Monday, June 27, 2011

HMT Exclusive Interview with Siengsaw Lertratanachai

Siengsaw Lertratanachai and Elmo BB. 
Photo by Saw Lertratanachai

Introduce yourself?

Siengsaw Lertratanachai, now 15 years old, studying at Harrow International School.

When did you start riding? Anyone has inspired you to ride the horse?

The first time I was inspired to equestrian was when my dad brought me and my sister (Sailub Lertratanachai) over to the farm to ride. I was about 5 years old when I first got on a horse, but I wasn't taking the sport seriously due to the sports I joined with the school. I was in the school football, volleyball, swimming, basketball, T-ball and athletic teams. I was also the U15 football girls captain 2011. I have been representing Harrow in the FOBBISSEA Game for 6 years. This is the competition which took over 5 days with 4 sports been played. When I was in year 3 I have started to ride again, and this time I was riding at The Horse Lover's Club. Where all my journey begin.

Another role, a Football team player. Photo by Saw Lertratanachai

Saw Lertratanachai in U15 BISAC VOLLEYBALL '11. Photo by Saw Lertratanachai

So how long have you been riding?

This year is my 7th year of riding. 

Tell us more about your riding journey. 

I have been achieving and gaining a lot of experiences in this sport. I have been training abroad in The Netherlands and planing to go to a stable in Switzerland which owned by Swiss rider ‘Philppe Putallaz’. I also got a chance to compete abroad using the horse from the Greeve Family and also got to train their new horses and learn to solve problem in the course which gave me the most valuable experiences. Every year my sister and I spent at least a month training abroad where we got both of our lovely horses from.

Saw and AirAsia Elmo BB at Thailand Show Jumping Championship. 
Photo by Saw Lertratanachai

What you’ve achieved or are trying to achieve in equestrian sports?

I have constantly compete in equestrian competitions since 2006. The very beginning it was all about the success in pony classes. For the highlights of my equestrian careers: 
  • In 2008, I competed in the Pony class in the Netherlands and won the 70cm, 90cm, 100cm classes. The same year, I also placed as the Winner of Thailand Show Jumping Pony Championship 2008 (70 cm individual and team). 
  • In 2009, I was placed 14th at C.H. de Wolden International in the Netherlands for Showjumping 115 cm class. 
  • In 2010, I won the individual and placed 2nd for Team in SEA Young Rider Meet International - Indonesia borrow horse .
  • Just recently in 2011, I won the series competition of Thailand Showjumping Championship 2011 in Junior and Young Rider Classes, and also won the FEI World Jumping Challenge 2011 CAT.B
Siengsaw Lertratanachai and her two trophies from Thailand Show Jumping Championship 2011 in Junior and Young Rider Class. Photo by Saw Lertratanachai

Video of Saw and Victory B, the winner of FEI World Jumping Challenge 2011 CAT.B at Horseshoe Point Pattaya

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Why Showjumping at the first place?

Showjumping is not my first thought for the sport, but as time passed when I got to learn with Pookai Pongsiree Bunluewong the Eventing rider of Thailand, I then start my first jump. After that I was jumping with Akkasit Tiatrakul and the higher classes with Charlotte Weber.

Charlotte Weber and the Two Sisters. Photo by HLC Stable

With Akkasit Tiatrakul

How often do you train?

As you know equestrian came along with lots of practice and support. I train 6 days per week riding 2-3 horses everyday. We have Monday off so the horses can rest. In fact, it is very important for the horse to have a rest and be relax in the grass paddock every day.

Since you have been training so hard, what would you like to achieve in the equestrian career?

In the future I would like to represent Thailand teams to compete in International Events. 

In international competition, we see various events with big name sponsor. Some riders and even horses are also sponsored by famous companies, not necessarily horse-related. How importance is the sponsor's support in your view?

I think that it is important to have a sponsor which will support us and so we have someone to give it all for us and see something important in us -- as the rider -- or the sports we take on. So for this reason it took me over to the Air Asia which I presented all my work and asked for the support. I came back with a wonderful feedback. Now I am representing both the club and Air Asia.

Let’s talk about your horses. Some of them has been competing under Air Asia is that right? 

