Some horse shows are magical; the Gothenburg Horse Show fell into that category this past weekend. First of all you can’t get a better opening for the home crowds than a home win – and that was exactly what Rolf-Göran Bengtsson gave the Swedes last Thursday when the first international showjumping class kicked off in Scandinavium. Rolf is a hero to the public in Swe den, and his win was naturally very popular.
The Scandinavians continued to rule in Gothenburg. Actually, six out of ten international showjumping classes were headed by Scandinavian riders. Rolf won two classes for Sweden – and got the Leading Speed Athlete Award, Norway’s Geir Gulliksen won two classes, Finland’s Nina Fagerström won one and Angelica Augustsson stole the best win of the weekend when she was victorious in the Rolex FEI World Cup. France’s speed machine Philippe Rozier managed to squeeze in two wins between the above mentioned riders, when he topped the two classes on Saturday.
Back to Augustsson, and some of the other extremely talented – not to forget young – Swedish riders. What a breakthrough! Angelica Augustsson is one of those riders you just have to admire; she is a true joy to watch – so talented, full of feeling for what she does and extremely stylish. The 23 year old has climbed to the top by hard work; which grants her the respect from legends such as Ludger Beerbaum. Angelica’s German boss Dietmar Gugler must be over the moon with her after what she did this weekend. To be able to set the standard as she did in both the Grand Prix on Saturday, and then in the World Cup on Sunday in no less than very impressive – she left riders such as Pius Schwizer, Jeroen Dubbeldam and Luciana Diniz struggling to catch her time. What Augustsson did was so huge that it’s difficult to grasp.
The Swedes are blessed with other young talents as well; Alexander Zetterman (21 years old this year) rode fantastic in the Grand Prix on Saturday – making High Yummy living up to his name. His brother Daniel (26 years old this year) also showed promise in the World Cup on Sunday with just one unlucky fence down on Glory Days. Then there was Douglas Lindelöw ( 21 this year), who also was clear in the first round of the World Cup; almost making it look easy on Talina.
What’s great about the younger riders is that they wear their hearts on their sleeves, and let’s everybody know how happy they get when performing well. Alexander’s reaction on Saturday when crossing the finish line was unforgettable, and whoever was not deeply touched by Angelica’s tears on Sunday does not have a heart. The sport really needs theses young and fresh faces.
Apart from some trouble with two cameras placed very closely to two of the fences in the Grand Prix on Saturday – which created some trouble for Marcus Ehning and Noltes Küchengirl, as well as for Luciana Diniz and As Taro – the show went so smooth. The legend Ludger Beerbaum praised the show, the crowds and the organizers by saying; "I'd want to thank the Gothenburg show organizers - this is one of the best, if not the best show in the world - we had not just exciting sport but great stabling and facilities and support, everyone is looked after and it’s a privilege to go in the ring and perform in this terrific atmosphere. I don't say this every Sunday you know! It's nice to be part of it and we always enjoy coming here". So true.
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