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Sweden’s Chef d’Equipe Henrik Ankarcrona: "There is still a lot to do!"

Thursday, 24 August 2017
European Championships 2017

 Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson. Henrik Ankarcrona. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Did you ever wonder what a championship-day in the life of a Chef d’Equipe looks like? We did, and find out as Team Sweden’s Chef d’Equipe Henrik Ankarcrona takes us with behind the scenes at the European Championships in this guest blog.  

“I started the day with some running at the gym, and then I had breakfast with the leaders from our Swedish Federation. We went through the day, and discussed the schedules. As I made my way up to the arena, it kind of hit me – I felt nervous. Yesterday I felt very calm, and this was honestly the first time in a really long time that all the tension really got to me. Luckily there was some time to kill, so I walked around and checked in on the grooms to make sure everyone was ok and that the horses were feeling fit. When the course opened and I walked into the arena for the course walk, the tension was gone and I felt like I knew what to do again – I felt at home. 

As soon as the competition started, I was very busy running around. I of course try to be there for the team, but we also need to make sure to cater to the needs of the media, so I had some juggling to do – I can’t count the number of interviews I had to do today! The arena here at Ullevi is huge, so also the steps I did today are countless… When it comes to supporting my team, I try to be there for everyone. What that means to each individual is different, and it is something we have worked a lot on during the summer – we have tried to find a way for all of us to work together, but in a way where everyone feels comfortable and can still stick to their own thing. I am lucky to have such professionals on the team, they all know what to do – but surely it never hurts to discuss things. 

I think it was a good thing for the team to start a bit later today, so they all had time to watch a few others go. Obviously, I could not be happier with their performance today – they all did fantastic. During this championship, we have tried to focus on each single day at the time and so far, it seems to have worked well. The most important thing right now is that all the horses seem fit and they are all jumping very well. We have tried to spend some time together as a group, so I think we will head out for dinner tonight, too. Relaxing for a few hours now is much needed, but then we need to focus again. I am sure that the competition is not getting any easier from here on – and the other teams are for sure not going to give up – so there is still a lot to do! 


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