Drunken parents and nasty kids at the Swedish pony championships

The image of the Swedish pony brigade took a beating this weekend. One usually expects cute ponies, bright young kids, horse-mad girls, enthusiastic and doting parents, some real equestrian skill and much fun.

(As a kid, many, many, years and even more kilograms ago, I was pony-mad and rode regularly at the gymkhana races at the Poona Race Course).

But it wasn’t quite good, clean fun at the Swedish National Pony championships as one might have expected. The national pony races in Ljungby degenerated this weekend into a destructive “orgy” with drunken parents leading their spoilt kids into juvenile vandalism.

smålänningen:  The Ljungby Riding Club had organised the national pony championships to run from from Friday to Sunday in Sickinge. But instead of a pleasant event for children and their parents it degenerated into vandalism and police complaints.

“It all started on Saturday”, says Linnea Benjaminsson, who was one of the weekend’s functionaries. On Saturday night, she helped to rebuild the track for Sunday’s first jumping class, and already then some children were messing around in the indoor arena. When the race organisers arrived at the course early on Sunday morning, they found that the track had been sabotaged. Barriers had been shifted around and the numbers of the barriers had been jumbled.

“We left late in the evening so it must have happened during the night”, says Linnea, who thinks it is strange that parents allow their children to be out so late and horse around. Soon it was also discovered that a locker room was heavily flooded. It turned out that someone had deliberately blocked the drains in both sinks as well as in the showers and then turned the water on. “There was also a clogged toilet”, after hay bale plastic had been used to block it.

It seems many of the parents had imbibed more than a little heavily and were themselves behind some of the incidents. Some had been urinating in the dining area. These nasty little pony kids are not from deprived circumstances. The Swedish pony brigade – as in most countries – tend to be fairly well-off. And some of the kids are more than a little spoilt.

Behaviour 101. Nasty drunken parents beget nasty, destructive kids.


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