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Philipp Weishaupt: Feeling good doesn’t mean you are winning...

Friday, 15 September 2017
CSIO5* Spruce Meadows 2017

…or that is what I told myself in Calgary. With the best in the world present, the field there was so strong that I knew it would be difficult to beat any of them. Since the first day there, LB Convall felt amazing. I jumped him one class the first day, and he felt in such a good form that I decided not to start him again before Sunday. He loves places like Aachen and Spruce Meadows – he loves the huge grass rings, and he behaves like he owns the place. He feels very much at home. 

In my eyes Convall is a very special horse. I actually think he is very close to being perfect: He has the technique, the scope, the talent – he has everything you need in a top horse. On top of that, he is also really cool in his head. I feel so honoured to have the opportunity to ride him – it is just an amazing feeling sitting on such an extraordinary horse as him. Everyone keeps asking me how I have managed to win both Aachen and Spruce Meadows – it takes so much work, and in the end you just need to be lucky on the right moment. I believe all my luck has been down to LB Convall. Withouth him, I would not have been able to win these two majors, there is no doubt about that. His potential is just incredible. I think there are three horses that have managed to win both of these Gran Prixs before: Hickstead, Goldfever and Hello Sanctos. It feels incredible that LB Convall is now a part of that legendary group. 

There is no question about how special these traditional venues are, where the Rolex Grand Slam takes place. These venues have been there from the beginning of showjumping – they are places everyone knows, and places where everyone dreams of winning. Instead of jumping at some newly invented venue with a built up scene in the middle of a city, these places have history and it gives winning at a place such as Spruce Meadows just that little extra. On Sunday, I knew already in the warm up that I had a good shot – my horse felt so good. The only thing I have to do on him, is to make sure I don’t mess up! I think he jumped the first round very good, and I think the second round was just outstanding. 

Being on top form at the right moment is something we work on at home every day, and even if I would have wanted to stay and have a beer and some food with my friends in Calgary, I had to rush to the airport to catch my flight back. I arrived home to find a banner and pictures of us on the walls, cake and champagne – the team at home had prepared a really nice welcome. I was back on Monday at lunch time and spent Tuesday and Wednesday riding my horses, still enjoying my Calgary moment with many phone calls and messages during the days. 

I guess everyone who is not so close to the sport, now thinks that I am a millionaire, after seeing me with that big cheque. The reality is different, though: We have a huge yard at home, with some 100 horses and 50 staff. And only one Convall – so this kind of prize money is simply a necessity. As a rider, I don’t think about the money when I go into the ring, or when I am on a horse in general. I do what I do because I enjoy it. I love riding, I enjoy being with the horses and competing with the best. And now it is all back to the daily routine; I am already on my way to Donaueschingen! 



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