Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at both shows and at home? Our interview series is all about catching up with various individuals in this exciting sport and getting the low down on their lives. The ups, the downs, and everything in between!
This week we are extremely fortunate to be able to share an interview we conducted with Swedish international showjumper, Jonna Ekberg, for our "10 Questions" interview series!
Tell us about your earliest memories of the sport...
The first time I sat on a pony I was three years old, but I started riding properly at a riding school in my home town Linköping when I was 6 years old. At that age, I also started riding a pony called Barbie that a friend of mine owned. I remember riding her in the forest with some of my other friends and we were cantering on a path where the branches of the trees were very low so we had to duck to get under them. I thought there were no branches left so I sat up straight in the saddle and hit my head in a branch and fell off and was unconscious for a while. Maybe not the best memory but it’s quite funny now!
What do you love most about your job?
I just love working with horses and the connection you can get with them as a rider. It’s incredible what they do for us. The best feeling in the world for me is when I feel the horse I’m riding trusts me 100% and would do anything for me.
How do you handle the pressure associated with the sport?
I try to just focus on the job and always do my best. If I get nervous at a show I think of the reasons why I get nervous and just deal with it from there. For me it’s also important to surround myself with people I trust.
What do you do to unwind or relax?
I like to spend time at home with my boyfriend, cook a nice dinner and have a glass of wine.
Who do you currently admire in the sport?
I admire riders like Jeroen Dubbeldam, Beezie Madden and Steve Guerdat, not only because they’re incredible riders but they keep producing horses to the highest level of the sport and they’ve done so consistently for many years.
Who has been an inspiration to you?
Daniel Deusser has been a great inspiration to me the last few years. It’s been a great experience to have seen him ride on a daily basis and to be able to ask for advice. The riders on the Swedish team such as Malin Baryard, Peder Fredricsson and Rolf Göran Bengtsson has always been a big inspiration to me as well. They are all fantastic and successful riders and great, humble people.
Do you believe attitude is a key factor/motivation for longevity in the sport?
Yes I definitely believe so. I find it’s not always that easy to have the right attitude in our sport. You need to be confident enough and believe in yourself to succeed but at the same time you need to stay down to earth and work hard. I think it’s all about finding the right balance.
What has the sport taught you about life?
I find our sport has taught me to be very humble and work hard. Riders are never better than their best horse. We actually have more lows than highs but I find that makes us appreciate the success even more when it comes.
If you could ride any horse in the world, who would it be?
H&M All In
And, finally, if you could pick another sport, what would it be?
I would love to be a Formula 1 driver but I don’t think I would be brave enough!
Thank you, Jonna, for taking the time to speak to us!
Keep an eye on our website and social media pages for several more interviews which will be published in the next few days!
Anyone interested in featuring in our interview series, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org