World of Showjumping

Steve Guerdat: “I didn’t want to let him down, because he didn’t let me down!”

Sunday, 07 April 2019
Longines FEI World Cup Final 2019

Photo © World of Showjumping by Jenny Abrahamsson Steve Guerdat and Alamo. Photo © World of Showjumping by Jenny Abrahamsson.


Text by World of Showjumping



After a proper celebration in Scandinavium, the top three riders in the Longines FEI World Cup Final in Gothenburg met the press – and here is what they said. 


Photo © World of Showjumping by Jenny AbrahamssoN Steve Guerdat with his third World Cup trophy. Photo © World of Showjumping by Jenny Abrahamsson.



On Alamo: 

“He has been amazing. It was a little bit of an unknown with him, especially going into the final with him today. It was his first championship, and he has not jumped three classes like this in a row. My biggest fear was actually the second day, because after going fast the first day I was not sure how he would respond – so I was a little bit nervous after the second day because I did not feel him as good as he was on Thursday. I did not really know what to expect today, but he has been nothing but amazing. I felt him really fighting with me, not that it felt easy – just that he was giving his all. I didn’t want to let him down, because he didn’t let me down! I’m very proud of him!”


Asked to compare Alamo to Bianca and Nino des Buissonnets: 

“He is probably a lot easier than Bianca. He is much more rideable, he is a better mover and has an easier canter than Bianca has. He’s perhaps not the same genius as her, but he is a real athlete and very powerful with a lot of blood. He showed the world today that he belongs to the best ones, and I am very proud to be able to share a part of my history with that horse. And: There is no comparison with Nino!”


On having to set another clear in today’s last round, and the pressure coming with it: 

“I think the most important is to have a rideable horse. It was as I said a bit of my worry after the first day and how he was the second day, if he would be rideable today. Then, the rest – the fences, that’s up to the horse to jump. I really try to focus on my riding and try to give the best possible spot for the horse, so he has enough time to clear the fences. I try to take one jump after the other, and give him as much time as possible. This was really my focus today, just give the horse the chance to clear the jumps. He responded very good in the warm-up and in the ring – that gives you some confidence. I was quite lucky in the first round on one jump, the rest was very good – I just tried to do my best. I was ready to fight today, and the horse was too – so he helped me out very much today.”


On the courses: 

“The course was a bit more difficult for me on Friday, because there was one extra jump – fourteen jumps in an indoor is quite a lot and everything comes very, very, quick, we have no time to breathe. If the horse is not a 100% focused, you can lose it very quick. Today it was a little nicer, you could find some spot in the course where you could actually give your horse a breather and if everything was not perfectly smooth you could get your horse a little bit back to you. 


On fence no. ten in Sunday’s first round, that fell again and again: 

“It was a very difficult jump, but this is again what Santi does so good. He can build something very difficult, but without going against the horse. I think if you did a good ride, you could still solve the problem because you were coming from a long straight line so you could focus on the jump and give your horse the best chance to do it – it was not that nice to look at and it was not the best feeling at top of it, but you had the chance to clear it.”

Photo © World of Showjumping by Jenny Abrahamsson The top three: Steve Guerdat, Martin Fuchs and Peder Fredricson. Photo © World of Showjumping by Jenny Abrahamsson.



On being beaten by his best friend Steve Guerdat: 

“Used to be friends!” Fuchs joked while laughing. 

“No, a big congratulations to Steve. As I said earlier, if being beaten by someone at least it’s my good friend Steve – also my training partner, so that is the best about being second today. Obviously, I wanted to win. Clooney was fantastic throughout the whole championship – especially today he made it look easy. It was a big track, and Santiago put a lot of questions into it – big fences, but still Clooney made it look very simple.”


On Clooney:

“I am very fortunate that I have one of the best horses – for me the best – in the world. That’s why it is a bit disappointing that he did not win the gold medal, but as I said two times silver is also a great achievement – indoor and outdoors – so I’m already looking forward to the European Championships with him. Hopefully Steve and I will find one other Swiss rider that can help us a bit in the Nations Cup,” he laughed.  




On his third place with Catch Me Not S: 

“It was a great feeling to be on the podium today in front of the home crowd, and I think it was top, top sport and the atmosphere was amazing. I think he (Catch Me Not S) is a fantastic horse. He has a bit of his own technique, but he has scope enough to cover it and he has a fantastic mentality and is very brave. He has a lot of blood and is very sensitive, but he is an amazing horse. I used to do eventing before, and I think he would have been a perfect eventing horse.”



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