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From youngster to Grand Prix horse: H&M Indiana

Wednesday, 24 July 2019
From youngster to Grand Prix horse

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping “I felt that she had a lot in her. She has been a challenge, but I like challenges," Malin Baryard-Johnsson tells World of Showjumping about H&M Indiana. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

 

Text © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen

 


 

Malin Baryard-Johnsson and her 11-year-old BWP mare H&M Indiana (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Animo’s Hallo) have been the epitome of consistency during the first half of the 2019 Longines Global Champions Tour season. By June they had jumped eight out of nine Global Champions League rounds clear for their team Berlin Eagles and in Stockholm the pair came second in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix. World of Showjumping sat down with Malin to learn more about her wonder mare’s journey to the top level.

“It was in Arezzo,” Malin tells about where she found Indiana. “She was jumping there as a 7-year-old and my owner, Charlotte Söderström, who also owns H&M All In, saw on the start list that Indiana is closely related to him. Charlotte also does a bit of breeding, so the fact that Indiana is a mare was interesting for her. We tried Indiana there, and she bought her.”

It was Stephex Stable’s Petronella Andersson who rode Indiana in Arezzo when Söderström spotted the mare. “It was the first serious 7-year-old class for Indiana, she was very green,” Petronella recalls. “They bought Indiana straight that first week. I knew already back then that with Malin, Indiana would have a great home. She would be getting all the chances needed to develop and to become the great horse she has always been.”

Photo © Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping “As a personality she is just different,” Malin says about H&M Indiana. Photo © Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

Even though green to her age, Indiana gave Petronella a great feeling. “She always had a lot of character, and I could feel she had a lot of potential in her. Already as a young horse, her jump was spectacular. Her rideability was not great, but she always had a lot of power and she wanted to do things right when you got into the ring with her. In that way I think her character has not changed. It is a pleasure to see them doing so well now.”

Stephan Conter, founder and CEO of the Stephex Group, says he knew Indiana was a superstar from the first moment he saw her. “We discovered her at a regional show in Belgium as a 6-year-old. You could tell that she was a very special horse, and her power was incredible. But I also knew she would need a very capable rider to bring out the talent she obviously had,” he tells.

That capable rider would be Malin. She has taken her time with Indiana and brought the mare up slowly. But it turns out, she really had no other option. “I had to,” Malin tells. “Indiana has been extremely difficult. She is a big horse and her rideability is really, really low. I met her breeders and they told me that as a 5-year-old, she could hardly canter,” Malin continues. “I must say, she became easier to ride when we started to jump bigger fences, because then at least the jumps impressed her and she started to listen to me more. But there has been a lot of hours in the saddle,” Malin sighs.

Difficult and time consuming, so what kept Malin motivated through the years of educating Indiana? “Her talent and her ability,” Malin says quickly. “I felt that she had a lot in her. She has been a challenge, but I like challenges. It is nice to have something to work for. She has also been lucky to be in my stable in a time when I have been able to use other horses for the bigger classes and she has been coming along to the shows, but never needed to take the real pressure until she was ready for it.”

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. "The fact that she wants to do it, is just as important as her scope and carefulness," Malin says about H&M Indiana. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

There are three qualities in Indiana that Malin values more than others. “She can jump big fences really easy, and she is very careful. And at the moment she really wants to do it, which is also important. The fact that she wants to do it, is just as important as her scope and carefulness. The day she doesn’t want to do it, she will simply not – she has a mind of her own. She is still difficult, and I am going to have rounds where everything goes wrong. But that keeps me young, and it keeps me focused. I cannot go in the ring semi-focused with her. She is a different horse every day.”

“As a personality she is just different,” Malin continues. “She is a very friendly horse, and she doesn’t want to harm anyone. But she is a little bit strange; she is fine as long as things are as usual but if something unexpected happens she can panic. Some letter combination I think she has, because she is really, really special – really different,” Malin smiles. “I have never ridden anything like her! For sure I cannot compare her to any other horse I’ve had before. She is a mare, that is the only similarity! And mares always need to be worked with in a certain manner, but no – she is different from anyone else.”

When it comes to goals, they are set high for this talented mare. “We have the Europeans this year, but our main goal is the Olympics in 2020,” Malin tells. “Indiana should be at the perfect age then. But then again, we live in the now. And we are having a great season so far and I am really enjoying that.”

 

 

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