World of Showjumping
World of ShowjumpingWorld of Showjumping

Erica Swartz from Valencia: “It feels so good to finally see the horses recovering”

Wednesday, 17 March 2021
EHV-1 (neurological form)

Photo © private collection. Erica Swartz with Madonna. Photo © private collection.


Text © World of Showjumping



When World of Showjumping for the first time got Erica Swartz on the phone from Valencia, it was the 2nd of March and the Swedish rider found herself in the middle of the EHV-1 outbreak. Distressed and exhausted, Swartz talked about the disaster that was unfolding. Today, it was a relieved Swartz on the phone – after three weeks filled with agony, things are finally taking a turn for the better. “The situation here has improved; it feels so good to finally see the horses recovering – they are getting more and more fresh and happy,” Erica tells. “At the moment we don’t have any horses on medication, everyone is recovering well. Even if it is still a long way to go, this is something that we are really happy about.”

Photo © private collection. Jovita and Charlotte before they left Valencia. Photo © private collection.

On Tuesday morning, Swartz’s top horse Jovita was able to leave Valencia to begin her journey back home together with some of the other horses from Sweden that all have been in the “green zone” – which housed horses that never were sick. “Jovita is on her way home together with one of Thomas Ryan’s horses,” Erica tells. “I will still stay here in Valencia, so my show groom Charlotte went with Jovita. They will do two stops on their way home. We normally always do three stops, but as we depend on special stop-over stables there will be one less this time. Once the horses are home, they will go to my mother’s yard for quarantine – there are no other horses there.”

Swartz stays in Valencia with her other four horses. “I hope they will be able to go home within two weeks, even though it is a bit unclear for the moment,” Erica says. 

Reflecting on the last three weeks, Erica says: “I wish that someone with expertise and knowledge on biosecurity would have been sent onsite on Monday the 22nd of February. And I wish there would have been a protocol to follow. In our case, no one knew what to do: There was no protocol to follow and it took a very long time before we could separate the horses. We would have needed someone to take control from the very first day.”


*According to the FEI, a total of 84 horses have left the venue in Valencia and a further 22 are scheduled to leave on 18 March. This will leave a total of 35 horses onsite, with four still in the Valencia veterinary hospital, and seven at a nearby private stable.


No reproduction without written permission, copyright © World of Showjumping

This photo has been added to your cart !

Your shopping cart »
This website is using cookies for statistics, site optimization and retargeting purposes. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website. Read more here.