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Alban Poudret: “Stay safe but positive, my equestrian friends!”

Friday, 10 April 2020
When at home...

Photo © Julien Counet/Studforlife.com. Alban Poudret. Photo © Julien Counet/Studforlife.com.

Alban Poudret, editor-in-chief of Swiss equestrian magazine Le Cavalier Romand and sports director at CHI Geneva, reflects on the many challenges the equestrian sport is facing – hoping that a strong sense of passion and enthusiasm will pull us all through this crisis. 

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“It’s a difficult period, but we should stay safe, active and confident! We try…

We are really living in a very special period and in difficult times, and my first thoughts are going to all the people who suffer physically from the Covid-19, and to all the people in economic difficulties too – not to forget about how dramatic this is for refugees or people living in conflict areas.

In equestrian sports too, there are people in difficult situations, losing hope. For many equestrian schools, and also for breeders, it looks terrible. I am sad that the equestrian schools, which have the mission of educating young riders, and are already less and less numerous, even in Switzerland, suffer more than for example livery stables. 

For show organisers too, there are huge problems and a very uncertain future. Some are very positive and think it will start again in a few months, without too big losses, some are much more anxious and think we will have a “white season”. The reality is perhaps between those two visions, but...

In comparison, I can be grateful to be able to continue the majority of my activities, but without shows and without seeing riders, organizers and breeders directly, which is my normal life. However, I am trying to continue my projects with enthusiasm. It’s much more difficult for photographers, for example, or commentators – like my friends Umberto (Martuscelli) or Ed (Holloway) – than for journalists. 

Our monthly magazine Le Cavalier Romand continues, with shows or without, with adverts or with a few adverts (a third this month!). We have to continue to serve our subscribers. And we are happy to work. I am fortunate enough to have my office next door to my house and also that my graphic designer is my wife Nathalie! So, we work and live together! With our other employees, it’s different. For the last three weeks it’s been teleworking, but it works very well in a communication business. And Elisa (Oltra), my editor, is over-motivated, even in such days! Our printing house and the Swiss post continue to operate too, so we can go forward, with a big loss in publicity, but we keep confident. We hope our magazine, which celebrated its Centenary last autumn, will survive!

My collaboration with other medias is also still on-going, but there are less articles in newspapers and with big shows like CSIO St. Gallen cancelled no TV and no radio. With two Swiss riders, Steve and Martin, no. 1 and no. 2 in the world it’s too bad, but they have a great and long future ahead… 

I will also use this very particular time to promote the film on Nelson Pessoa I made and produced at the end of last year, use this time to offer it to TV channels and perhaps to translate it into Portuguese and into English. We worked very hard to finish this 84-minute film, with a lot of images of the past, from the sixties to now, but I neglected – like often! – the commercial aspect and will now have time to do so.

As CHI Geneva’s sports director, spring is normally the time to prepare the programme and the novelties, and we are doing that, but with a reduced number of people. We work regularly and closely by phone with Sophie (Mottu Morel), our efficient and trustful director, and Michel (Sorg), our dynamic assistant director, who will be the next Swiss show jumping chef d’equipe, as you perhaps know. We feel we are as productive as before working by phone, even if we would prefer to be together of course! And it’s not easy to speak with all the committee members or those responsible, so the three of us prepare proposals that we then deliver to them. It’s not the same dialogue, but we hope to meet them soon, like with you all. In spring or in summer perhaps? Even for the CHI Geneva, which is planned from the 10 to the 13 of December 2020, the 60th edition with the 20th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final and great novelties, we cannot be sure to be able to run the show in those difficult times, but we try our best and hope. 

Let’s be careful, but confident. Stay safe but positive, my equestrian friends! Our passion and enthusiasm is so strong.

Alban Poudret

 

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