch

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