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Looking back at 2020 – with Malin Henlöv: "When the shows started up again it didn’t feel as fun anymore"

Wednesday, 23 December 2020
Interview

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping Malin Henlöv at the beginning of this year, when the show schedule was as normal. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

 

Text © World of Showjumping


 

Over the next week, WoSJ asks chef d’equipes, grooms, riders and show organisers to look back at 2020 – a year out of the ordinary for absolutely everyone. Next out is Malin Henlöv, who during the year moved to a new country and changed her team when she went from being Peder Fredricson’s long-time show groom to start as Evelina Tovek’s home groom.

“I must say it has been a very strange year. We started 2020 in full power with the focus on the Olympic Games. We began in Oliva Nova with the Spring MET and then went on to Doha but after that everything stopped with the Covid-19 pandemic,” Malin tells.  

In one way, it was good to be forced to be at home and relax a bit. Then I also realized that I wanted to be home more and that I didn’t want to continue to go to shows week in and week out. 

"When the shows started up again it didn’t feel as fun anymore. I had already been thinking about this, but without the forced break it would probably have taken longer to make the decision,” Malin details.

“When I finally made the decision to be a home groom, I wanted to work in a smaller team,” Malin continues. “Grevlunda has a big team, and even if you are at home it is a big stable with a lot of horses and a lot to do. The move also had to do with my social life – when I was at the shows all the time, I had my social life at the shows. At home, that’s where your social life is, and my friends mostly live in Belgium and Holland. Living and working abroad is also something I always wanted and now was the perfect time to make the change.”

“However, after ten years at Grevlunda working for Peder it is obvious that there are things I miss – and of course also the horses."

But this was the right time for me to make the change, and I really enjoy my new job as well as easier days.

"It is great to be able to work in a super professional smaller team. Since I met Evelina and her trainer Henrik von Eckermann a lot at shows, I thought it could be a team that would suit me, so I was very happy when this opportunity came. Evelina and Henrik have the same thoughts about training, routines and goals as Peder, so it is really not that much difference,” Malin continues.

“Henrik and his fiancée Janika Sprunger are currently building a brand new yard in Holland, and Evelina and her team will move there with them in March so I really look forward to that,” Malin tells about 2021. “I like it here in Germany; however, it will be great to make the move – to get even closer to my social life. The new stable seems to become very nice.”

“I don’t think I’m the only one that started to think about their work situation when Covid-19 forced us to take a break,” Malin says. “The last years have been crazy with so many shows and all the flights around the world."

I think we all would benefit if the new normal isn’t as hectic as the past. It is tiring to be on a constant go and from Sweden we always have the long drives that really pushes you.

"Even the last year, when we were two show grooms for Peder it was more than enough to do. I don’t regret it at all, because I had some fantastic years, but I don’t miss it.”

“It is a big change though to go from being a show groom – hardly seeing your own bed, to become a home groom with free evenings,” Malin laughs. “I still haven’t calmed down totally and I have an inner stress that I have to do something all the time. It will probably still take some time to settle down, but it is really nice to get some routines – to cook, to exercise and meet friends. Just normal everyday things that I haven’t done for years, since I always been on the road.”

 

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