Last weekend it became official that Rolf-Göran Bengtsson is going to ride the 16 year old Ninja La Silla at the Europeans in Madrid. WoSJ asked Rolf for a comment about his choice of horse. “It for sure wasn’t easy to choose between Ninja La Silla and Casall La Silla. It really is a luxury problem to have such good horses to choose from, and I’m lucky to have a great sponsor in Alfonso Romo from the La Silla stud that lets me ride them. Ninja La Silla has been jumping excellent, and he is fresh and happy and just feeling great at the moment so that’s why I decided to give him another chance to do a championship. I also know him really well in that kind of situation.”
“We actually decided that Ninja La Silla wasn’t going to do any more championships after the WEG last year, so the plan was all along to bring Casall La Silla to Madrid. But Ninja La Silla came back from Kentucky in a great shape and at the moment he is almost better than he’s ever been, so we changed the plan,” Rolf explains.
The Europeans are important for Sweden as it is their last chance to qualify for the Olympics next year. “We have a great team on the paper so I hope it will work out.”
But before the Europeans Rolf is riding the big GCT show in Rio next weekend. Rio is an important show for a lot of riders as it is a huge amount of prize money to win there and that might cause problems for some countries considering some riders are using the same horse in Rio as in Madrid. “Unfortunately Rio is so far away, to fly there and then back and after that drive the entire way down to Madrid is a long trip for one horse… I have the privilege to ride separate horses so Casall La Silla is going to Rio. After that he will get a shorter break and start up indoors again.”
Who do you think will win the Europeans? “It is a big chance that Germany will win again. They won at the WEG and now the overall standing for the Top League. Corradina and Carsten-Otto Nagel might win individually, and then you never know with Jeroen Dubbeldam.”
What do you think about Sweden and your own chances? “I think Sweden will be third or fourth. Me… I would say in the top three or seven or eight. I really don’t want to be fourth!” Rolf laughs.
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