This week I’m very excited to be chatting with Spanish Olympic dressage rider Severo Jurado Lopez. The hugely talented Severo represented Spain at the Rio 2016 Olympics, and has just returned from representing Spain at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Severo has also enjoyed considerable success winning the World Championship for Young Horses in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Not to mention competing in the European championships and the World Equestrian Games. In addition to this, Severo along with his partner Annika, run their own stable and business “Jurado Dressage” in Denmark, where they take care of and train a small amount of dressage horses with focus on the horses individual needs and well-being, while bringing all their potential out. Read on to find out more about this hugely talented and extremely busy young man, his horses, and his life to date.
Tell us a little about you
My name is Severo and I’m a 32 years old Spanish Dressage Rider, living and working in the North of Denmark. I and my partner Annika own a little farm and we really enjoy living and working with the horses.
How did horses come into your life?
I was born and grew up in rural South-Spain (Andalucía). I have been in the saddle almost before I could walk. My grandfather has a farm with a few horses and I spent as much time there as possible. He taught me all horsemanship basics. In this time it was not so much about dressage, but about classical Spanish riding. My first horse was a PRE gelding and his name was Primero. My grandfather bred him and he was really sweet. I could ride him and I learnt a lot about basics from him.
I was not really good at school and when I was there, I just thought about riding in the afternoon. It was clear for me that my future must be with horses.
How long have you been riding?
I have been in the saddle almost before I could walk. But my Dressage education started age 17.
When and where do you ride?
Every day, at my stable (at home). I ride about 10 horses every day.
How did you start riding?
My grandfather has a farm with a few horses and I spent as much time there as possible.
What you and your horses currently working on?
I have different horses in training at the moment. From young horses, upcoming, and already further educated ones. Each horse has individual goals. My stable is small and therefore each horse that comes to me, needs to be special or have potential.
What do you love about riding?
When I sit on my horses I forget everything. That makes Annika angry sometimes 😀
It’s a special sport, to connect with an animal and become one. It’s so difficult, but when you achieve this feeling, to get all trust from your horse, it’s simply amazing.
You have recently been to the Olympics, tell us about the experience and what it meant to you
To go to the Olympics is (I think) every athletes dream. I was lucky enough to participate also in Rio in 2016. So Tokyo was my second time. It was super exciting and again a dream coming true. Just great when all the hard work, training and passion pays off. I’m very proud and thankful for this.
My horse this time (Fendi) was unexperienced, and the conditions have been tough (hot and humid) but he tried his best. I’m so proud of him.
What are your future goals?
I have a breeding mare, and I’m dreaming to compete one of my own horses in GP.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
Not really. I can be nervous before sitting on my horse and start the warm up. But as soon as I’m in the saddle everything is forgotten and my focus is 100% with the horse. There are so many details to take care of while riding, so I always say there’s no time to be nervous.
Your Top Tip
Keep training. You need to spend so many hours with your horse to become successful. Get to know them in the stable as well as riding. Both are equally important.
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
Oh that’s difficult. I’d love to try Valegro and Totilas. This horses are very special and I’d love to get the feeling of them.
Who is your equestrian rider hero?
I don’t have one hero. I love watching every single other rider and try to see what they’re doing and how that can help me. I also love chatting with other riders and share new ideas and tips. That’s very helpful and in my opinion very important. We have to help each other.
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
I would always choose my family. But I guess that’s not what you mean…
Maybe Lionel Messi, Barack Obama, James Cordon, Will Smith and Jennifer Lopez.
Favourite colour horse?
It really doesn’t matter to me
Favourite horse event
I love traditional Spanish food as well as Sushi… I like food in general. Almost everything and I enjoy trying new things.
Favourite way to relax
Not really often time to relax, but when I’m with my daughter Paula the world slows down and I’m relaxing and enjoying every moment.