Meet Camilla Mortensen

Camilla Mortensen, Show jumper

“I love to be challenged.”

Tell a bit about your stable and where you are located ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

Our stables are located in Midtjylland, in the middle of Denmark. Itโ€™s a short distance to everything, with a 30 minute drive to show grounds and course trainings, but weโ€™re still out in the countryside. If I wanted to go into the closest big city, however, itโ€™s a little further to travel. Out here at the stables we have no neighbours, lots of fields and forests, and plenty of space for our horses. We have the capacity to house 32 horses, and at the moment itโ€™s completely full here, but only 5 of them are my own – the rest are boarders. The stables are part of our own grounds, where we have lived for 9 years and still do. The facilities include a big outdoor arena, an indoor arena, a walker, and huge grass paddocks and fields. The horses are outside during the daytime all year, no matter the weather.

Tell us about your horses and their personalities ๐Ÿด

Tysonโ€™s Son Z, called โ€œTysonโ€, is a 10 year old grey Zangersheide gelding that Iโ€™ve owned for 8 years now. In fact, I bought him when he was only 2 years old. Tyson is a real trouble maker and a proper gelding; he tests his limits, he bites, he does as he pleases, and he wants to be the centre of attention. He is the best partner at the shows, and does whatever he can and always tries his best for his rider. Heโ€™s eager to learn and always gives a little extra. Tyson is very flashy at the shows, and he has had a tendency to be very bouncy and buck a lot, though he has calmed down a little with time. You can never be unfocused while riding him because he will take his chance to act up. I have competed up to 1.40m with Tyson.

“I no longer have the biggest ambitions like I used to, but Iโ€™d still like to stay on the higher level and ride the bigger classes.”

Camilla Mortensen

Daranta is my 16 year old bay KWPN mare, and Iโ€™ve owned her since she was 11 years, so thatโ€™s 5 years of ownership. She is a very sensitive and careful lady, and you should avoid sudden arm movements at all times while being with her. Daranta is a little sceptical about new people and is far from an attention-seeker. She enjoys her own company a lot, but sheโ€™s no stranger to wanting some interaction with you as long as she can come to you and do it on her own terms. In the arena sheโ€™s very spicy, and she has a tricky mouth, which makes her a little on and off in the contact and she switches very fast between pulling to the jump and waiting behind the bit. This makes it crucial for me as a rider that I can adapt to whatever she might do. Sheโ€™s definitely the most difficult horse I own and not straight-forward like Tyson, but sheโ€™s a fighter and could never ever refuse a jump. We have jumped 1.45m-classes together.

My two youngsters are quite new to my team, and Iโ€™ve only had them for a few months. Peter Pan is a very sweet youngster. Heโ€™s a 5 year old dark brown Danish Warmblood gelding, and he had no experience at all before he got here. Heโ€™s very eager to learn and always tries his best. The other youngster is Clara, a 5 year old bay German Warmblood mare. She had experience enough to do a course when she joined my team, but still very green with a very fresh personality.

The last, but not least, is my retired oldie Handy Beat. Iโ€™ve owned โ€œHandyโ€ for 14 years and he has now turned 16. He is a beautiful bay Danish Warmblood gelding that I have made my biggest accomplishments with; we did European Championships, plenty of Grand Prix classes, and 1.50m-classes together. I got him during my last year as a pony rider and he is the one that taught me everything. Heโ€™s enormously fresh and spicy – on a whole other level, in fact. I would usually ride him twice the day before a show to get out the spare energy, and I would normally lack most control until the last dayโ€™s class; thatโ€™s when I would finally be able to fully steer him around. He would always be on fire in the ring and go clear round, but outside the ring we would be completely chill. Handy is the biggest teddy bear, though, and he loves cuddles, attention, and working as a team with his rider.

Goals for the year and for your career โญ๏ธ

For the year:

  • Tyson is going up to 1.45m-level this yearโ€™s outdoor season. I want him to step up a level and take over for Daranta, because I want to keep Daranta going but she shouldnโ€™t jump too much anymore. I want to ride the outdoor Danish Championship and I hope that one of them is ready for it when the time comes. Other than that, I donโ€™t have too many specific goals but I want to ride good shows and keep my calendar flexible. The plan for the youngsters is just to get them started at the competitions and get some experience, really.

For the career:

  • I no longer have the biggest ambitions like I used to, but Iโ€™d still like to stay on the higher level and ride the bigger classes. The championships and team selections arenโ€™t as important to me anymore as it is no longer my focus. Now Iโ€™m doing it more for my own enjoyment. Also, now that I’m back in school, itโ€™s nice to ride for the fun of it alongside school life.

Highlights of your career so far ๐Ÿคฉ

  • Winning a 2* Grand Prix ranking class with Handy, during the Riderโ€™s Cup in Denmark in late 2018.
  • Riding the European Championship in Fontainebleau in 2018 with Handy. I had the best results in our team during the team competition.
  • Winning a Grand Prix in Belgium, also in 2018. It was generally a year where I won a lot. Well, actually, I did quite well and won a lot between late 2017 and to the end of 2019, and then came covid that put a stopper to the shows.

Do you have any fun facts to share with us? ๐Ÿ˜œ

  • I fear nothing in the jumping ring, and I donโ€™t really find the jumps anywhere near โ€œbigโ€ until theyโ€™re at 1.45m. I love to be challenged.
  • I used to have a round 10 horses for 2-3 years, and then I had 6-8 horses for quite some years with lots of youngsters in the team. I took a break from being that active of a rider because having that many youngsters took some of the fun out of it for me when my top horses suddenly were injured, and I couldnโ€™t jump around and just have fun with experienced horses.
  • No one in my family were equestrians before me. And now it has taken over our lives, oops!

Connected is our DNA. What does this mean to you? ๐Ÿ’™

To me, it means that when it comes to horses, you need to be connected with them and be one with them. If you are, you can merely think a thought to yourself and the horse will understand. Isnโ€™t that amazing? The horse can truly sense the tiniest feeling, and it knows exactly how to react. The whole thing about having horses truly requires management, so I think being connected as a team is quite crucial in order to have good management of the stable and horses. We work together as a team to perform our best at our different tasks, that together lead to the big performances.

Ecteโ€™s clothing is some of the best Iโ€™ve ridden in, and I ride in it every day. The others in the stable can hardly have seen me in anything but Ecte since I got the clothes. The team behind seem professional and serious, and I could tell that they wanted both me and the brand to develop together. Ecte seems genuinely interested in that it is a good collaboration for both parties, and that they really have a passion for their brand. I also think we have very good communication, which is key.