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Hege Tidemandsen: Norwegian newcomer

Saturday, 17 August 2019
Interview

Photo © Mariana Gkliati / photobit.net Hege Tidemandsen and the "family project" Carvis at CSIO Athens, where they jumped a double clear both in the Nations Cup and in the Grand Prix. Photo © Mariana Gkliati / photobit.net.

 

Text © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen

 


 

When you live in a little town called Namna in Norway, an hour and a half from the capital when driving in the direction of the Swedish border – showjumping might not be the most practical sport of choice. Despite the location, not to forget the unforgivingly cold Norwegian winters, 32-year-old Hege Tidemandsen has pursued a career as an international showjumper and succeeded. 

At the end of July, Tidemandsen helped Norway win the Longines FEI Nations Cup Division 2 Final in Athens, Greece – and yes, let’s just confirm that that is a far travel from Namna. Tidemandsen did it in style as well, delivering a double clear round – and quite sensationally her country earned a ticket to compete in the Longines FEI Nations Cup division one final in Barcelona later this year, where they get a shot at Olympic qualification.

A mother of two children, Tidemandsen is closely involved in her family’s business – a riding school and boarding stable in Namna. When she is not riding her own horses, or with her kids, Tidemandsen can be found teaching the students that take lessons. “I teach a few lessons a week, not all days because I also want to have time to take my children to school and take part in their life,” she tells about her daily routines. “So when I am not riding my own horses, I am either teaching or cleaning up after my kids,” Hege laughs.

Photo © Mariana Gkliati / photobit.net "We have so much fun with him now, and we have worked for this for so long," Tidemandsen says about Carvis. Photo © Mariana Gkliati / photobit.net.

In what has become a rather money-driven sport, where the prospect of succeeding on hard work and dedication alone seems increasingly unlikely – Tidemandsen has done just that. Her 13-year-old gelding Carvis (Cantanis x Capitol II) is a product of her family’s dedication over the ten last years. “My mom owns Carvis, he is a family project,” Hege smiles. “He was brought to us as a three-year-old, to be broken in and eventually he should have been sold. But he was so stupid, no one wanted to buy him!”

Luckily for Tidemandsen, neither of her parents are scared of a challenge and a bit of hard work. For nearly twenty years, they have been running the riding school in Namna. Both her parents have been keen riders, Hege’s mother a former eventing rider.

“It took a long time for me to get him to do the work right,” Hege tells about Carvis. “When he jumped, he always went too high and scared himself. But when he turned five, he started to get better. As the owner really wanted to sell him, my mother bought him. In his 7-year-old season he was nearly sold but did not pass the vet check.”

Photo © Mariana Gkliati / photobit.net Celebrating the win with the Norwegian team in Athens earlier this summer. Photo © Mariana Gkliati / photobit.net.

Today, Tidemandsen is happy that everything turned out as it did. “He has just been getting better and better. We have so much fun with him now, and we have worked for this for so long. My parents have tried to find a really good horse for all their life, so now we want to enjoy the moment. You don’t find horses like him easy,” she smiles.

Tidemandsen believes that the secret to her current success is the trust that she and Carvis have in each other, built up over the last ten years. “His best quality is his head, because he is so secure in what he does now. Whatever I ask him to do, he does – he trusts me. That is the best quality he has, alongside his big canter and the fact that he has a lot of scope. At the highest level, the attitude of your horse is so important. If they don’t want to do it, you will be in trouble.”

After their double clear round in the Nations Cup in Athens, Hege and Carvis finished 6th in the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix – again double clear. In May, the pair won the CSIO3* Grand Prix in Drammen, Norway and later that same month they were also double clear in the Nations Cup in Uggerhalne, Denmark. “Going to shows motivates me,” Hege says. “Going to shows with a difficult horse and feeling like the homework is starting to pay off, that is even greater motivation. When I feel that my horses are improving, and we deliver good rounds, that keeps me going.”

 

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