Yes. The first horse Air Asia Elmo BB (Dutch KWPN; 7 years old gelding, bay, owner: Siengsaw Lertratanachai, breeder : Greeve) just won the first title together with me at Thailand Championship Young Rider class (120 cm) in May 2011. Elmo is a brave horse. He always shows his potential in jumping and giving it a 100 percent every time. He might not seem the best but he always helps me. Another great experience we had together was when we won the 125 class at horseshoe point. This is his 2nd year in Thailand and he has already won more than 15 titles.

The second horse, Air Asia Victory B (Dutch KWPN; 9 years old mare, bay, owner: Siengsaw Lertratanachai, breeder : Greeve). This year is the first year that I got her over from my sister. She is always know as little princess and is always the great jumper. Victory and my sister have won so many high-level jumping in Thailand i.e. the winner of the FEI World Jumping Challenge CAT.A 2010 (with Sailub) and CAT.B 2011 (with Saw), the winner of Thailand championship young rider 2010 (with Sailub). She was 5 when we got her and now it is her 4th year living in Thailand. She always has every eyes on her when she jumps in the show ring.

My third horse, Air Asia Trophy (Arabian; 11 years old gelding, chestnut, owner: Vaewratte Kamonkon). Trophy is my fastest horse I ever ride. Pa'Orn gave me an opportunity to ride and compete with him. We won the title Thailand Championship 2011 in Junior Class and many more prizes in 3 years.

The last one Maxi (15 years old gelding, chestnut, owner: Vaewratte Kamonkon) is a very good jump off pony. We won over 30 titles together in 2 years including the winner of Thailand Pony Championship 2008.

What is your plan in the future? 

I am now planning to enter in university in Thailand next year which I can then take equestrian more seriously.

What do you think are the 3 most important qualities to become successful in horse rider career?

Equestrian is the sport which you are working as a team with one of the most incredible, beautiful animal in the world. The 3 most important things which you need to be able to be successful in the sport are:
  • Regular practice which means you may have to give up your free time. 
  • Taking good care of your horses, spend time with them and stay in the stable with good facilities (especially with grass paddock, walking machine etc.). 
  • Gain as much experiences as you can from normal training or abroad training.

Who are your favourite idols or athletes?

My favorite riders and idols are 
  • Gerco Schroder (The Netherlands)
  • Eric Lamaze (Canada)
  • Rodrigo Pessoa (brazil) 
  • Meredith Michaels Beerbaum (Germany) 
My favourite horses are
  • Eurocommerce Berlin (ridden by Gerco Schroder) - great big lovely stallion jumper. Charming white jumper.
  • Hickstead (ridden by Eric Lamaze) - fast, speedy, careful jumper
  • Shutterfly (ridden by Meredith Michaels Beerbaum) - brave and great jumper
  • Itot du Chateau (ridden by Edwina Alexander) - smallest in international competition but always show a high standard of jumping.

Do you have a riding buddy? 

I always have my sister as a riding buddy. She teaches me many valuable lessons, whether to leave her dream behind for the future or wanting something too much but still staying clam which am not very good at. As when she went to study in Switzerland I have been taking care of her little princess Air Asia Victory B. My sister might not be around these days to support or make my heart beaten fast when she is qualifying but I know that she is always there to support me no matter what happens. 

My dad is another person whom I must thank him. He gives both of us anything we want to do and my mum always take good care of us and go with us everywhere taking care of the horses and different people around her.

Mother and Sister (Khun Som-O and Sailub Lertratanachai). Photo by Chai Rajani

(the far left) Khun Orn, Vaewratte Kamonkon, the owner of Horse Lover's Club. Photo by HLC Stable

Any other supports in horse riding you would like to mention here?

The Horse Lover's Club (HLC), the place where all my horses are stabled at and where I spend all my time in training and exercising.  Also a great place with high technology and fantastic facilities. Khun Vaewratte Kamonkon (Pa'Orn) the lovely owner of HLC gave me an opportunity to ride her fabulous horses and always be there to support everyone. I would like to thank her for the such a caring and great support (and also her delicious snacks!!). Without her and HLC, it is not possible for a normal little girl like me to came across this much achievement today. Another two huge thanks going to my coaches Akkasit Tiatrakul and Charlotte Weber for their times and efforts in teaching a naughty girl like me. They inspired me to be better and achieving the most in the sport.

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