Former Olympic champion showjumper Steve Guerdat has paid tribute to his “queen” Albfuehren’s Bianca, who has died aged 15, having been diagnosed with a brain tumour.
The Balou du Rouet mare, owned by Steve in partnership with Hofgut Albführen, enjoyed countless grand prix placings around the world.
A spokesman for Guerdat stables said the mare gave Steve some of his greatest results, including double clears in Nations Cups, victory in the Rolex grand prix at Windsor in 2018 and winners of the CSIO in La Baule, France, in 2019. The pair took bronze individually at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA, and made three World Cup Final appearances.
“My dear Bianca, my queen; you left much too soon and my heart is broken today,” said Steve.
“You gave us so much happiness over the last years that this is a cruel moment. Cruel because I would have liked to have been able to offer you so much more. Cruel because you will leave behind you a huge void. My heart rings hollow, because I already miss you.”
Steve, who was part of the victorious Swiss Nations Cup team at La Baule on Friday on Albfuehren’s Maddox, said the victory was dedicated to Bianca.
“You are going to join princess Jaslica [Solier] and from there you will both watch over us. I never thought I would have a chance to ride a horse of your level and I am so proud of you. Rest in peace.”
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The spokesman added that Bianca was called “queen of the Guerdat stabes”, who was loved by all.
“As a boss, she had a strong character and a spectacular jumping stroke recognisable among all,” said the spokesman. “She will leave a huge gap behind her.
“Considered an integral member of the Guerdat family, Bianca will always be our star. We would like to thank her owner Albführen’s and the Frey family for allowing us to cross paths with this phenomenon.”
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