HSJ’s interview with Johanna Beckmann

Johanna Beckmann jumping

Road to the Europens 2023

In our next episode of on the “Road to the Europens 2023” we met with  Johanna Beckmann, talented German young rider that has recently competed at a high note also at some 5* events. Not only is she focusing on her young rider career, but she is also part of the GCL as a U25 rider for the Istanbul Warriors. In her recent years Johanna has produced some notable results, including the win in her very first Young Rider GP in Fontainebleu in 2022, team silver at the 2022 European Chamionships YR.

“Johanna tell us a little bit about yourself and your horses”

Hi, my name is Johanna Beckmann. I’m 19 years old. I’m from Germany and I’m selected for the Europeans with Cheenook and Emily van de Mirania stam. Last year I took Emily for the Europeans and it was amazing and so much fun. This year I’m gonna take Cheenook. He is 13 years old and by my side for 6 years now.

“What horse are you most grateful for in your career?”

I definitely had special horses in my career but it’s hard to say that one was the most special one since I’m very lucky that I had and still have amazing horses. But I would say that my two pony Stallions had the biggest impact and played the main role in my pony career. And Cheenook definitely brought me into the biggest sport with the horses and he still is very very special to me and I would even say a once-in-a-lifetime horse. Also Emily helped me to do a big step in the sport and helped me getting into big shows and ride the first time very high classes. So those two horses definitely played a big, big role. Yeah, but still I would say that I had many amazing horses that are definitely still in my heart and I’m very very grateful for all of them.

“How does it feel to have been selected for the Europeans? Does your previous experience and success give you confidence or do you feel more pressure?”

Even though I’ve been selected for the Europeans a couple of times over the years now, it definitely doesn’t make me feel less proud or happy or thankful. It even pushes me and motivates me to get better over the years and improve my skills to get better placements every year. So I definitely don’t get rid of it and it pushes me and motivates me a lot.

“How have you been getting ready for the European Championships throughout the season?”

Since I knew that I had the privilege that both horses could possibly go to the Europeans, I tried to do an individual plan. For example, Emily, she’s very motivated and full of energy, so she’s getting better if she jumps more. And Cheenook, for example, he’s very calm, and it’s enough when he jumps time by time. So I tried to do an individual plan for each horse, but for sure tried to challenge me and my horse to get better and that we don’t have any surprise at the Europeans. So we really tried to challenge us and do an individual plan for each of us.

“Is your championship horse going through a specific program?”

I wouldn’t say that Cheenook went through a specific program, but for sure we tried to intensify the training a little bit so that his condition is on a good level and the week is not getting too long with the warm weather. And then the physiotherapist came to make sure that he feels well, then we double checked with the vet and yeah we just tried to make him feel well and being on a good conditional level so that he’s best prepared for the week. At least we hope it.

“What are your hopes for the European Championships both as an individual and team?”

When we leave for a championship, especially for the Europeans, there are definitely high hopes that we can show what we trained, what our skills are, and that we can show what we can reach as a team, but also as an individual pair. But still I want to stay realistic, and that’s what the last years and last championship taught me. Is that there are always things going wrong or that there’s always the possibility that things happening unexpected. But still fingers crossed that our plans work out, that the luck is by our side and that we can come home with a good placement

How does your general program at home work?

Yeah, first of all, I need to say that we have a beautiful stable at home where I think the horses feel pretty well. We have very good training conditions and an amazing team at home. And they helped me a lot, especially back then when I went to school, which I just finished a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, they really tried to support me in each and every situation. Doesn’t matter if I’m at home or on the show. That is very, very cool and I’m very thankful for them

“Who is your trainer and what role does he play in your career?”

I have a trainer. His name is Ben Schultz-Toppoff. I trained with him already a couple of years and yeah he’s always by my side and comes to our stable and trains with me before the show or with the young horses in between as well. And then I go to the show where he actually always comes as well and helps me, supports me there. And yeah, then there’s my mom. She helps me quite a lot. She drives the truck to the show and is always there and tries to manage everything. So yes, we have a very cool, cool team., I can’t complain, not at all.

Listen to the interview also on our Spotify Podcast Kiss and Cry – Road to the Europeans 🔥

Photo credits Ahmed al Maawali photography (c)

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