Sun, sea and shorts at Malmö

   Geoff catches up with some short shorts girls

Geoff and Jill Sinclair are ‘jet-setting’ around the world and helping out at various international events as they go. They were at the London Olympics, Malmö World Cup and are now in Scotland for the Blair Castle Horse Trials. Jill sent us this update from Malmö.

Walking around the streets of Malmö I kept playing dodgem cars with cyclists who muttered strange Swedish sounds under their breath. I then discovered that the cyclists have the right to the bitumen, and dirt and stone pathways are for pedestrians. Blonde hair and suntanned bodies are the flavour of the month and there seems to be a competition between teenage girls on who can wear the skimpiest denim shorts.

   Cross-country jump with sea in the background

I was delighted to hear the comforting sound of seagulls. Yes Malmö is right on the beach, and this city is the third largest in Sweden, and usually attracts 40,000 spectators to their famous FEI 3DE. This year teams of young riders had travelled from many countries to compete in the Young Rider European Championships which was a strong 2* event. Three-star competitors had travelled from the Olympics to enjoy the FEI World Cup at Malmö, so spectators had the opportunity to watch top combinations in action.

   Now that's what I call a well-dressed cross-country marshall

Clayton Fredricks (AUS) held the lead during the dressage phase on Bendigo with his other rides Brookleigh (owned by Nicky Brooks W.A) and lovely chestnut Walterstown Don, both in the placings. Then Ingrid Klimke (GER) threw down the gauntlet and rode a lovely test on her elegant black gelding Tobasco 70 to spring to the lead. Ingrid maintained this lead throughout the competition, making the cross country look easy, and her showjumping round only added four to her dressage total. This combination will be an exciting pair in four years for the next Olympics in Brazil.

   Watching cross country and soaking up the sun

Rudiger Schwartz (GER) is a very talented course designer who created two challenging courses with a nautical theme. Young riders discovered that it is impulsion not speed that you need to negotiate a brush fence followed by a four-stride B narrow element which has a downhill approach and a slightly offset line. A similar question was posed to the three-star riders later in their course, and again too much speed caused insufficient time for horses to be set up properly, and without seeing the question horses glanced off the narrow C element causing 20 costly penalties.

   The nautical theme continues

Apparently Malmö only has about 10 fine days per year and it appears we were lucky to get quite a few of them. The sun shone, people swam, yachties had a ball, and our green turf became somewhat dry. A great deal of ground preparation had been done in preparation for rain, then lines were cut into the ground to soften the soil. However the sea breeze served to dry up the moisture on the track. Clayton Fredericks told me that Bendigo had lost two shoes and taken some hoof off during the cross country. He was tossing up whether or not the horse would be okay for showjumping the following day.

   The Malmö crowds stand for the national anthem

Germany dominated both competitions, winning the Young Rider Championships, the Individual YR Championships, and the 3* FEI World Cup. It was pleasing to see Clayton Fredericks (AUS) place 5th and 6th in the 3*, he loves his horses and is a true professional. I asked him who had been his biggest influence in dressage and he put down his recent improvement to Brett Parberry - who has been the dressage coach for the eventers in their lead up to London Olympics.

   The city in the background

Gill Rolton was the chairperson for the 3*, Geoff was the assistant TD for the Young Rider Championships and I was on the appeals committee. We were all treated in a very friendly and inclusive way by the Malmö Organising Committee and really enjoyed our involvement. We will fondly remember this fit community who walk and cycle everywhere. I am sure we will all be keen to help at Malmö in the future and next time I'll remember to pack bathers so I can enjoy the Swedish seaside.

   Carriage driving at Malmö


What a wonderful article, I am glad my husband was not there to see the lovely girls.