Thailand’s rising star equestrians set a sight on qualifying for international competitions
The Vuntanadit equestrian sisters have been putting on great displays. ‘Pam’ Suphakamol became the first Thai rider to compete in the Grand Prix, the highest level, on international stage while ‘Patty’ Suphajit finished third in the CDI2* in Poland.
Suphajit impressed the judges with the incorporating of Thai instruments and the snippet from the period soap opera Love Destiny. Following their impressive performances, they are setting a target of representing Thailand by securing a spot for the Asian Games 2022 and Olympic Games 2024.
During their exclusive interview for the media on July 25, 2022, Suphakamol and Suphajit shared their experiences on joining dressage competition on international stages where they have been well recognized.
They were coached by Imke Schellekens-Bartels, the equestrian from the Netherlands, who got the silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Bejing and the gold medal in the World Championship 2010 in Kentucky, both in the dressage. Now, they are committed to representing Thailand at both Asian Games 2022 and Olympic Games 2024.
The 24-year-old Suphakamol is now ranked 366th in the FEI Dressage World Ranking. She is well recognized among equestrians in Europe thanks to her impressive results in many tournaments.
With her relentless efforts in developing and improving her skills, she joined the Grand Prix competition, the highest level in dressage, becoming the first Thai to achieve that
Her achievements included a fifth-place finish at the CDI 3* Bigtour Grand Prix in Grand Prix Special Class in Poland in April, 2022 and a second-place finish at the CDI 3 Star U25 Grand Prix in France in October last year.
Her younger sister Suphajit,21, is gaining experiences in a hope to follow her steps. In the CDI 2 Star Prix St-Georges in Poland in April, Suphajit clinched the third-place finish in dressage, impressing the judges by applying the Thai song melody inspired by the famous period soap opera Love Destiny.
It is sure to boost her confidences before the qualifying events for the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, rescheduled to take place in September 2023.
“Pam” Suphakamol said; “Joining the competition in Europe is a good experience for me. I have learned a lot, working with a top-tier coach and having to take care of our horses ourselves including feeding the horses and getting them checked up as well as training.
"The important thing I have learned for being equestrian is that a rider and a horse must have good teamwork. We have to take care and understand each other’s feelings. We should take a horse as our friend not just an animal. They are an important part of our sport and our lives.”
“Patty” Suphajit added, “Apart from taking care of our horses, we have experienced a lot when joining a competition. We might have a good preparation at home. However, we always faced an unexpected situation in the tournament and we had to handle it.
"It is also about our concern that we will not be able to perform like we had trained. The more we compete, the less we are concerned. And we are now more committed and try to do our best. At the end, we might not get the result we expect, but we will learn from that and then improve ourselves and also our horses.”
As for next goals, “Pam” Suphakamol will compete in 2-3 international events in Europe (France or Germany) in September and October to get more experiences for both herself and her horse.
From January to December 2023, she is scheduled to join the Grand Prix events on FEI to gain as many points as possible to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in the dressage.
Meanwhile, “Patty” Suphajit is preparing to join the qualifying events in Thailand in the Prix St. George to secure a place and represent Thailand in the dressage at the Asian Games 2022, the event moved back to take place in September next year.
Suphakit, the father of the Vuntanadit equestrians, talked about an expectation for his daughters, “They have worked really hard and tried their best for six years in Europe. I really believe that they will give their best and show their skills to the best. My family and I have always believed in our daughters. Khun Chuenhathai (the mother) and I as a father have been supporting them along the way.
"We witness that as equestrians, they have made a fast progress during their training. They fight relentlessly. We are happy to see the Thais being recognized by both equestrians and judges on the international stages. We will also do our best to give them supports and advices to make sure their dream comes true.”
Khun Chuenhathai said that she was really happy her daughters were successful in both education and sports. She became lucky to stay and take good care of them for six years in Europe
Life & Achievement
Suphakamol Vuntanadit (Pam), 24, started riding at the age of 7, a Master’s Degree graduate in Corporate and Commercial Law, Maastricht University, the Netherlands, Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, University College Maastricht, Netherlands
- The first Thai to compete in the Grand Prix, the highest level used to qualify for the Olympic Games, 366th ranked in the FEI World Ranking on June 2022
- The first Thai to compete in the U25 Grand Prix, 49th ranked in the FEI World Youth Ranking for U25 in April 2022, the first Thai to compete in the Young Rider, 217th ranked in the FEI World Youth Ranking for Young Rider in 2017, the highest rank in Thailand and also the Southeast Asian countries.
Suphajit Vuntanadit (Patty), 21, started riding at the age of 3. Bachelor’s Degree in Politics, King’s College, London (First-Class Honor) and applying for Master’s Degree
- Third-place finish in the CDI 2 Star Prix St-Georges in Poland in April 2022
- Got the highest points in the qualifying round to represent Thailand at the Asian Games 2022
- Currently Top-3 finish in Asia