We managed to catch up with Jessica Norden while she was on her way to participate in the GP competition this weekend in Lidköping. GP as on the Grand Prix, that is.
– I’m in KC and shopping, and the horse-trailer is outside in the parking lot, she says happily.
She is looking for a Kyokushin Karate necklace for her necklace.
I dare not compete without those jewels around my neck! Says. You might be a little superstitious about growing up on the island.
We support the band a little. Thus Jessica Norden is a member of the Swedish elite for dressage, and she also practices karate five days a week.
– She explains that it takes a strong body to handle dressage at this level.
He grew up in Marstrand
The island Jessica Norden talks about is Marstrand, where she grew up. The family did not usually have horses, but rather was brought up in a boat and sailing environment. But Jessica Norden wanted something else.
I’ve been in the car since I was little, my mom’s daughter rode in the daytime and then I also wanted to start, she says. She started taking horse riding lessons at the Stenungsund Horse Riding Club, and then continued.
But it was not an entirely clear equestrian profession.
I panicked a little when everyone asked what I would be, so I studied to become an IT engineer and started working for Volvo IT.
But at the same time, the passion for dressage remained. Jessica and her husband Claes bought the farm in Vienna and started building a business with an equestrian school and places for teaching and boxing.
I spent a few years watching the staff do all the fun I wanted myself, before I quit Volvo in December 2004 and fully invested in it.
Tough years in the beginning
It was a tough year at first, but slowly but surely a strong business was built.
We have a strong horse culture in the municipality, and we got a lot of help from different places, says Jessica.
Over the years, Jessica Norden has built on her career by accommodating and training horses and students, and more training and competition. But only a few years ago she could afford to own a horse she trained, the Danube, with whom she now competes.
I previously rode and train horses and then sell them so we can build and run a business, she says. I’ve been with Dunawin for three years, he’s from Great Britain and he’s competing for the national team so he’s proven himself there.
Member of the International Dressage Coach Club
In addition to being a Grand Prix contestant, Jessica Norden is also a judge and member of the International Dressage Training Club – an exclusive company.
– When I went to teach my own training at Flyinge about 20 years ago, I came into contact with David Hunt who is one of the first in the world who judged the Olympiad among other things. We clicked really well and kept in touch ever since. It introduced me to this world and helped me move forward.
In the equestrian world, show jumpers often make a name for themselves to a more general audience, which is not uncommon when it comes to dressage riders.
It takes many years for us dressage to get a good horse, and it can take more than ten years of training before you get to where you want to be. Danube wine, for example, which I compete with is 19 years old.
Retirees get a “horse” life
The riding school that Jessica Norden runs largely consists of retired competition horses. The eldest of them is 25 years old.
Here they get a little “horse” life where they can take things easy, and where there are a lot of people who are being raised and kissed, says Jessica. They are fantastically good and know all the elements, but we don’t place high demands on them as if they were competing.
After this weekend’s national GP competition in Lidköping, the next challenge awaits Jessica Nordin and Donauwein – a three-star international GP competition in the Netherlands, a first for the crew.
– It’s going to be very exciting, she says.
Last year, they qualified for the final of the Swedish Championships, where 15 crews were included.
I was very nervous, but things went well, we finished 14th. It was so much fun.
Jessica Norden competing for Spekeröds Ridklubb. That she would be one of the most prominent dressage riders in the country and running a horse farm with education and training at an elite level was not something she could have dreamed of when she quit her job at Volvo nearly twenty years ago.
No, I saw in front of me how I would go tearing and pulling out cans of mocha, and I couldn’t even imagine. It is pure and simple happiness.