April 22, 2022
On April 3rd the final riders finished their rounds at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. The past three months were filled with many sporting highs for Emilie and Zoe Conter, as well as Petronella Andersson. Many wins, personal bests, and rankings richer – one could say that these three months was time well spent.
Moreover, Zoe had a quick stop in Miami Beach, at the Longines Global Champions Tour before heading home.
We caught the riders for a quick chat about their time at WEF, the development of their horses and their goals for the upcoming season.
What did your week generally look like at WEF?
Emily: Mondays was off for everyone, both for the horses and for us. Tuesdays were the busiest, as we had to jump the horses in the morning before heading to the FEI for the Vet check at 10am. On Wednesdays the show would start, which then ran until Sunday. The classes usually took place in the mornings or early afternoon, which left some time to do other things. For example Zoe and I went to the gym a couple of times a week.
Zoe: As Emily said, generally weeks were super busy. Mondays off, Tuesday check in, and on Wednesdays the show would start. We wouldn’t show too many horses per day, max three, but the weeks are very busy and exhausting. In the best way possible! *laughs*
Petronella: Generally the weeks are very spread out, other than Mondays and Tuesdays. Throughout the week the classes are spread out, showing one or two horses per day. So theoretically the weeks sound relaxed, but in practice they are quite busy.
Which of your horses did you see the most improvement in?
E: For sure Balento C.S, my favourite. He improved a lot throughout these months. Also my new one, Highway, performed better and better with each course we did.
Z: I would say Natan`t van de Laarhof. He is 9 year old. At the end of last year we had only done 1* and 2* Grand Prix’s, and at WEF this year he jumped his first 4* GP under the lights which was, and still is, very impressive.
P: I was very lucky with them all improving a great deal. But Halita O stepped up to another level.
Which horse was the MVP of your team?
E: Balento, he is just great! He jumped the biggest classes with me and he is the one who makes everyone really happy.
Z: Probably Davidoff De Lassus (Dave). I counted and we jumped five Grand Prix’s, and we placed in four of them. He performed exceptionally!
P: I would say all of them. It was real team work between all of the horses. But of course I have to give a special mention to Halita O and Castres van de Begijnakker Z who performed exceptionally well in the Grand Prix’s.
What are your main goals for the upcoming season:
E: I would like to partake in a few 5* shows, not too many but just to get a couple more in the bag. Also to work with the younger ones to improve their performance.
Z: As the season went well in WEF, and now that I am in the Global Champions Tour Team, I have a few exciting shows comping up. I haven’t planned all exact shows, but since Dave has been so good and he is always so thrilled to jump in the big grass fields I am hoping to jump in some of the Nations Cup teams in the bigger shows.
P: To keep performing in a consistent manner and show clear rounds especially at the biggest shows, such as Knokke Hippique and the Brussels Stephex Masters. I also am looking forward to the Nations Cup’s, and to perform to the best of my ability with the Swedish team.
Describe the past three months at WEF in three words.
E: Amazing, fun, dreamy.
Z: Successful, exhausting, and inspirational
P: Sunny, fun and team-spirit.
Extra questions for Zoe:
What was your experience like at the Miami Beach in the Global Champions Tour?
Z: For my first GCT, this was a very cool experience. I was in a great team together with Nina Mallevafy and we had loads of fun. And being on the podium was the cherry on top, especially for jumping amongst such strong teams. Now I am really excited for Mexico, as I have only heard good things about the venue.
How did it feel like jumping with a team (compared to a Nations Cup team)?
Z: Well in both you have a similar pressure of performing well for the team, but here the pressure is a bit more on us as there is only the two of us. With one silly mistake you can lose your whole rankings, as there are 16 teams (who as I said, are extremely strong). So to reach a podium, you have to almost perform perfectly.
What a winter season! We can’t wait to see the performance of these wonderful teams throughout the summer shows back in Europe.