On December 13th, 14th and 15th, the Casas Novas Equestrian Center will celebrate the thirty-ninth edition of the A Coruña International Jumping Competition, which will host a Longines FEI Jumping World Cup venue for the fourth time.
The rider Eduardo Álvarez Aznar, currently number one in the national ranking and best Spaniard positioned in the world rankings, will be competing in the most famous indoor arena in the country.
Coming from a family that were very involved in the equestrian world - his father Luis Álvarez Cervera was a well-known international rider who holds the Spanish title with frequent Olympic presence-, the 34-year-old Eduardo has always made it clear that he would dedicate himself to the horse world since only 3 years of age where he rode for the first time.
Eduardo, tell us about the life as a professional show jumper?
It means traveling a lot and being away from home. You have to make sacrifices, and it certainly requires a lot of logistics to be able to manage all the trips for the horses (that travel by plane and truck) and to ensure they arrive at the competitions in the best possible condition.
If you had to compare horse riding with another kind of sport, what would it be?
It is very difficult to compare it to another sport because here we are a team, but between an animal and a person. Communication is nonverbal. It is all about feeling, understanding and your rapport with your horse.
It must not have been easy to combine your life of the professional rider and that of a family man. How do you manage both?
When I am at home, I try to live a normal life. I usually take the children to school and then just like everyone else go to work, but instead of heading to the office, I go to the stables and ride 4 or 5 horses a day.
You have 3 children, do you think any one of them might also end up dedicating themselves to the horse's world?
It is still early to say, they are very small. The oldest is 7 years old and rides a bit but for now I have to admit that it’s not her main interest at the moment.
Your father is an important figure in this sport, what is it like to be the son of such a legend in the same field in which you work?
Having a father like mine has helped me a lot in my career. Thanks to him I already had many doors opened in this world, and that is not easy at all. Today, he is still fundamental in my sports career, he helps me every day
Out of your horses we want to highlight Rockfeller de Pleville who has been with you practically all your life, do you usually raise your own horses, or instead do you choose to buy them with more experience?
Breeding is very complicated ... it's almost like playing the lottery! We raise 1 or 2 horses a year and some have gone well, but it is really difficult and above all very slow. If a horse leaves suitable for the highest level, until it can actually begin to compete, many years have to pass. So, if I have to answer, I prefer to buy them young from people that you already know how they are who have prepared them little by little.
How would you define the winning horse?
Ready, powerful and with lots of heart.
Last year you reached the final in the World Cup, the only Spaniard, do you think this year you can travel to Las Vegas where the final will take place in 2020?
So far, I have jumped in several World Cup events and I have a good record, but not good enough at the moment. If I qualify, I would love to go to Las Vegas
Casas Novas is hosting its thirty-ninth edition and it is now the fourth year that the World Cup organizes a venue here. Quite a success of editions! What would you say is due?
Casas Novas has been growing since it was created in 2000 and is already one of the best competitions in the World Cup circuit. It is a real privilege to compete in these facilities
Finally, tell us what expectations you have for this edition. Will we see you win?
I hope to win and get more points for Vegas!
Horses with which he will compete at Casas Novas
Rockfeller de Pleville
This 14-year-old horse is the right hand of the rider from Madrid. With him he has participated in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and has won important international titles even surpassing the top 10 worldwide.
An 8-year-old horse that Eduardo has been riding since this summer, but with him he has already competed in Nations Cups and competitions of the high level.