It has been an amazing world championship, and without doubt it was the best rider and horse that won!
The world champion is a fantastic rider, but yesterday showed that he is a true horseman as well! Le Jeune took a lot of time to get to know the horses, and gave them all the praise in the world when he was finished riding them. It was surely fantastic to watch him. Le Jeune told the press that when he was a little boy, his dad taught him to love horses. He said that his life is dedicated to horses, to feel them and love them. “My wish is that all horses will be happy to be in my stable”, Le Jeune said. That surely showed today, and it was a very emotional moment when Le Jeune hugged Vigo when the victory was theirs.
Le Jeune said that he was pretty calm before the Top Four, and that he was already happy with the way Vigo had been going during the championships. Le Jeune also said that he had decided to feel how the horses felt, and adjust to them instead of making the horses adjust to him. “That paid off”, he commented. With his win yesterday, Le Jeune even secured that the world champion title stays in Belgium for another four years. A great achievement for the sport and for Belgium’s breeding – as we’ve said before Vigo d’Arsouilles is a Belgian warmblood after Nabab de Reve who was also ridden by Le Jeune. Vigo stands at stud in Belguim, and has covered many mares since he was young – Laura Kraut is among the riders who have a great offspring by this wonderful stallion.
On the question on how he felt about Hickstead being the best horse – the stallion was clear with all four riders -, Eric Lamaze laughed and said that he already knew Hickstead was the best and “now these riders know as well”. Hickstead and Lamaze can now add the bronze to their already existing collection of medals!
Rodrigo Pessoa had a bit of trouble with getting the saddle on Seldana di Campalto. Pessoa said the mare was a little tense and nervous, but as soon as he got up on her she calmed down, and he got along well with her. Pessoa explained the behavior, and said that the horses tend to get a bit unsettled at the beginning when they don’t understand what’s going on.
On his silver medal, Abdullah Al Sharbatly said that it was a big moment for him and his country. He has had the Emillion-mare Seldana di Campalto for only six weeks, and has only done two competitions with her before the WEG. On his eight faults on the mare, Al Sharbatly said that Seldana was disturbed by a shadow and that this caused her dropping her legs in the triple combination. “I love this horse, and believe in her. I love her like she was my daughter”, Al Sharbatly said about his fantastic mare.
We thank all the riders and their wonderful horses for a fantastic championship. It has had everything! This sport sure is fantastic.
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