Richard Kierkegaard: the journey of the non-existing Platonica
The balance between academics and show jumping & the winning spirit of the talented Argentinian rider
A Warm Welcome to Geneva
“I’m very happy that we are doing this interview today. Thank you for inviting me to this magazine; it’s a huge opportunity for me,” expresses Richard Kierkegaard, a 21-year-old show jumper from Argentina. In his first appearance at the U25 of Geneva, Richard shares his excitement about the prestigious event and the impressive facilities.
Partner in the Arena: Platonica Z, a Home-Bred Gem
“I came with my nine-year-old mare, Platonica Z which is homebred. And of course, that makes it a little more special to me because, yeah, I have her since she was born,” Richard beams with pride. The story of Platonica is not merely one of a horse; it’s a tale woven with the threads of family history, unexpected twists, and a deep bond between rider and steed.
Platonica’s Journey: A Story of Unexpected Origins
“When I was 10 years old, my father suggested getting a foal from my pony and his former Grand Prix horse” Richard recalls.
The resulting mare, Platonica, was initially believed to be the daughter of Richard’s pony, adding a touch of sentimentality to the story. However, the narrative took an unexpected turn. “It was a platonic love indeed. It was non-existent,” he laughs, revealing the irony that unfolded when Platonica’s true lineage was discovered.
Platonica’s Journey: A Story of Unexpected Origins
Platonica’s origin story, a captivating blend of family, dreams, and serendipity, began with a suggestion from Richard’s father when he was just 10 years old. “He suggested getting a foal from my pony and his Grand Prix horse for a speed group. Little did he know that this decision would shape the course of his equestrian journey.
“When she was born, I was a young kid, back at school, I was in love with a girl at that time, and I was always talking about this platonic love,” Richard reminisces, revealing the whimsical inspiration behind Platonica’s name. The word “platonic” was deeply intertwined with Richard’s experiences and emotions during that phase of his life.
Unexpected Twists: The True Identity Unveiled
As Platonica developed and continued to show exceptional talent, Richard’s connection with her deepened. “By that time I was already posting all over the place how proud I was that the mare out of my pony was developing so well. ”
However, fate had an unexpected revelation in store.
“When I got back home after that national championship, my mom and my father, they came and they said, listen Richard, we need to talk,” he recounts. The news was startling – Platonica wasn’t the daughter of his pony; she was a result of a strategic decision made by his parents due to unforeseen circumstances.
” The mare out of your pony, when she was still a foal, she had an accident in the field, and unfortunately, she passed away. And you were very young at that time, and your father didn’t want to get your heart broken”
Richard’s parents explained, revealing the truth behind Platonica’s lineage, of Pilgrim Z x Contiga Z ( Chacco Blue), The revelation could have shifted the dynamics of their relationship, but instead, it added a layer of uniqueness and complexity to their bond.
The Unveiling of Truth and Bond Deepened
Despite the revelation that Platonica was not the offspring of Richard’s pony, the connection between them remained unwavering. “Back at that time, I was already in love with her; she felt like she was born out of myself, you know, it was like my own baby,” Richard reflects. The news about Platonica’s true parentage didn’t alter the affection Richard felt for her; instead, it added a layer of uniqueness to their shared journey.
From Argentina to Europe: Development of Platonica
Platonica’s journey continued with Richard developing her from a young age. At five, she entered the competitive scene, showcasing remarkable talent and potential. Richard’s decision to bring her to Europe at seven marked a pivotal moment in their shared adventure. “This year, she has done a couple of rankings, two three-star, two-star reprises, and very good results,” Richard shares, emphasizing the competitiveness and notable achievements of his just nine year old mare Platonica .
Goals for CHI Geneva Weekend
“As for this weekend, I really hope to be on the placings these days. Hopefully, I manage as well to get a podium,” Richard reveals his aspirations for the CHI Geneva weekend. The competitive spirit that defines his career extends to his goals for the show. With Platonica’s exceptional abilities, Richard aims for success in the Grand Prix, anticipating the hope for podium placements throughout the event.
Career Highlights: Conquering Nations Cups
Transitioning to the broader scope of Richard’s equestrian career, the spotlight shines on his achievements in Nations Cups. With his formidable mare Strides Hilanasterne Richard achieved peek results that launched his career to a different level
“I was very fortunate to be clear in the Nations Cup of Sunshine Tour. I also managed to be also clear and four faults in the Nations Cup of Gorla Minore he recounts, reflecting on significant milestones achieved at a young age. These experiences not only show his competitive spirit but also established him as a promising talent on the international stage.
“I started to jump bigger classes with a horse called Contiki when I first came to Europe. He was very competitive and got very good results,” he recalls. This early exposure to high-stakes competitions with an experienced horse contributed to shaping Richard’s competitive edge.
Balancing Act: Riding and Studying
“Concerning my studies and the horses, it’s, of course, challenging because it does take a lot of effort,” Richard admits. Currently pursuing economics and business economics with a specialization in finance, he emphasizes the dedication required to balance academics and show jumping. “It takes a lot of dedication…but it comes with a lot of gratitude and self-empowerment,” he reflects on the dual commitment.
Supportive Roots: Mother’s Influence and Equine Companions
“I think I also have fair chances to as well pursue a career as a rider. However, of course, I’ve studied, studying as well, I’ve opened many doors to me and opened many opportunities of what I want to pursue in the future,” Richard acknowledges the pivotal role his family, especially his mother with the Zangersheide breeding in Argentina, plays in supporting his equestrian journey. The influence of a strong equine lineage and supportive family roots becomes evident in Richard’s aspirations and accomplishments.
Future Aspirations: Horses and Beyond
“I think in the next couple of years, I will have a clear path that I want to pursue or follow,” Richard contemplates. Expressing gratitude for the support from the breeding stables back in Argentina, he envisions a future where he can continue both his riding career and professional pursuits. The careful balance between his academic endeavours and equestrian passion reveals a mindset focused on sustainable success.
A Promising Path Ahead
In conclusion, Richard Kierkegaard’s journey is marked by passion, dedication, and unexpected turns. From the delightful surprise of Platonica’s true lineage to the balance between academics and show jumping, Richard’s story unfolds as a testament to resilience and a spirited pursuit of dreams. As he navigates the arenas and lecture halls, the equestrian world eagerly awaits the chapters yet to be written in his promising career.
The partnership between Richard and Platonica symbolizes not just a rider and his horse, but a companionship rooted in shared stories, triumphs, and an unwavering bond that transcends the conventional boundaries of horse and rider.
V. Sozzi | Photo provided by Richard Kierkegaard
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