Ludwig Svennerstal

11/09/15

It is with major disappointment and grief I need to announce that I have made the decision to not continue competing Franzipan here at the European Championship at Blair. She didn’t trot up that well at the first horse inspection and we have spent the day investigating what the problem is without success. We have decided that it is not fair on the horse and not in the interest of horse welfare to continue competing. Franzipan will now go home for further investigation to find the problem. I have really been looking forward to this event and the event looks great so it’s an indescribable feeling of disappointment to withdraw but the horse’s welfare always need to come first.

09/09/15

It was fantastic to finally arrive at Blair yesterday [Tuesday]. While my team-mates sweated it out for nine hours on the road, it took me five hours door-to-door to get here after a leisurely morning hacking a few horses, driving to Heathrow, eating a burger at Gordon Ramsay’s airport restaurant and having a little sleep on the plane. I arrived fresh-faced and exuberant while my team-mates looked rather worse for wear.

The sun shone for our arrival, which was a miracle in itself, and left me with a bit of a dilemma – what to do with all my woolly socks and jackets?

With the brief heatwave in mind, I decided not to walk the course, but to head to the drinks party instead. Of course I was only drinking orange juice – as all good athletes do – but it was fun to mingle with all the riders from other nations. I then went off to have dinner with my two best girl buddies, Holly Woodhead and Dani Evans. I dropped them back to their hotel which, to my delight, was rather more basic than my ‘Atholl Palace’, which was, well, palatial.

This morning I took my horse, Franzipan, down to the main arena for ‘familiarisation’. While the other Swedish horses were beautifully behaved and walked round on a long rein, my horse thought it would be fun to bronk and rear – I was less than impressed, not least because I nearly fell off.

After this I set off to walk the cross-country course. As luck would have it I bumped into a good Scottish friend near the start and jumped on his all-terrain buggy, which was the perfect way to see the course for the first time. It was a bit cold, though – maybe Blair needs to sort out some buggy heating for next time.

I like the course. It’s not as big as I was expecting, but I think [course-designer] Ian Stark has made it smaller for a reason. I think the steep contours will be very interesting to ride and some of the skinnies  situated at the bottom of steep slopes may ride differently to how we might expect. I think the time will be very difficult to get and a lot will depend on the weather.

The real entertainment of the day came at the first horse inspection, which proved to be more exciting than I’d anticipated. Franzipan did not trot particularly well first time round, so we got sent to the holding box. I actually think that the ground jury were so impressed with my movement and graceful running style that they wanted to watch me again.

Thankfully we got the nod second time round and our team was announced. I’m not in it, but have been selected to ride as an individual. We have got a great team spirit going and although I’m obviously disappointed not to be named in the four, I’ll be supporting my team-mates all the way.

I should probably sign off now before my blog becomes a book. I’ll be doing my dressage on Friday afternoon, so tomorrow will be spent relaxing and maybe a spot of shopping. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Lots of love and don’t forget to follow me on social media,

Ludvig

Facebook: Ludwig Svennerstal Instagram: @ludwigsvennerstal Twitter: @svennerstal

 

03/09/15

I know that women love red roses as Franzipan, my mare I am taking to the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship at Blair Castle has been acting it all week since my last blog. We have worked quite a lot on the dressage which is getting better but she is still a little bit green in the 3* test. Christoph Hess was here helping me on Sunday and Monday which was great and he was really happy with her progress from when he saw her last in June. We have been working on my shoulder-ins and half passes. It’s so frustrating that improvement takes so much time – but it is the way it need to be, no shortcuts!

My week has been awesome apart from my seat bones aching from all the dressage training. At the beginning of the week two new horses arrived, Balham Mist and Hollyfield. Balham Mist is an eight year old who has competed at one 2* before with Sian Hawkes, bred by the Austin O’Connor and owned by Andrew Ayres. Hollyfield is an 11 yr gelding that is at mine to be sold, he has done a couple of 2*’s in Sweden and where he was ridden by and owned by Cristina Della Casa.  I decided to take these two superstars to Wellington for a pop around the intermediate on Monday. Monday turned out to become a fairly hectic day as I had training with Christoph in the morning with Franzipan to then drive off to meet my horses at Wellington, to then finish off the day with a dinner in London, see pic. Balham Mist did a super dressage, the jumping was really muddy and he was struggling in the treble to finish on 12 faults but made it up with a super cross country to finish 5th. Hollyfield moves like a million and felt like Bambi on ice in the dressage arena to get a score of 30 which is disappointing with such a good mover, anyway he jumped super to have an unlucky pole coming out of the treble as it got too muddy there and finished it off with an incredible cross country to put us in 3rd position.

