SHARE
COPY LINK

HORSE

Swedish duo speed to ‘dream’ horse racing win

Swedish horse Maharajah won the world's most prestigious trotting race, the Prix d'Amerique, on Sunday, delivering Sweden their first win at the Vincennes racetrack outside Paris since Gigant Neo in 2005.

Swedish duo speed to 'dream' horse racing win
Orjan Kihlström with his horse Maharajah celebrate winning the 93rd Grand Prix d'Amerique trotting race. Photo: AP

The winner — piloted by Örjan Kihlström — was always prominent and produced the decisive thrust in the final straight to take the 500,000-euro ($684,000) winners cheque at odds of 10/1 and make up for his runners-up spot in the 2011 edition.

Up and Quick — piloted by trotting legend Jean-Michel Bazire — was second at 4/1 while Norwegian raider Yoko Boko was third at 20/1.

Bazire had led the whole way until the closing stages of the 93rd Prix d'Amerique, although Kihlström was on his shoulder almost throughout the race, but had nothing left in the tank when the driver nicknamed the 'Iceman' came to challenge.

Kihlström belied his nickname to throw his hands up in the air after crossing the line and waved his whip in celebration.

Trainer Stefan Hultmann was overcome with the emotion of the achievement.

"This has been a dream, I have achieved it but I can scarcely believe it.

"I am too emotional to say anything else for the moment," he gasped tearfully.

Bazire was gracious in defeat.

"Up and Quick produced a very good performance…one is obviously disappointed when you are second in the Prix d'Amerique, but all credit to the winner," said a mudcaked Bazire, who has won the great race twice.

Two-time winner Ready Cash looked as if he might regain the title he lost last year in what was his final appearance in the race, but having moved into fourth as the race reached the business end, he lost all hope when he galloped coming into the final straight.

"He isn't the same horse as he was, he was tired and he just didn't have the vim this year," said his driver Franck Nivard of the nine-year-old.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

ANIMAL

Neiiiighbours offer help to Swedish riding adventurer

Suzanna Holmqvist, 28, is taking her horse and her dog on a massive adventure across Sweden and is being offered plenty of help along the way.

Neiiiighbours offer help to Swedish riding adventurer
Suzanna Holmqvist taking her horse and dog for a shorter walk. Photo: private

The Swede, from Limedforsen, Dalarna, has decided to make her long life dream come true and is going to ride across Sweden, all the way from Skåne in the south to Lapland in the north.

“It’s just something I have always wanted to do,” Holmqvist told The Local on Tuesday.

Her voyage will start on April 28th, when she'll take her horse Krumelur and her dog Jasmine on a four-month journey through Sweden.

Since she announced the trip on her Facebook page she's already had plenty of offers of help.

“What an adventure you have in front of you! Would love to join for a couple of miles around Sundsvall, and if you are passing Sundsvall we can offer you stable and a bed,” one woman wrote.

“So exciting! I also want to do something like this sometime!! At our place in Borås you get food and sleep if you are riding through!” another woman posted on the site.


Suzanna and her horse Krumelur. Photo: private.

Holmqvist claims the attention she's since grabbed in the Swedish media was unexpected, but she has decided to make the most of it and will fundraise for an animal organisation during the trip.

“All the positive response made me want to make something good of it too.”

The main preparation for the trip so far has been to train the horse and herself to travel long-distances. However the Swede claims the bigger challenge will probably be the mental aspect. Holmqvist believes the trip will be boring from time to time, but said that she was not running to a tight schedule and had allowed herself plenty of leeway in case her and her animals came across unplanned obstacles.

“We will have plenty of time if something goes wrong.”

For others inspired enough to make similar tough solo journeys, Holmqvist offered this advice: “To be really purposeful and not let yourself give up because of little things — keep up the good mood.”

Article by Emma Lidman