Tales from Rio: ‘I hope I make the freestyle so I can express my flamboyant Spanish character’

  • Spain’s Severo Jesus Jurado Lopez rides one of the youngest horses in the Rio Olympics dressage field, the 10-year-old Lorenzo, but he says the Lord Loxley son is unbothered by the big atmosphere.

    “He’s a really cool horse, he gives a nice feeling to the people watching,” says Severo. “He’s a funny, happy horse day to day, you don’t have to worry about anything with him. He doesn’t care about the atmosphere. When there are people he can take all that pressure so he’s a really fun horse to have in competition. He becomes more expressive in an atmosphere like this.”

    Severo scored 76.429% in the grand prix this morning for seventh at this stage.

    “It felt good,” he says. “I think it was a nice round, very clean with no big mistakes.”

    It’s now or never

    In Aachen in July, the rider finished fourth in the freestyle with a special final centreline. He rode it with one hand to the vocals: “It’s my life and it’s now or never” from the Bon Jovi song, with the spectators clapping along.

    “I hope I make the freestyle here so I can express my flamboyant Spanish character,” he said.

    “It’s my first Olympics and my first time in Brazil so I can’t compare it to others, but I’m very impressed with everything. It’s really cool being with the other sport guys.”

    Continued below…

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    Severo comes from a horsey family but initially riding was “just a hobby, not for sport”. After stints in Germany and the Netherlands, he is now based in Denmark, where he works for Helgstrand Dressage. He was part of the team who brought a handful of the stud’s stallions over to the British Equestrian Federation’s UK stallion show at Bury Farm, Bucks, in January of this year.

    Full 20-page report on the dressage from Rio in H&H next week, out Thursday 18 August, including full analysis of how the medals were won and comment from Richard Davison and Peter Storr.

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