Heidi Mulari has a job that many would envy her; she looks after Steve Guerdat’s super stars Jalisca Solier, Tresor and Ferrari. WoSJ sat down with Heidi to hear more about Steve’s horses, how she ended up in Switzerland and memorable career moments. Heidi is from Finland, and when she finished school she left her home country to work with horses in Holland. Her stay was only meant to last for a year, but has stretched on – and moved the 30 year old to Steve’s base in the Swiss countryside.
In Holland Heidi worked a few years for Piet Raijmakers, then for an Italian rider who later moved to France – which led Mulari to a new job at Jan Tops’ stable. It was here that Heidi met Steve, and she has now been working for Steve for the last six years. “I liked it in Holland, but when Steve left Tops in the beginning of 2006 I decided to go with him. Steve has a lovely place outside of Zurich – it’s in the countryside but yet it’s only twenty minutes to the city,” Heidi smiles. “The only thing is that Switzerland is far from everything and everywhere, and it’s usually a long drive to most shows. Steve and I get along well. I would say that we are good at leaving each other alone so that we both can do our jobs. Steve is a very fair person, and has the ability to see things also from my perspective,” she says.
Jalisca Solier is probably the horse most people connect to Guerdat, and we ask Heidi to tell us more about this fantastic 14 year old mare by Alligator Fontaine x Jalisco B that has won an European team gold medal, the Top Ten final, two World Cup qualifiers and several Grand Prix classes. “Jalisca – or Lisa as we call her – has been with us for the past five years. At the point when she came to Steve he had no great horses, and she was really the one that brought him up to the top. Lisa is a people’s horse, she doesn’t like other horses,” Heidi explains. “Lisa was also very accident prone as a baby; she once tried to jump out of her field, but got stuck and she has a very visible scar from the incident. Later on she fractured her leg. In her grown-up life Lisa has also been a little unlucky; in 2007 she went through colic surgery and not long ago she had to go to surgery to remove a splint from her leg. I would say she has had enough to deal with,” Heidi smiles.
“Jalisca is not the easiest to ride, and she canters like a lobster! She is very French in every way,” Mulari laughs. “Lisa loves her food and eats all the time and I have to say that she is very easy to deal with!” When the end of Lisa’s career comes, the plan is to use her excellent genes for breeding and as Heidi puts it “she will definitely not be sold!”
Tresor – on whom Steve was third in the World Cup final in Las Vegas in 2007 – just came back to Steve’s yard in early July after a long holiday. “Terro has been off for four months now. After Vigo he went to Normandie for some time off and to do some breeding. And he has been very popular with the girls,” Heidi laughs. “For a stallion Terro is amazing; I just put on a head collar and a rope and he follows – he is so easy,” Heidi says of the 15 year old by Papillon Rouge.
Ferrari is another one of Steve’s top horses, and the 12 year old by Furioso has a great competition record including several top Grand Prix placings. “Ferrari is a bit strange, but very friendly,” Mulari laughs. “He is very special, and can get in quite a state sometimes. When he does he won’t know which way to go. Ferrari can get quite insecure,” she explains of the gelding that recently won a three star Grand Prix in Bratislava.
“Lisa and Terro are my favorites; I know them so well and they are just so easy to work with,” the lovely Finnish girl smiles continuing to tell us that Steve has several exciting up and coming horses too. “Sidney is a very nice nine year old, that we hope will be good. She has been a late starter as she has had a foal, but is now jumping two and three star Grand Prix classes – and has already won one GP,” Heidi lets us know. “Then there is Come On Girl which is nine, and we also have a six year old stallion called Baloussini by Baloubet du Rouet that we have high hopes for – he only came to us some weeks ago,” Mulari says. “Nino des Buissonets is another exciting horse for us, he is ten years old and by Kannan. He came to us in the beginning of the year, and it’s almost freaky how he jumps! Nino needs a bit more time, but he will be a true star!”
Jalisca, Tresor and Ferrari have brought Heidi many memorable and special moments; “The first time Lisa won a World Cup was very special! And of course the Top Ten final in Geneva last year, that Steve and Lisa won – that was great. Steve is very popular in Switzerland which made it all the more special. And of course the team gold at the Europeans at Windsor, but the atmosphere there was so bad – so that kind of took the moment down a bit. The stands were almost empty for the medal ceremony,” Heidi says.
Does Steve’s groom have any favorite spots to travel to? “Geneva is one of my favorite shows; it’s really nice there. And I also like it in Lyon – it’s a lovely indoor show. Of course all the GCT shows are great as well; it’s almost like going on holiday when you go to one of those events,” she laughs.
Heidi might not strike you as the superstitious kind of girl – but, she can reveal that she has a lucky item that seems to bring good vibes to the horses and their rider! “I have one jumper that seems to bring luck, and I try to keep that on when something important is on. Every time I have worn it – except for once – Steve has won, and Lisa has won two Grand Prix classes with me in that sweater! So I would say that it’s proven to be a lucky jumper,” Heidi laughs!
Photos by Jenny Abrahamsson/Text by Jannicke Naustdal - copyright © worldofshowjumping.com 2011.
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