It is quite possible to become a mother in the middle of a trotting career and come back stronger than ever. Sandra Eriksson knows that and she dares to do it again. “I’m pregnant again,” the star driver announces.
It was a really successful season for Sandra Eriksson. She returned to the sulky full time after parental leave with several trotting races a week and good results. In addition, the stable has been filled with horses that will reach their full potential in Sandra’s reins.
– Now I think I have returned to the same level. It has gone well. I keep about the same percentage and run-in money per start, says Sandra.
But the journey here has not been entirely easy. A couple of years ago, Sandra Boden left for Eskilstuna. She trained and cared for nine horses, had fun and learned a lot. That at a cost because she worked 12-13 hours a day and was almost never free.
– I’m pretty sure I reached the famous wall, but when you work with horses you do not have time to go and seek help for that. I came home and was able to take it easy for a few months and then I got my energy back. I’m not going there again. Now I keep it at a level I can handle and feel good about, says Sandra.
In Eskilstuna she found love named Simon Cederborg. He played hockey in Enköping and the plan was that he would play there and come up to Boden when the season was over. Instead, he moved up earlier when Sandra became pregnant.
– We had not been together very long and we did not even live together, so we went from being new lovers to diving into the deep end. I was crazy tired, felt very bad and was depressed when the hormones hit hard. It was a lot of work for me but also for Simon. It should be the happiest time in one’s life and so I just wanted it to be over, Sandra remembers.
The couple went through the tough times, little Philip was born in August 2019 and life took a whole new turn.
– It’s as good now as it was bad then, says Sandra.
She brought help to the stable to be able to be on parental leave but also had the opportunity to train some horses and run races thanks to her mother who took care of Philip.
– The first time I drove after I got Philip, I won a 100,000 kronor race at Bodentravet. It was great that I got to win a race like that when it was a comeback. It was a month after I had him.
Sandra had seen other successful drivers who stepped down when they started a family and she thought it could be the same for her. She was afraid that her time and energy would not be enough for both horses and children.
– But now I have had my first child and it is actually going really well, much better than I dared to believe. And I feel stronger after I had children than I did before, she says.
It took a while before she got back as much control as before the pregnancy but it worked. Horses involve a lot of hard work and evening work, but Sandra can also have quiet weeks, control her time and pick up early at preschool. Now she knows that it is possible to combine a trotting career with family life.
– Now I’m pregnant again so now it’s a little break again.
The baby is expected in January and it is starting to be difficult to run races for practical reasons, but she hopes to be back in the sulky in February or March. A substitute has been solved and Simon will also be home more this time.
– It feels like it will be even easier to come back this time. I think people understand that it’s only a few months and then I’m back, says Sandra.
A prerequisite for Sandra to be able to live this life is the horse farm where the family lives, in the middle of Hästbyn just south of Boden. The farm was built by Sandra eight years ago together with her then cohabitant Petter Lundberg.
– We had the horses inside Bodentravet and wanted to offer more to our horse owners. We had a dream of having our own sand course and some green gardens.
They started by looking at farms to rent in southern Sweden, but through Sandra’s father soon heard about the municipality’s plans to create a horse village in Boden.
– It was the best option because there is proximity to driving trails, trotting track, riding stables and riding arenas, says Sandra.
Now she just needs to go out the door to be at work.
– It is a fantastic environment, to be able to live so close to the animals. I can go out and do things myself for a while or we can go out together and Philip can run around. It’s a good environment for him to be in.
Sandra rents the farm from her father and the parents are a great help in Sandra’s life. But when Sandra was little, there was no relationship with horses in the family. Instead, it was a classmate who took Sandra to a stable for the first time and she could not tear herself away. That’s when she realized she wanted horses in her life.
– I have had to go my own way. My parents have been kind and pushed me but still been tough on me to manage on my own. I am very grateful that I have learned to solve problems myself.
In five years, Sandra hopes that her coaching business is bigger, that she continues to run races and does it even better.
– I want to make the best of all the horses I get in and get them to compete as well as possible. What drives me to continue is the love for horses. They are absolutely amazing animals. The combination with competition makes it even more fun. #
Sandra Eriksson / Age: 30 years.
Do / Driver and trotting coach.
Family / Cohabitant Simon Cederborg, 30 years old, son Philip, 1 year old, and a baby in the womb.
Lives / Hästgård in Hästbyn just south of Boden.
Stable / 20 stables and another 24 loose housing spaces, large pastures and a sand track for trotting training.