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Norwegian Show Jumper
Cecilie Høgsaas Eide
Cecilie Høgsaas Eide
Date of birth:
Number of horses in the stable:
Four at home that Cecilie rides, and then between five to eight youngsters at home or abroad.
Geir Gulliksen, Norway
Which are your current top horses, and could you tell us about them?
“Caballero is my best horse at the moment. He’s 15 now and getting quite a grown up man, and I’ve had him since he was seven. On Caballero I’ve jumped international Grand Prix’s. He’s a sensitive horse, but at the same time strong – even though he actually looks a bit slow. Otherwise he’s like a dog; if I let him loose in the indoor arena he follows me around like a pet – he’s really fun to play with. Until he forgets that I’m not a horse and bangs his head up in mine or something,” Cecilie laughs.
“I also have a nice 10 year old called Diamond by Darco that has jumped 1.50 internationally, as well as a good eight year old called Quality Girl and a seven year old named Billy Manhattan. The latter is the next super star I think.”
“As I get younger horses to produce and sell, there are not too many of the ones I currently have that will stay on – apart from Caballero of course. This is a business for me, so when some horses are sold new ones come in. But to get to ride the bigger shows and campaign the younger horses, it’s important to have one good horse that can jump the bigger classes,” Cecilie explains.
Which horse is your favorite through the times?
“That’s Caballero. And I have to mention Upstaire that I had when he was a youngster [now ridden by Tony Andre Hansen]. They have been my two favorites to ride! And my pony Silver Finn who I had for six or seven years; he took me to the European Championship for ponies,” Cecilie says.
And if you could choose one other showjumper to ride, which one would it be?
“Oh, that’s a hard question. Well, it would have to be Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum’s Bella Donna. I think she would fit my riding, and I like the horses big but still with a little blood.”
When and how did you start to ride?
“I started to ride at a local stable when I was about seven or eight. My first lesson was together with my sister Lin [founder of Kingsland]; we were both lunged on a horse and fell off. So we both quit, but it didn’t last for long,” Cecilie smiles. “When I was ten I got my first pony which I shared with my sister and after a while my own. One pony became two – Silver Finn and Combe Blackthorne – and as a pony rider I rode the European Championship for ponies as well as the Nordic Championship. I also rode the Europeans as a junior with my horse Hativka.”
When did you decide to become a professional rider?
“Believe it or not but that was actually when I became pregnant with my first child,” Cecilie says. “I had worked as a teacher for a few years, and my husband and I decided that I could ride full time if I also was in charge at home. Having children was easier to combine with riding full time than with the job I had back then. Also my husband thinks it’s challenging to buy and sell horses, so he likes that part of it,” Cecilie lets us know.
How do you keep your self motivated when many of your best and most promising horses are sold?
“That’s most of my motivation actually; I like the daily training and seeing the horses get better. Doing a good job so that the horses actually are sold motivates me.”
What is the best thing with being a full time rider?
“The excitement and never ending changes; no day is the same! But at the same time; there are a couple of disappointments to be handled and some times you have to start all over.”
What is important to succeed in showjumping?
“Hard work! Like British rider John Whitaker said: ‘The harder the work the luckier you become’. I really believe in that. People who think that hard work is not required to reach the top are so wrong.”
What have been your career highlights so far?
“Riding youngsters up through to bigger classes; I like producing the younger horses and seeing the results of that work. Of course it was great winning the Norwegian Indoor Championships last autumn  on Caballero, it had been a long time since I had won anything big.”
And on the other hand; what has been the most embarrassing moment in your career?
“I don’t know if I could pick out one moment, but there is one thing I used to do that embarrasses me a little,” Cecilie smiles. “When I was a pony rider we sometimes went abroad to compete, and unlike in Norway you were disqualified if you fell off – in Norway you got penalties for a fall but could still continue the course. So, whenever I fell off abroad I used to tell my trainer that the ponies knew they were out of Norway and that they pulled down their head on purpose to get me off! I don’t think my trainer bough in on that, but I was quite convinced!”
Do you have a lucky item you wear when you compete?
“No, I don’t – but my groom Truls has a few things he swears by. Like if things go well on the first day of a show he will keep wearing the saddle pad from the first day throughout the show – even if we have ten clean ones. At Kingsland Oslo Horse Show things weren’t going so well for me and Truls kept making me change my riding jacket to make the luck turn – it didn’t really help,” Cecilie laughs.
What’s your favorite Kingsland product, and why?
“I think I have all the Kingsland products, so that’s kind of hard to answer as I find new favorites all the time! But right now I live in a very light Kingsland down jacket!”
Do the Kingsland products help you perform better?
“The products are extremely comfortable – both for humans and horses, which is very important when wanting to perform well. Also, I’m of the opinion that it’s important to feel good and I like a classic yet sporty look – which is exactly what Kingsland gives you. And the products are practical, which is essential,” Cecilie says.
The last question; what are your goals for the 2012 season?
“Find some new good young horses to produce, and keep Caballero on all four legs!”
Interview made by:
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