Fredrik Jönsson, an all-round Swedish rider
Today, Fredrik Jönsson talks to us about his set-up at Flyinge, the Swedish National Stud.
Tell us about how your stable here in Flyinge is organized…
There are three of us who manage the stable -my father, my wife Piia and me. We have two employees working for us. I mustn’t forget to include my mother because, even if she’s not actively involved in the stable, she takes care of our two children which is really fantastic. My parents live right next door to the stable, which is also very convenient. We built the stables then about ten years ago, the outdoor square.
Before that we used the facilities of the national stud farm which is right opposite us. But it's nice to have our own paddock. We always use one of the arenas of the national stud farm, because there are five to choose from! I think we’ve built in the perfect spot. We have our own stables with 12 stalls, and a few parks with shelters for the young horses. We take them at 2 and a half, and let them jump free, just to see what they're worth. They come back as three year olds and we make our selection. They start working at 4. The rest of the time, they’re at a farm 20 minutes away with large parks, because there’s not enough room here. It’s an estate that belongs to the Ingvarsson family with whom we have a long-term partnership. They own half of each of our horses and are the owners of Cold Play. Some time ago, we had a lot more boxes, and upwards of 29 horses. But it's difficult to take the best possible care of 29 horses. You need to have enough good riders. So, we decided to reduce the number. We have fewer horses, but of a higher quality. It’s a good thing because it gives us time for the horses in which we have placed a lot of hope. If you’re forever on the run, you might just miss the right horse.
Do you train students?
Yes, I have some, but not many because I don't have enough time to do it properly. I leave this side of things to my wife, she’s much better than I am, especially when it comes to organizing things. But it's nice to have students, because when you teach them, you learn a lot too.
Do you have a coach yourself?
I don’t have anyone who trains me regularly. Of course, my father and wife help me a lot. They’re almost always there. Henrik von Eckermann has always been a great help to me before the big events. It is important to share with others, this way you can make improvements, or simply refresh and challenge your knowledge.
Who are your role models?
There are plenty of fantastic riders. I have a lot of respect and admiration for Peder, who comes from the same region as me and followed the same path.
You only have one star like Cold Play, so you don't ride 5* as regularly as other riders. Given these conditions, do you find it more difficult to compete in championships?
I have to keep Cold Play as fresh as possible, especially with the Olympic Games in my sights, so I don't ride a 5* every weekend. It would certainly be ideal to have another horse for this level, but having one is good enough. I have two good 8-year-olds, who are a little young to compete at the highest level, but I'm counting on them. Wanting to build my horses up, that’s all part of my mindset.
Can we talk about those two 8-year-olds…?
There’s Ice (above picture), an 8-year-old Swedish by Odermus, and Ustica, a Finnish mare by Ustinov. They feel good, but they're only 8 years old, we have to be patient. I have also just welcomed Quidam's Super Nova to my team, she’s an 11-year-old Swedish stallion by Quidam de Revel.