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The year in review – with Simon Delestre: “You have to keep in mind that luck also plays a part in our sport”

Sunday, 01 January 2023
Interview

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ.
“At the highest level, you have to always fight to improve, and you have to keep learning. I have to say that in the past year, my relationship with each of my horses has grown deeper," Simon Delestre tells WoSJ. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ.

 

Text © World of Showjumping

 


 

In 2022, former world number one Simon Delestre once again proved why he is often referred to as a fighter by his peers. After selling Berlux Z (Berlin x Major de la Cour) – with whom the French rider competed at the Tokyo Olympic Games – and retiring his long-time partner Hermès Ryan (Hugo Gesmeray x Ryon d’Anzex), Delestre still finished the year back within the Top 10 and with an impressive string of young talents under his saddle. 

“It was a very exciting year and I am very happy with the performances of all my horses,” Delestre tells World of Showjumping. “Cayman Jolly Jumper (Hickstead x Quaprice Bois Margot) did an amazing job this year and all our 9-year-olds – Dexter Fontenis Z (Diarado x Voltaire), Iniesta V (Zambesi TN x No Limit) and I Amelusina R 51 (Dexter R x Chin Chin) – progressed as we expected them to do.” 

Always looking forward

“The thing is, I always try to have succession with my horses,” Delestre says when asked about the challenge of filling the void left by horses like Berlux and Ryan. “When we sold Berlux, we knew already that we had these three promising horses at home. They were young and maybe not looking super spectacular at the time, but we believed in them – and then we found Cayman and Tinka’s Hero Z (Tinka's Boy x Caretino). Now, I hope I still have some nice younger ones at home. I am always looking towards the future; you have to.”

Nothing is certain

“I think we can never stop learning,” Delestre says about his takeaway from 2022. “At the highest level, you have to always fight to improve, and you have to keep learning. I have to say that in the past year, my relationship with each of my horses has grown deeper and we are for sure stronger now than we were at the beginning of the year. All their performances this year were fantastic. You have to keep in mind that luck also plays a part in our sport – sometimes you can feel ready but end up having two down. This is our sport; nothing is certain. That is why I am so happy with the past year, because my horses have been consistent and always improving.” 

Keep fighting

“For next year, I still want to improve the 9-year-olds that are turning ten,” Delestre tells about his goals for 2023. “We really need to get them more experience. With Cayman, I believe we are on the right way but there are still points to improve on. And then, 2024 comes quick! Of course, I have Paris on my mind already, and I aim to have my horses ready for that. I believe we just have to choose the right shows for each of them. I think with Cayman, there is nothing big to change, we just have to keep giving him experience. This year, he saw all there is to see; many different venues, fences and competitions. Next year, he will know all these places, and I also know him better now. This should make life simpler, but our sport is never easy. Therefore, we need to keep fighting.”

 

1.1.2023 No reproduction of any of the content in this article will be accepted without a written permission, all rights reserved © World of Showjumping.com. If copyright violations occur, a penalty fee will apply. 



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