Interview Jeanna Högberg – On the road to Normandy 2014

26. Aug 14 | 4:25 | By | Category: INTERNATIONAL NEWS, interviews

26. Aug. 2014

Swedish rider Jeanna Högberg (32) did a real jump in the big world of dressage this year being placed at the Pferd International in Munich and the being in great form at the CHIO in Aachen. She is now officially selected with her horse Darcia, a 10 year old Danone x Don Schufro mare, for the Swedish WEG dressage team.

She talked with me about the WEG, her early career and her mom who is a breeder of Arabian horses.

You started riding at a very young age because your mother is a horse breeder. How was it like growing up with horses and riding all the time?

My mother bred arabian horses which we didn’t ride on so much. But one of them were actually my babysitter. My mum put me up on her kindest mare and I could sit there and play while she cleaned the stables. But she were quite restrictive on letting me ride. She wanted me to decide on my own if I wanted to ride or not. When I was seven I was allowed to go to a riding summer camp, and I was hooked. One year later I got my first pony. I started to compete almost immediately and later on I got silver in the swedish championships in dressage and two bronze in three days eventing with that pony. But it disturbed me that I didn’t win, haha.

You said you did eventing at first. How come that you later became a dressage rider?

In the beginning when I did show jumping with my pony he stopped at the fences but I didn’t. I fell of that often that my mother forbid me to jump. Then I started riding dressage instead. Later on I got a little more control of him and I could start with show jumping again, since he was so good at the dressage eventing became a natural choice. But dressage were still our main branch.

You have your own dressage stable now. How does a normal working day look like for you?

I start my day with a good breakfast and a coffee. Then I start to ride at half past seven or at eight. I have two different stables so usually I ride 4 to 5 horses at Segersta where I also live and after a short lunch I go the other stable where I have 6 horses to ride. Some days a week I give lessons in the afternoon or evenings.

Your mother breeds Arabian horses. Are you also fascinated by this horses not only by European dressage horses?

I think that arabian horses are very beautiful and very sensitive horses. My mums best friend Penelope Lewenhaup were a well known breeder of arabian horses, she helped me to buy one of my first horses that also became my first Grand Prix horse. I have both Penny and the horse to thank for a great part of my success.

What do you like to do if you are not riding?

I like to meet my friends and family and make a nice dinner, I like to cook. I am also interested in medical research, I have a master in molecular biotechnology so if I had not been riding full time I would probably work as a researcher.

You and Darcia have been actually selected to represent Sweden at the WEG this year. Is this a dream come true in a year which was a dream so far at all?

Ah, it feels fantastic. I have worked for it for so many years and I’ve been so far away from it, and now everything went so fast!! But at some how I feel ready for it! I have ridden the world championships for young horses three times and a few european championships as pony, junior and young rider so I hope that have given me some experience!

In Aachen you showed quite a classy round! Probably this meant a lot to be selected for Normandy 2014… Do you like this show very much?

Aachen is fantastic, it was actually not the first time, I rode Liza Minelli there last year and I was very pleased with our performances so I had a good feeling about Aachen. It is the most fantastic competition I have ever been to!

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