Swedish Olympian Therese Viklund celebrated the “best result ever” in having her one-eyed top horse Viscera back from injury and feeling “amazing” in the Barefoot Retreats Houghton International Horse Trials.
Therese and Viscera were the highest-placed international combination in the CCIO4*, jumping double clear and adding just 1.2 cross-country time-penalties to their 29.4 dressage to finish fourth. Their performance also helped the Swedish side to team third in the FEI Nations Cup leg at the Norfolk fixture (26 to 29 May).
It was the 14-year-old mare’s first run after sustaining a leg injury in 2021 and Therese credited vet Tom Campbell, of Bourton Vale Equine Clinic, for her recovery.
“It was amazing,” Therese told H&H. “It was her first event since August last year and obviously she was very, very happy to be out again.
“Her dressage was ok, she can generally score a bit better – she likes to show off a bit when she’s fresh, especially in trot. As she’s dressage-bred, she finds passage very funny, but the eventing dressage judges don’t so much!”
She added that for this reason, she had to keep it on the conservative side and the mare did a “really good test”.
“She showjumped really well, it would be her weakest phase. There were quite a few clears, but I thought it was a quite a technical course,” she said.
“Cross-country I was quite nervous. I don’t have any other horses at four-star, so I hadn’t done one since last year. I thought it was quite big and she absolutely flew round. She was amazing – it didn’t feel like she hadn’t done it in nine months.”
Therese said having Viscera back and feeling amazing is “the best result ever”.
The partnership have a string of top-10 results at four-star and competed for Sweden at the Tokyo Olympics.
Therese, who produced the Fidertanz daughter from a six-year-old, said that all being well, the plan for Viscera is to stick at Nations Cup and short-format competitions. Haras du Pin in August is pencilled in as the mare’s next event.
The Hanoverian mare had her left eye removed in 2018, having contracted uveitis three years previously, and adapted seamlessly.
“She doesn’t find any problems,” said Therese. “She just loves her job. I thought when it was removed that she wouldn’t get back to four-star, but from day one she has been just like she was before. It’s amazing.”
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Sweden’s Therese Viklund steers her one-eyed mare to open intermediate glory as sporting action resumes after a four-month hiatus
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