Pia was born in 1958 in Gavle, Sweden, 200 km north of Stockholm. From the age of 7 she has been a regular at her hometown’s pony club. Because her family couldn’t afford to pay such expenses, she used to do tasks around the place in exchange for riding lessons. Later on, but still very young, she participated in many voluntary works at the pony club, helping handicapped people, organizing competitions and looking after children who would go straight to the club from school.
Aged 10, she made her debut in competitions of jumping, dressage and eventing, having achieved pretty good results in her country. She kept on competing in her teens but with no important results since she did not have good horses. She took a technical high school course in engineering and, again, she worked hard to earn her keep and to organize and take part in competitions. She worked cleaning offices and hotels, delivering newspapers, supermarket groceries and helping the handicapped. Pia got her degree in June 1980. In May the same year, she had started to work at one of Sweden’s biggest engineering and architecture companies, where she stayed for 2 and a half years. In this company she specialized in projecting and building up lodgings for animals.
In 82 she decided to quit engineering and to dedicate to Equestrian full time. It was then that she decided to move to the city of Koln, Germany, where she worked in the property of rider Axel Wockener. Those times Axel was rated among Germany’s best riders. Working with the horses of the family, Pia had the chance to know and see the best jumping competitions in Europe. In 85 she set off to the United States for some months to work with the famous rider Norman Dello Joio. In 86 she went to Belgium to work with François Mathy, one of Europe’s greatest horse traders, until she was asked to accompany a few horses to Brazil, where they’d participate in competitions in Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and São Paulo. In Rio, rider Pablo Stewart hired her to work with him on his project of making it to the Pan-American Games of 87, in Indianapolis and to the Olympic Games of 88, in Seoul.
Pia worked from the Stewart family until March.
Pia’s work in Brazil
After the Olympic Games of Seoul, Pia was invited by Dr Donald Stewart to start riding the new horses born at the Boa Fé Ranch. She counted on the orientation of rider Diana Osward and in 89 she got into her first competition in Brazil. From there she has accomplished quite much with the many competitions she participated, winning most of the Brazilian Championships of Young Horses.
In 92 she started her career as a trainer helping Dr Donald Stewart Jr who shortly after, October the same year, became Brazilian Champion.
In 95 and 99 Dr Stewart took part in the Brazilian dressage team at the Buenos Aires and Winnipeg Games, respectively.
In 97 and 98 took part in the winning Brazilian team at the South American Championship and also got the silver medal individually in 97.
As years went by, the number of riders kept increasing. In 1995 she joined the International Dressage Trainer Club where she participates of the annual meetings. Pia has trained Paraná state rider Martina Muller since the age of 10. Martina Muller, now a 21 year-old, has twice become junior South-American champion and was South American champion in 2001 in the Young Rider category.
She also trains veteran Maria Lucia de Andrade, South American champion (team) in 2001 and Brazilian vice-champion (individual) in 2002. Pia’s riding expertise has done nothing but improve year after year (see results attached). From the first Prix St George she participated in 1992 until now, the percentage has increased at a steady pace.
Pia has a notable easiness to adapt to different types of horses and to bear the pressure of important competitions. She believes she developed this characteristic at the times when she competed in the fierce national pony championships. Over the last ten years she’s counted on technical support from other professional trainers. Between 93 and 96 she attended 2 clinics per year with Swedish Bo Tibblin. In 98 she went to Aachen, Germany, to be trained by famous rider Hans Rueben who was with her in national competitions in Germany and in the CDI-W in Ksiaz, Poland.
Few times did she have the chance to ride internationally experienced horses. It was only in 99, with Alassio and Wellfair, that she could perform at top-level competitions in Brazil. With the help of French rider Marietta Alamassy she became Brazilian champion with Alassio and in the following year she competed for the first time at the Grand Prix Kür, when with the percentage of 67% she placed 3rd at the South American qualifying for the World Cup finals.
That same year, despite the fact that she had performed in only two international competitions, she got the 259th position of the ranking of the International Equestrian Federation.
In 2001 and 2002 she topped the Brazilian ranking of the upper level, among other achievements. Since 2002, Pia has been Brazilian dressage champion each year.