Lithuania's rising star Evita Vismerytė : "The only thing I know is that we are keeping the best for Deauville"

Lithuania's rising star Evita Vismerytė : "The only thing I know is that we are keeping the best for Deauville"

In the wake of an incredible team performance during their Northern Region qualifying legs that saw Lithuania seal a spot at the Longines EEF Series Semi-final in Deauville this weekend, Amy Powell speaks to their rising star Evita Vismerytė, about her equestrian lineage, her experience in the Series so far and her future plans.

“Both of my parents are equestrians - mum is a dressage rider and trainer, and dad is a show jumper” Evita says of her hereditary love of horses. “As a child, I was always in the stables, so it started from there. My parents weren’t keen for me to ride professionally because it’s a lot of money and I could only ride what I was given, we can’t afford expensive ready-made horses, but they slowly came round to the idea when I started doing well bringing on horses.”

When Evita was 16 she went to Holland to work with Irishman and world-class rider, Darragh Kenny, “I didn’t ride much but I learned a lot about horse care and everything at the top level. When I came back, my current horse’s owner offered me a place to work with his horses and in September it will be four years,” and from there, the rest is history.

“Everything took off when I got this mare [Quintes], she was 6 years old, very difficult and pretty green but it was love at first sight.” She says of the talented now 9-year-old whom Evita has piloted around the qualifier tracks. “She still is very sensitive and hot and if you try to be strong with her or take more control, she starts getting lost in her own world and then it’s impossible, but when I do everything as it is normally and have a connection then it’s easier, but the warmup is always quite difficult.”

After a slightly shaky start to their initial venture into the ring in Lithuania’s first qualifying leg (Aalborg, Denmark) which Evita attributes to nerves, the pair swiftly found their confidence and by their final round in leg two at Drammen they delivered a classy clear which helped the team secure their ticket to the Semi-finals this weekend. “The whole day I felt like I was a little bit stressed and worried about it in Aalborg, but the second round was much better, and we were so happy with our team performance. We’ve qualified for Deauville, which was our main aim, so that is great.”

As Lithuania’s top young rider for the last two years in a row, Evita is aiming for her first appearance at the Young Rider Europeans in Italy later this year, before she turns 22 and is no longer eligible for such classes. “If I want to get ready for the Europeans, I have to jump higher courses and get the experience, so the Longines EEF Series has been a really good experience of higher-level competition for me,” she says of the Nations Cup format. “It’s also a really nice opportunity to see other riders that you sometimes only read articles about and actually watch how they jump, sometimes I go to the warmup ring just to watch how they are doing things.”

Throughout the series, Quintes’ form has dramatically improved as the combination has gained experience and grown in confidence together over the competitive tracks, I wasn’t sure how she would react to jumping two rounds back to back as I’ve only done that twice in her career, but I would say the format has really suited her, she has been focused more in the second round and the communication between us was better.” Evita says of the Dutch Warmblood mare’s performance. “She’s very motivated to jump, so for her to get some experience of different lines with more difficult distances like a water jump to skinny vertical is a great opportunity.”
And of the future goals for the team? “The only thing I know is that we are keeping the best for Deauville as we’ve been told the courses are more challenging – other riders have said that last year’s semi-final was a step up from the qualifiers, so for now, France is our main aim and Warsaw [for the Longines EEF Series Final] would be great. We just need to be slightly faster than we have been as well as accurate in order to stand a chance of qualifying.”

Source: Press Release
F.©: Longines EEF Series
Helene Gjerde Aamdal  - Astrid Marie Årdal