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Henrik Ankarcrona: "All crises have the chance of a positive outcome”

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Henrik Ankarcrona. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.
Henrik Ankarcrona. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



With the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak halting all international competitions for the next weeks, World of Showjumping called up Sweden's chef d'equipe Henrik Ankarcrona to ask how this affects his work in an Olympic year where many important decisions are waiting ahead of him. 

"For the moment it kind of is what it is,” Ankarcrona says calmly. "We see show after show cancelling. Therefore, we cannot think far ahead and personally I think the best thing we can do now is just to be patient. I believe that in three to four weeks time we can truly see what direction the situation is really developing in and then we can go from there. I have been in contact with my riders, and they are all training at home trying their best to be ready for the shows when it all starts again. It is hard to know when that will be, though." 

With Nations Cup shows being important for all the chef d'equipes, some cancellations mean more than others. Earlier this week, CSIO5* La Baule announced that their traditional event – also the first 2020 leg in the Longines FEI Nations Cup Europe Division 1 – will be taken off the calendar. "For Sweden, our first Nations Cup is St. Gallen’” Ankarcrona explains. "By then, we are already in the middle of May so I hope we can still go there as planned and that the outbreak won't affect this. We are just going to have to wait and see, keep training at home and make the best out of it." 

Yesterday, the International Olympic Committee announced that they are committed to stage the Olympic Games in Tokyo as planned. “We are happy about that, but in the end it is out of our hands’,” Ankarcrona says. "However, I am not so worried. I think that if we can get going with the shows again in May or even by the end of May, there would still be time enough to prepare for a championship. I am sure that the best riders in the world know how to get ready for this, and how to keep their horses fit even in the unexpected situation we are currently in. Personally, I hope that Tokyo will take place as planned and I think the Games can still be great.”

“For now, we just have to follow the authorities' recommendations. Of course all the riders would want to go to the shows as usual, but everyone understands the seriousness of the situation. It is about making a living, so it is hard on everyone – not only us in the equestrian industry. If you look at the communities in general, there are far bigger problems than us not getting to compete." 

"Nevertheless, I believe that all crises have the chance of a positive outcome,” Ankarcrona continues. "Thinking positive is the only way forward, there are no other options and I believe that together we can get through this. And most importantly, our horses will for sure not suffer from this. Instead, we will see fresh horses, they will get a nice break and be ready for Tokyo later this year." 

No reproduction without permission, copyright © World of Showjumping


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