Giulia Iannone is an Italian journalist that recently had a chance to interview Italian based Irish dressage rider Anne Merveldt on her Olympic Dream.
Giulia: Good news for you and Coryolano -I hope!- about Olympic Games of London 2012. Can you explain something more and what do you think and feel and hope?
Anne: “Coryolano and I will go this year to the Olympic Games in London. It is nice to represent Ireland again at such an important event. The first time I represented Ireland at an Olympic Games was in Barcelona. I rode a horse called Rapallo who was a big 17-year-old, chestnut, Warmblood. I was very pleased with the result since getting into the final fifteen horses was my ambition”.
Giulia: You were in Barcellona 1992 on "Rapallo". What do you remember about this time and your nice result?
Anne: “I have ridden in many other World Games and European Championships on various different horses over the years.”
Giulia: Your Grand Prix Horse "Coryolano". Describe to us his disposition, his mood, his talent, vices and faults. Tell us everything and more of your Bavarian Warmblood.
Anne: “Coryolano has the heart of a lion; he is an extremely obedient horse with amazing stamina. He is easy to ride and always gives his best. He hates prize givings and frogs!”
Giulia: Anna Merveldt - the Italian based Irish dressage rider. Please introduce yourself with your own words, as a rider, trainer and coach. I think it is most beautiful way!
Anne: “I started riding dressage seriously in Germany many years ago and have been running clinics there as well as Ireland and other places for the past twenty years. For several years I have commuted between Germany and Italy and have helped out in the training of Juniors and Young Riders for F.I.S.E."
Giulia: A strange question for you - Dressage career? Why dressage and not show jumping - you are from Ireland!!
Anne: “I started riding in Ireland at a very early age where I jumped, evented, hunted and Pony Clubbed. I believe that an all-round experience such as the Pony Club is the best introduction for all children to horsemanship.”
Giulia: You are a fantastic coach, for young riders, too. Say something more about your teaching style, your pupils, your feelings and your satisfaction in this way of life with horses.
Anne: "The Basics are the most important foundation of any sort of training. If the Basics are not stable and well established, then the improvements will be very slow, if at all, and end up stagnant. There are no short cuts, it just takes time, patience and knowledge, and that is where I put a lot of emphasis when coaching. As far as I am concerned, hand-in-hand with this goes the necessity for the rider to develop their own self-confidence and independence. In other words, teaching independent riding.”