Petronella Andersson: A Passionate Equestrian on the Rise

Petronella Andersson in sella a Odina Van Klapscheut

Piazza di Siena 2024: HSJ’s interview with Petronella Andersson

In the picturesque setting of Piazza di Siena 2024, we had the privilege of sitting down with Petronella Andersson, a talented show jumper who has carved out an impressive career in the world of equestrian sports. Growing up in a horse-loving family, Petronella’s journey shows to dedication, passion, and relentless pursuit of excellence.

Early Beginnings and Family Influence

Petronella’s love for horses started at a very young age, influenced by her mother, a passionate hobby rider. “My mother was always a hobby rider. That’s how I got into horses. As long as I can remember, I had horses in my life. I think I started riding while sitting on a horse when I was three,” she recalls. Her early years were filled with daily interactions with horses, transforming a simple hobby into a lifelong passion and lifestyle. “It’s incredible to be working with these animals every day. What we ask from them and what they give back is something very precious.”

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CSIO Rolex Roma 2024 – Roma, Piazza di Siena – ph.Stefano Secchi/ Imagess – Petronella Andersson riding Odina Van Klapscheut

Competitive Spirit and Early Success

Petronella’s competitive nature, nurtured within her family, propelled her into the world of competitive riding from a young age. “My whole family is quite competitive, but in different sports. We did the juniors, young riders, and when I was nineteen, I left Sweden to take my first job in Holland. Now I’m thirty-three, and this year marks ten years at Stal Hendrix,” she says, reflecting on her journey.

Competing in her first championships at the age of ten, Petronella acknowledges the importance of early experiences but emphasizes that riding is a lifelong development. “I think riding is something you develop through your life. Championships when you’re young are great if you have the opportunity, but it’s not something you have to push for. This sport is all about experience and learning.

Achievements and Aspirations

Representing Sweden at the European Pony Championship and winning medals as a junior were significant milestones in Petronella’s career. “I was very fortunate that my parents could support me. I had very nice ponies and horses, good trainers, and coaching. These experiences definitely contribute to your growth, but the journey is continuous,” she explains.

Now a key member of Stephex Stables, Petronella describes the impact of training in such a prestigious environment. “Coming to Stephex is a big dream for many riders. It’s a strong team with very good riders and great support from Stephan. We push each other to get better every day.”

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CSIO Rolex Roma 2024 – Roma, Piazza di Siena – ph.Stefano Secchi/ Imagess – Petronella Andersson riding Odina Van Klapscheut

He continued: “The best thing we can do for Stephan is to try and get results on the track. But we are all very competitive and we are already putting on a show this weekend. We won the Nations Cup with two riders from Team Stephex, Kendra Brinkop and Daniel Deusser. Zoe Conter is also doing very well, so we are still in time to do great things here in Piazza di Siena,’ she told us, discovering that she would be the one to add further glory to the team by finishing on the podium of the most important competition at the Roman event, the Rolex Grand Prix.

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CSIO Rolex Roma 2024 – Roma, Piazza di Siena – ph.Stefano Secchi/ Imagess

Daily Routine and Bond with Horses

Petronella’s daily routine is rigorous, yet filled with passion. “Since we’re often at shows on weekends, my routine from Monday to Wednesday is mainly at home at Stephex Stables. I start my day around eight-thirty, riding four or five horses before lunch and two more after. I ride about six/seven horses a day,” she details. Her dedication to training young horses and building them up to the highest level is evident in her commitment.

Throughout her career, Petronella has been blessed to ride exceptional horses, each of which has made an unforgettable impression on her heart. “The horses I’ve ridden throughout my career and those I still ride are all special to me,” she said, referring to Odina Van Klapscheut, Opaline De W&S and Castres Van De Begijnakker Z, horses that have played an essential role in her professional growth. “They have all been crucial to my career,” she explained, stressing the importance of having quality competition partners.

Another horse that had a significant impact on her life was Nosco de Blondel. “He was a horse I had at the Stal Hendrix when I worked there,” she recalls. With Nosco, Petronella experienced unforgettable moments, including winning an individual silver medal at the Young Riders Championships. “He was very competitive and it was a fun horse to have in my string“.

Each horse holds a special place in Petronella’s heart. “I think each one has something unique that makes them special,” she said. “They will always have a place in my heart,” she added, reflecting on the importance of the emotional bond between rider and horse.

Petronella Andersson SWE Odina Van Klapscheut ROMA 20240526 SS353786 1
CSIO Rolex Roma 2024 – Roma, Piazza di Siena – ph.Stefano Secchi/ Imagess – Petronella Andersson riding Odina Van Klapscheut

The Importance of Team and Future Goals

Petronella emphasizes the critical role of her team in her success. “The team around you is everything. From the people working for me, taking care of the horses, to blacksmiths, vets, and especially owners, everyone plays a big role in the success of the combination.”

Looking ahead, Petronella’s goals are clear and ambitious. “Paris is coming up, which will be tough to reach, but we keep trying. A dream is to do the Olympics one day for Team Sweden. Riding for Sweden is rewarding, given they are reigning European, World, and Olympic champions. The team has a great atmosphere, and the younger generation learns a lot from the more experienced riders.”

As Petronella Andersson continues to rise in the equestrian world, her journey is marked by unwavering passion, family support, and an unyielding pursuit of excellence. Her story is an inspiration to aspiring riders and a testament to the rewards of dedication and hard work in the world of show jumping.

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