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Steve Guerdat most successful Nations Cup rider of 2023

Saturday, 09 December 2023

Photo © Lafrentz The Swiss equestrian magazine PferdeWoche has crowned Switzerland's Steve Guerdat the most successful Nations Cup rider of 2023, with thirteen clear rounds throughout the year. Photo © Lafrentz.

The Swiss equestrian magazine PferdeWoche has crowned Switzerland's Steve Guerdat the most successful Nations Cup rider of 2023, with thirteen clear rounds throughout the year. With ten clear rounds, Guerdat's compatriot Martin Fuchs finished second, followed by Bryan Balsiger (SUI), Eduard Alvarez Aznar (ESP) and Ben Maher (GBR) who all delivered nine clear rounds each.

On the country statistics, Ireland was the best with 60 clear rounds ahead of Belgium on 59 and France on 55. 

The Nations Cup season of 2022 was closed off in Vilamoura, Portugal. According to PferdeWoche, 731 clear rounds were produced at 35 different shows around the globe. 

41-year-old Guerdat excelled in seven different Nations Cups plus the European Championship in Milan, and was aboard three different horses in his 13 clear rounds. With the 14-year-old French gelding Venard de Cerisy (Open Up Semilly x Djalisco Du Guet, bred by Laurent and Gabrielle Vincent), there were double clear rounds in the CSIO5* Nations Cup in St. Gallen (SUI), Dublin (IRL) and Aachen (GER) as well as a clear round at the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona (ESP). With the 10-year-old French mare Dynamix de Belhème (Snaike de Blondel x Cornet Obolensky, bred by Frederic Aimez), Guerdat jumped double clear in the CSIO5* Nations Cup in Falsterbo (SWE) as well as in the team competition at the European Championship – and also had one clear round in the CSIO5* Nations Cup in La Baule (FRA). Additionally, Guerdat jumped one clear round in the CSIO5* Nations Cup in Sopot (POL) with the 10-year-old Dutch mare Is-Minka (Mylord Carthago*HN x Flyinge Quite Easy, bred by G.J. Kappert). 

"I think everyone knows that the Nations Cups mean a lot to me. This year it was particularly nice that we were able to win so many important and historic team competitions for Switzerland – that is the most important point for me," said Guerdat to PferdeWoche. "It is always a great honour to be able to represent your country in these competitions. I also believe that the Nations Cup in particular – and also the World Cup – have made our sport so great. As far back as I can remember, these historic show jumping competitions motivated me as a child to take up this sport in the first place."

Guerdat has mixed feelings about the FEI's new series League of Nations for 2024. "This is simply a new series for me and has nothing to do with the traditional Nations Cups at tournaments such as La Baule, Rome, Aachen or Calgary. Fortunately, these will remain as they are. Now they are simply trying something new and different, which I don’t like everything about at first glance, but you have to give this product a chance first and see how it develops."

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