A Certain Kind of Magic for Swedish Judge

A Certain Kind of Magic for Swedish Judge
Photo by Eye Witness Images

A Certain Kind of Magic for Swedish Judge

There’s a certain “feeling” at the Kihikihi International Horse Trial that has captivated Swedish international judge Christina Klingspor.
“It is one of the highlights of my career to come here,” she said. “It is not always the big championships and four stars . . . they are highlights, but it is a highlight too, to find a competition that goes to your heart. I didn’t think I would be so excited and delighted here.”
Klingspor was at the event as president of the Prestige Equestrian CIC2* ground jury. A former eventer and showjumper, she officiates at many events – from small 1* competitions in Poland and Europe, through to the 4* Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, and others in Australia, India, Brazil and Argentina.
But this was her first visit to New Zealand.
“In total, this is a fantastic set-up,” says Klingspor. “The whole venue, the landscape and colours make it very beautiful.”
She was very pleased to see riders throughout the grades enjoying the same attention to detail.
“Sometimes you have the star classes and then the smaller classes, but they are not the same. Here, the fences, decoration and everything is the same. It is very nice to see. I understand why the riders want to come here. Even if they are riding in the low classes, they are treated like they are in the star class.”
New Zealand’s thoroughbreds were also impressive, and Klingspor had seen many good riders at the event.
“Usually they don’t have the good paces, and can be downhill and flat, but there are very nice thoroughbreds here.”
She cautioned riders who were going up the grades too quickly and forgetting that all-important base work.
The volunteers also caught her eye.
“Everyone here is doing their best – there is no yelling and screaming . . . it is nice! Volunteers are important to the sport all over the world. I am an organiser of events in Sweden too, so appreciate that. The volunteers are the ones who are here before the light is up and go when the light goes down – it is important to really appreciate them as without them we cannot do much.”
But the real strength of the event was the cross country.
“The way John (Nicholson) has designed the course is big and fair but not dangerous. He is very concerned that everything is tip top. It is very sad that not more people have the fortune to ride his courses actually.”
Klingspor says she would love to return to Kihikihi for another event in the future.


Date Added: Friday, 17th April 2015