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Unforgettable: Extraordinary emotional as Steve Guerdat and Dynamix de Belheme get the gold they deserve in Milan

Monday, 04 September 2023
FEI Jumping European Championship 2023

Flawless through five rounds of competition, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat and Dynamix de Belheme (Snaike de Blondel x Cornet Obolensky, bred by Frederic Aimez, and owned by C.H.C. Horses SA & La Giraffa SA) were in a league of their own at the FEI Jumping European Championship 2023 – taking the individual gold medal at Ippodromo San Siro in Milan, Italy, on Sunday.

“I have been very, very, very, lucky, or even blessed, since the beginning of my career. I’m for sure no better rider than this guy sitting beside me [Weishaupt with silver], but he did not always have the same luck with his horses towards the championships – a luck that I was able to have – so for me to say it is the best horse I ever had, it takes a lot,” Guerdat said about Dynamix de Belheme. “I have had so many special horses through my whole career, but I did not want to put this pressure on her telling everybody that I have a new superstar, but we knew it – or we hoped for it – and we just tried to let her develop the way she had to develop. But, basically since the first day I had her, I felt she had all the qualities that all my superstars have had and she had it all as one horse. So, she is very, very, special, and I just try to don’t rush things and listen to her and what she wants to do. She felt ready now – she only did her first five-star a year ago, but she has not really missed anything.”

“I’m so proud that I could show to everybody how good we know that she is,” Guerdat said. “I just wanted to be up to her, and to be able to ride her as she deserves. She is an absolute genius in everything she does – I never had to teach her anything, she is just born as a superstar. I am proud to be able to share my life with a horse like this, and I am proud that I can be a part of her journey and that me and my team were able to put her in the spotlight like she deserves.”

Guerdat also thanked Dynamix’s breeder Frederic Aimez and her owners C.H.C. Horses SA & La Giraffa SA for their contributions to the success. 

“I have asked myself already many times what we can do to bring more rewards to the breeders,” Guerdat said when asked how he feels about the fact that the breeders are often overlooked, or hardly even mentioned. “I have a very, very, deep respect for what they do, and I know that they are the starting point of everything. I am myself not a very social person, but we have a lot of contact with the breeders [Frederic Aimez and family] of Dynamix through my wife, who texts with them every week and sends them pictures and videos. The breeders live through their horses, and – yes – I would love to be able to find a solution where they can be involved more in the success of their horses in the sport and dealing. I don’t have an answer, but I agree that it is something that we should look into. Right now, I send a big thank you to the breeders of Dynamix – we met them in Dinard; they came there to see her, and they are unbelievable people. I hope one day we will find a solution and I hope the breeders will keep on working hard – they are so dedicated and do it for not much. Yet, they contribute so much to our sport and industry.”

“I am lucky with an incredible owner – Sabina Cartossi – who has been with me for many years,” Guerdat highlighted. “It started with Corbinian who won the World Cup Final, then Venard who has won so many Grand Prix classes and Nations Cups for us, then now Dynamix since she was 5 years old. I told her [Sabina Cartossi] already that I had many nightmares where I woke up in the middle of the night because someone had bought the horse – but she said ‘you can sleep well, this mare is staying with you’. I am so thankful to have someone like that to share our happiness with and make our dreams come true.”

And with this, we look back at the extraordinary emotional scenes that unfolded as Steve Guerdat and his team could celebrate individual gold at Ippodromo San Siro on this unforgettable afternoon in Milan. 

All photos © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping, all rights reserved. If copyright violations occur, a penalty fee will apply.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ "I tried to stay focused on my job, so that she could express herself at her best – and that’s what she did. I’m proud of being able to ride a horse like this,” Guerdat said about his plan for the individual final, here in the first round.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Scenes of celebrations on the Swiss team after Guerdat's clear in the first round, which shot him into the lead as Jens Fredricson had one fence down.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ “I tried to not make anything different because I have to go clear – it is my job to try and go clear every week, every Sunday, every championship,” Guerdat said when detailing his very last round. “My mare was in great form, I just tried to keep her fresh because it was her first championship and I felt her a little bit tired today already in the first round." Here the two clear the very last oxer, to become European Champions 2023.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Crossing the finish line clear, as the only pair with five flawless rounds, it exploded at San Siro and Guerdat punched the air in delight as he had secured the individual gold medal ahead of Weishaupt with silver and Epaillard with bronze.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ As always, Dynamix got her snack!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ What a horse, what a rider!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Swiss joy...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ A kiss for Dynamix from Steve's wife Fanny Skalli and treats from owner Sabina Cartossi.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ All the feels... Steve's long-time groom Emma Uusi-Simola.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ The look of love!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Hugs from silver medallist Philipp Weishaupt for Emma.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ The golden girls.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Smiles all around on the Swiss team!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Ladies and gentlemen, your 2023 European Champions.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. A proper champagne shower!

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ After the podium celebrations, the prize giving took an unexpected turn as Guerdat decided to greet family, friends and fans from Jura – the region he is from.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Lap of honour for the fantastic Dynamix de Belheme and Steve Guerdat.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ After the press conference, Guerdat took time for photos with fans and the medical team at San Siro.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Congratulations Steve, you are the best ambassador this sport could wish for!

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