Bernt Severinsen: “We Need to Make the Sport More Beautiful” Skip to content

Bernt Severinsen: “We Need to Make the Sport More Beautiful”

Some of those who end up in second place actually belong in first place. But they can sit back and relax, because they know that their horse is exceptional. One of them is Norwegian rider Bernt Severinsen, who presented the only seven-year-old Tigull frá Kleiva in Saturday’s tough T1 tölt test with impressive beauty.

kopie_von_tigullTigull frá Kleiva. Photo: Henk Peterse.

In the end Severinsen missed a few half points and it became clear that a few years of experience and strength separated the young stallion from the older competitors.

Nevertheless, Tigull’s enormous flexibility and ability to collect under the rider stays in mind as well as its quietly dancing tail and its lips, finely painted with saliva—a happy horse’s mouth. An exceptional and rare image at this world cup.

Severinsen has bred and raised the stallion himself, an offspring from a mare too nervous for riding. Tigull’s father is Hrynjandi frá Hrepphólum, a stallion who’s fathered famous competition horses such as Snarpur, Snær and Hnokki.

Judge Rune Svendsen had suggested the mare’s pairing with Hrynjandi. “Now we make a champion,” he announced. And Svendsen proved right.

“When Tigull was born, he was already something special. He marched proudly and confidently out of the stable after an hour,” Severinsen remembers.

At four, the chestnut stallion was the world champion in its breeding class, with the sensational score of 10 for the slow tölt and canter—both talents that were given to it by nature, stated Severinsen.

kopie_von_tigull-foalTigull showed early on what it aimed to become. Photo:

This is their fourth world cup together and Severinsen finds it important not to pressure his horse too much, even though it means that he will end up in second place.

Severinsen would have loved to win, but in spite of not scoring higher he is happy because he knows exactly in what respect his stallion has been outstanding. Loose and easy—this is the way the sport should look like.

“It’s good to talk about losers,” Severinsen said. “Favor reports are bad for the sport and send the wrong signal. We need to make the sport more beautiful, not the reporting nicer.”

According to Bernt, Tigull is the best example of there being horses that have self-carriage and physical potential and can still be ridden by anyone.

“What shall we do with horses that you can only ride when you are specially trained?” he asked. “We need horses that simply go for tölt.”

Severinsen produced a photo of a seven-year-old girl, who visited the stable and went riding on Tigull. There is actually not much difference from the photo and Tigull’s posture on the oval track.

The sport can look beautiful—even at home in the garden.

Dagmar Trodler reports for Iceland Review from Berlin.

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