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Martin Fuchs’ groom Sean Vard: “Ludger’s vision really comes through in the way the facilities at Riesenbeck International have been built”

Friday, 03 September 2021
Longines FEI European Championships 2021

Photo © Riesenbeck International Sean Vard and Leone Jei are enjoying the facilities at Riesenbeck International. Photo © Riesenbeck International.


Edited press release from Riesenbeck International


Sean Vard has worked with Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs – the 2019 European Champion – for the past five years. Very sadly, Fuchs’ European Champion Clooney 51 got severely injured in the middle of August – and at the Longines FEI Jumping European Championship 2021 in Riesenbeck it is the 9-year-old Leone Jei (Baltic VDL x Corland) that is his partner. With a successful season behind them, Sean has high hopes for the days to come. “Obviously, we came here for a medal,” he says about his expectations for the week. “And with a horse like ours, I think we have a very good chance. A team medal first would be nice and after that, it is everyone’s game. Would be nice to get a medal in Clooney’s honour.” 

And after two days of jumping, Team Fuchs is on the right track: With the fantastic Leone Jei, Fuchs leads individually with 1.31 points, and Switzerland tops the team ranking with 5.47 points ahead of Friday’s final round where the first medals will be decided. 

Sean is impressed with the new facilities at Riesenbeck International. “The stabling is absolutely perfect. Everything from the boxes to every little detail has been taken into account, from the wide stable doors, high walls for the stallions to the spacious windows. The stables are really airy and the lighting is good. The aisles are wide and the wash places have a really good drainage – which is unusual for a show stable.”  

“We have enough safe electric plugs for our freezers, enough taps for fresh water,” Sean continues. “The lorry parking is close, there is good stable security at the entrance – for me, every detail here is just perfect. We also have really good grazing areas and a lot of room to walk the horses. For me, having no permanent feeders or drinkers in the boxes is also the safest option: There is nothing worse than arriving at a show or a stop-over stable and finding old food in the feeders or dirty drinkers. Also, I like to know how much my horses drink during the day and with buckets, this is easier to control. Also, I see that they have considered the cleaning in between the shows: The doors can be slid open and you can drive in with a tractor for easy and quick turnaround.”  

According to Sean, the stables are “next level”: “I have been to some stables that I thought were perfect, but this is something else,” he says. “The vision that Ludger had – after having seen every show in the world many times – really comes through in the way he has built these stables. Considering it is a championship, a normal day here is not so stressful since I only have two horses with me. When you have facilities like these, life is easy!”  


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