Besides my hectic Monday, the week has been quite chilled out and I finally managed to celebrate my birthday. I met up with my father and little sister in London for an afternoon tea at Brown’s which was very nice.

My seven year old is just playing around at the moment, but has been totally amazing so she keeps putting a big smile on my face. My darling Salunette has been sold to Vicky in Yorkshire who is lovely which is awesome as Salunette is equally lovely! I have been looking at quite a few horses as after a few sales we are lacking a few horses, so if you got one please get in touch!

I’m heading up to Burghley Horse Trials until Friday to then head up to the Swedish pre-camp at Bishop Burton ahead of Blair 2015. Burghley is so exciting that I almost exploding, my baby sister is riding her first 4* and I am already nervous when she pops logs in the field, how am I going to cope with this?! She is working for Oliver Townend and has really improved so let’s hope it shows in the results at Burghley because she really deserves it and if you are there, please cheer for her! The pre-camp will be cool with my fellow countrymen and women so hopefully we will be 100% ready for Blair 2015 next week!

Lots of love and check out my social media if you can’t wait until the next one, see you at Blair!

Facebook: Ludwig Svennerstal Instagram: @ludwigsvennerstal Twitter: @svennerstal

FranzipanLudwig and sister for Blog 2

27/08/15

Hello everyone,

Going to Aachen CICO3* Nations Cup 2015, I was already quite excited about the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship at Blair Castle and now it has gone beyond exciting after my performance at Aachen.  The spring season has been ok, I haven’t really reached the performances I wanted to but equally it hasn’t been bad. My main horse King Bob went to Luhmuhlen for a 4* run ahead of the Europeans, it was ok although we made small mistakes all the way through to end on a disappointing 14th place. Franzipan my reserve horse which I bought in September has had a quiet season as I have tried to get to know her and build up a partnership. We had a good result at Chatsworth CIC3* 12th place and then Bramham CCI3* 9th place.

Everything was going so well leading up to Aachen and I thought I had the right preparations with the horses. Aachen, performance wise, was really disappointing as I had hoped to reach a top 8 placing but with the Germans performing dressage tests out of this world, it was never going to happen. My showjumping was good, but in the cross country King Bob was a little too keen which made it difficult for me to ride really fast so I picked up a couple of time faults. As if this wasn’t disappointing enough he injured himself during the cross country and will not be able to compete at the European Championship, which made the whole trip heart breaking. Basically, I was up walking on clouds to then fall right down without a parachute, not very comforting. My teammates had equally disappointing performances as two had a run out and one fell. I think we all got a punch in the face and hopefully woke up, or at least I definitely did!

The Europeans is an important competition but following last year’s disappointing World Equestrian Games where we didn’t qualify for the 2016 Olympics, Blair 2015 is now extremely important for me. The Olympics is everything and the importance for us Swedes to be there is second to none for the owners, sponsors and the sport in general. Eventing is quite a small sport in Sweden but during the London 2012 Olympics it had a great following and it now creates a lot of interest which is important for the sport’s future.

I got home feeling sorry for myself but I decided to get it together and try to work my magic with the ladies (in this case Franzipan) so she would perform out of this world at the Europeans and win. The first thing I thought of was roses, every lady like roses so I bought her a bunch of red roses, which wasn’t appreciated. I was then riding around the arena shouting good girl, you are so pretty, this didn’t seem to help either, what can I say, these women…

Let me tell you a little more about Franzipan, she is an 11 year old 7/8 thoroughbred mare and I bought her as a reserve team horse in September 2014. I like her attitude towards work and she jumps well but she is still a little weak which mostly shows in her dressage.

This basically means I need to stop writing this Blog and start practising sitting trot until I can’t feel my seat bones…

Lots of love and check out my social media if you can’t wait until the next one!

Facebook: Ludwig Svennerstal Instagram: @ludwigsvennerstal Twitter: @svennerstal