Interview Marlon Modolo Zanotelli – Young Brasilian show jumper on the way to the world´s best

15. Sep 15 | 18:42 | By | Category: INTERNATIONAL NEWS, interviews

Sep  15  2015

While the last few years you heard the name Marlon Zanotelli more and more often. He had great success in Aachen – and of course is now looking forward to the Olympics in Rio 2016.The young Brazil rider is situated at Ashford Farms in Belgium – a place becoming famous while the last few years thanks to young talented riders who are riding for them. Marlon just married one of them, Angelica Augustsson. They fell in love working at the same stables.

You are a quite young Brasilian rider. Have Nelson and Rodrigo Pessoa with all their success been idols for you?

For sure. I think they are idols for everyone around the world, but especially for all young brazilian riders. I always looked up to them!

When did you start riding? I read you grew up in a riders family?

My dad and my grandfather always were involved with horses. The stables have always been there for me. Thats how I started riding. I started riding at shows when I had eight years old. I was very young.

You had lots of success as a young rider. How did you experience this time?

I wasn´t world champion but I had a lot of good results as children, junior and young rider in the national and international level. It´s been a great time. I liked it a lot being around horses all the time and having success.

Later you moved to Belgium where you still live today. At first you rode at the stables of Ludo Philippaerts. What did you learn from such an experienced rider like he is?

I had an amazing time at Ludo`s place. Everything was new for me, so I learned a lot about how things work in Europe. It was just so interesting and new and different from what I knew from Brazil. How they build up a horse to a top level and many other things I learnt there.

You are now a rider at the famous Ashford Farm along with lots of other rather young riders. What do you especially like there?

I think the most important is that we are like a big familly. That´s the key to success fort hem. Everyone is helping each others, changing ideas and trying to learn. I think we have this spirit in our team thanks to our great boss Enda Carroll. He is just a nice person and coordinator of everything.

How many horses do you ride at the moment? Do you have a favorite among them? Is there a horse you are especially proud to ride?

I have always around 10 horses on my list, which changes a lot during the year. Its hard to say that I have a favorite but I have and had many special horses who helped me to get where I am right now. I´m very proud on all of them. I´m lucky to have so many good horses, good owners and people working around me.

At Ashford Farms there is a lot of selling horses and buying new ones. Is it sometimes hard for you to let a good horse go?

I think im used to it. Since I was young has been like that. My dad was also a horse dealer in Brazil. I´m very happy when one of my good horses goes away into good hands, that I know that they will be well treated and do good. That is the most important thing for me. And knowing that it´s ok to me.

What are your goals for this year? And then for 2016: Will you try to qualify for the 2016 Olympics?

This year we had the Panamerican Games and we are also very focused on the Nations Cup final in Barcelona. For sure I will try to qualify for the Olympics. It is a dream to ride at the Olympics and especially in Brazil, my home, 2016.

How does a typical day for you look like when being at the stables?

At a normal day I start riding at 7:30, I ride around 7-8 horses a day. We have breakfast and lunch at the stables all together which I like a lot. It´s always this family feeling. Normally by the end of the day I´m always getting things organised for the next shows. So it is busy all the time.

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

I really like surfing and soccer. But ist not so easy to surf when you live in Belgium and soccer is a bit to risky to play. I like to spend time with my wife and my familly, watch movies, go for dinners and some barbecues with friends.

Do you sometimes miss your home country Brazil? What do you like about this country when you are visiting it? What do you like about Europe?

For sure I miss Brazil. It´s an amazing country, I enjoy everytime I go there. The beach, food, friends, family… But I always wanted to move to europe, I love the sport and here it is where everything happens. I´m used to live in Belgium now and I really like it. It´s a nice country as well and all the horse shows in Europe are around me.

Do you have a favorite show among all the horse shows here?

There are so many good shows at the moment and every year there are even new ones and better ones. I think one that will always be special and one of my favorites is Aachen.

Is there a win or show you remember and which is making you really proud?

I have good memories on many shows but the one which makes me even more proud are the World Equestrian Games in Caen last year.

Do you have a special philosophy in life?

I don´t know if I have a special philosophy in life but I think it is very important to have dreams, believe in them and work hard for them. And put yourself around good people, they will bring the best on you!

What do your horses mean to you? What is special about this creatures for you?

They are everything for me. That´s very simple to answer.

Do you have a wish on your list you certainly want to be fulfilled one day?

Also a very simple answer because it´s so clear for me: An Olympic gold medal!!

Interview: Alexandra Koch

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