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Victoria Gulliksen: “The bigger our challenge, the bigger the opportunity"

Tuesday, 04 April 2023
Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2023

Photo © private collection Victoria Gulliksen and Papa Roach getting ready for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2023 in Omaha. Photos © private collection.

Hi everyone,

I was super excited after Gothenburg when it was clear that I was qualified for my first ever World Cup Final, but then the big fear hit me: The final being in Omaha meant that I had to put Papa Roach back on the plane. After his accident, I had promised myself and him that I would never do that again. However, I believe that everything happens for a reason, and to qualify for this final is really difficult. So, I convinced myself to go for it! I did cry when Papi walked into the container at the airport in Liege, but I was very lucky to be able to fly with him. I wanted to be there myself so I would be the only one to blame if anything went wrong. 

We landed in Omaha safe and sound on Friday morning, and it felt like it was going to be a long 48 hours of quarantine. I could see Papi loading more and more energy, and as we could only hand walk them during quarantine, I tried to walk as fast as possible to get a little bit of that energy out of my racehorse. He felt like a racehorse, ready to jump out of a starting box! 

On Sunday morning, we got released from quarantine and I could flat work him in the warm-up arena. For one hour I had to just hold on tight... He was super fresh! Let’s hope he calms down. In the afternoon I went back out to ride him again, and he had settled down a bit. But I know tomorrow the battery is fully charged to 100% and he will be running around with me again. 

On Monday we got to go into the main arena to ride and Papi felt very good. On the way back to the stable he showed me that he knows it’s starting soon: We cantered sideways and he jumped over the rubber mats – I looked like a real beginner at my first show with a four year old. 

At Monday’s vet-check, Papi was accepted fit to compete with perfect behaviour as well; I am very proud of him. So now the nerves can come for me – I get jelly legs again. Please help me Papi, I trust you, you got me here – now let’s get going! This is our first World Cup Final, so we are just going to enjoy it and hope for the best. For me it’s just unreal that Papa Roach has managed to get me here; it’s a dream come true.

Victoria and Papi

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