Kyra Kyrklund, Making a Happy Day Every Day

Tue, 09/13/2005 - 00:00
Between Heaven and Hell

Few riders in the world have managed to train and compete so many international Grand Prix dressage horses as the Finnish Kyra Kyrklund. Based at Snow Hill Farm in West Sussex, Great Britain, Kyra Kyrklund rode her first Olympic Games in 1980 in Moscow aboard Piccolo and, so far, has added four more to her list of achievements.

Her biggest international victory was winning the 1991 World Cup Finals aboard Matador and finishing second at the 1990 World Equestrian Games in Stockholm. At the moment, Kyrklund is competing the 10-year old Swedish warmblood Max and finished 12th at the 2005 European Dressage Championships in Hagen, Germany.

On her website, Kyra claims she never has time off, but at the 2005 CDIO Aachen Eurodressage caught her relaxing in the stands at the warm up. It was time to pin her down as the guinea pig for our new Article Series "Between Heaven and Hell," in which we talk to riders about their life outside the show ring, away from the smell of horses, and the neighing and nickering.

In a Q&A session, Eurodressage hopes to pull each person out of their role as horse person and expose him as a human being. In order to warm up the interviewees for this cross exam, we started off with some easy, warm-up questions..

Kyra, what's your favourite dish?
Kyra: Carpaccio

If you were to chose a different profession, what would it be?
Kyra: I would be a theater performer. I love to get the buzz out of it and love the excitement of putting yourself on stage.

What is the biggest intellectual joy for you?
Kyra: giving lectures. I very much enjoy preparing them.

What gives you the most artistic pleasure?
Kyra: Putting a freestyle together. I like to make them up in my head and create a new choreography.

What gives you the most physical pleasure?
Kyra: good food.

What makes you cry?
Kyra: When I get disappointed in people. When they don't fulfil my expectations character-wise.

What annoys you the most?
Kyra: Ignorance! Especially when they go together with politics. When people don't act for the right reasons.

What does heaven look like to you?
Kyra: I try to make heaven every day, because you don't know what it is going to be like. I don't believe in it.

And Hell?
Kyra: a place where it's cold, Siberia

What is the most beautiful place you've ever visited?
Kyra: Snow Hill Farm, where I live with Richard [White]... or Bermuda.

What is the ugliest place you've ever visited?
Kyra: Places with a ruined environment, where the water is dirty and there is trash everywhere. The ex-communist countries, for instance. It's very depressing because they can't get away from it.

At what moment were you the happiest in your life?
Kyra: You can't put it on a scale. You have to be able to make yourself happy every day.

When were you the saddest in your life?
Kyra: When my father died. I never got over it and I think of him very often. I think about the things I'd like to share with him.

Who would be your favourite one-night stand? 
Kyra: I don't fancy one-night stands. Nobody forces me into a one-night stand. I'll hit him!

Text and Photos by Astrid Appels/Eurodressage

Our next "Between Heaven and Hell" will be with American Grand Prix rider Guenter Seidel.