Riders’ stories: A chat with Jana Wargers. “I am grateful for everything I have”

You have reached the top level of our sport and did so very quickly and your riding is fantastic. How do you feel about the top level of this sport?

I have to say it’s just special to be here in Aachen with all the amazing riders here, the big names and I’m among them and that is fantastic. I love being here. I have many great horses, especially Limbridge who is very special to me and makes really easy for me to shine here in Aachen. We won the Nations Cup and I’m very proud of my whole team, they support me day-by-day as do the horses’ owners and especially Ashford Farm and Enda Carroll and Michael Cristofoletti also supports me in the best possible way, so I'm very thankful for that and very happy to be here.

Talking about Limbridge, what is the meaning of creating a combination like you and Limbridge. Like having only one partner, only one friend. What is the right way to become a combination such as you are?

It was actually quite funny. One day Enda Carroll said to me “Jana, there is a horse coming, I think he might really suit you and I think it's a really special one”. So, I rode him the first day and I was a bit surprised, not in a negative way, but he was not very comfortable to ride. I said okay; that will take a bit of time and a bit work but we could find our way. We grew up together and I think he knows me inside out, I know him really well and he knows that he's the absolute hero in our stable. He is treated like a king and we are just such a good couple! I really love this horse and I think he knows that and he gives that back to me in every round he jumps.

With him you finished second in the Grand Prix in Rome…

Exactly. That was already a highlight for me because I had been there a couple of times, I supported Michael Cristofoletti when he was riding and it was always a dream. So one day I told him I wanted to ride in Rome, I would like to ride there. So, I had a chance this year and then I came second in the Grand Prix and it was unbelievable. 


How many horses do you have at home or do you ride?

I would say it's always between 10 and 13 horses. Actually we are a dealing stable, so a lot of horses come and go. We buy them, we bring them on and then we try to sell them again. But I am so lucky that Enda Carroll keeps Limbridge for me so I can really focus on him and I think that's just amazing and I have to say thank you for that. It is not often that a horse like Limbridge can be kept and that makes me very very happy.

We hope that this will last forever!

Yes, I hope so too. I believe he is just a once-in-a-lifetime horse, that’s a horse you have once, it’s nearly impossible to find another one like him.

What advice would you like to give to young riders who want to become like you?

I would say always they must keep on working, stay concentrated, be patient, work for what you love.

If there is a result that’s not super just take it, stay calm, work, keep on going and one day it will all come together.

Talent and work: where is the balance?

I think that talented riders too should always work hard. I mean there are riders that have a little talent but work harder than the others! I always think it's very important to be patient also with the horses. It doesn't matter if you are talented or not, the horse is the most important partner in the sport and I think everybody has to work hard for their goals and for the sport as well as for results. So, there are a few riders for whom it’s easier when they are really talented, but they have to work hard anyway for sure.

Yesterday you rode in the Nations Cup that is the most famous, difficult and important in the world, what are your feelings about that?

I actually have no words for it. It was already so fantastic when I got the phone call from Otto Becker, Germany’s Chef d’equipe, and he said “Okay, you had such good results over the last couple of weeks, you will be riding in the Nations Cup in Aachen” and I was very happy and the night after that I found it hard to sleep, but it was already really great and then, with the win here everything is fantastic. There are no words for it, the feeling is amazing, the atmosphere, the crowd it's just unreal.

What’s your dream?

My dream... I would say the next goal I have is perhaps Paris 2024, I think it’s possible with Limbridge. My dream would be to reach that goal with him, to keep him healthy but also all the people around me like my family and my friends. Everything has to work in unison and I just hope that everybody stays healthy and well and we work together as we do now and then things will happen step-by-step and I hope there are a few goals we can reach.

I would really say thank you to Ashford Farm, to the whole team, especially also to Michael Cristofoletti: He provides me with unbelievable support and also my family which is such an important part of it. I feel really supported by everyone and very thankful for that.


Image © Bernd Röttgers/S.Secchi