Tales from Tokyo: ‘Dressage is perfection, jumping is adrenalin. I love both’

  • Estelle Wettstein is just 24 years old, but she is one of the most versatile riders in the Tokyo Olympic dressage field.

    The Swiss rider has also ridden internationally in showjumping. In fact, she has ridden in both dressage and showjumping at pony, junior and young rider European level – quite a feat.

    Estelle is a junior team gold medallist in showjumping, on Benita II in 2013, and has finished fourth individually in both the young rider dressage Europeans (on her Olympic ride West Side Story OLD in 2016) and the junior showjumping Europeans (on Benita II in 2014).

    “I still have jumping horses at home but at the moment I’m much more into dressage,” she said. “After young riders, I had great young dressage horses from sponsors and I was lucky to have a great team around me for that so I automatically went that way, but jumping is still a part of me.”

    Estelle says she can’t choose which discipline she prefers.

    “When you have great dressage horses, it’s a great feeling; when you have great jumping horses, it’s amazing. Dressage is perfection, jumping is adrenalin. I love both.”

    Estelle Wettstein has had her 13-year-old San Amour mare West Side Story OLD since she was four.

    “She’s a very sensitive horse and we need really to match together all the time. And she always wants to do it right,” she said.

    “But this was not our best test. I had a great feeling outside, but inside she got a little too much tension and the piaffe travelled far too much. We weren’t in perfect harmony like we are normally.”

    Estelle said of her Olympic experience it was “a great feeling to ride in a tournament like this, even though without spectators it’s not the same”.

    She concluded: “I’m sad that our test didn’t finish as we hoped for, it’s hard. But we’ve got a few years left and we’ll give our best [in the future].”

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