With less than four penalties separating the top five riders going through to today’s individual final for the European Showjumping Championships at the San Siro racecourse in Milan, Italy (30 August-3 September), it’s going to be a high-pressure finale.
Interestingly, three of those top five horses bidding for gold are mares and the highest placed of those is Swiss rider Steve Guerdat’s Dynamix De Belheme. On a score of 0.43, they are snapping at the heels of leaders Jens Fredricson and Markan Cosmopolit on zero. But Michael Duffy’s mare Cinca 3 is just a fraction behind in third for Ireland, with French rider Olivier Perreau sitting in fourth with another mare, the 10-year-old GL Events Dorai D’Aiguilly.
Steve Guerdat has long been talking about 10-year-old Dynamix De Belheme (Snaike De Blondel x Cornet Obolensky) as “the best horse I’ve ever had”. Strong words indeed from a former Olympic champion with the mighty Nino Des Boissonnets and a multiple winner with other top horses including Jalisca Solier and Bianca. But he describes this mare as, quite simply, “unbelievable”.
European Showjumping Championships: ‘That’s what makes Dynamix De Belheme better than most of the others’
“She’s an unbelievable horse – she tries very hard and she always has a great mentality,” said Steve, a winner of eight championship medals. “She also has the athletic ability to do it – the head wants to and the body can, too. That’s what makes her better than most of the others.”
Steve started riding the French-bred mare as a five-year-old.
“She has so much quality that I never wanted to step up too fast,” said Steve. “Everything she’s jumped in her life she’s been clear, clear, clear.”
There was disappointment for the Swiss squad in Friday’s team medal decider of the European Showjumping Championships. The quartet had gone through with a fighting chance for a medal, but dropped to sixth behind the new European champions Sweden, after the faults added up for the remaining three riders, Bryan Balsiger (Dubai Du Bois Pinchet), Edouard Schmitz (Gamin Van’t Naastveldhof) and Martin Fuchs with Leone Jei.
“I wasn’t very happy with my round – I didn’t give her a very good ride,” said the meticulous rider of his pathfinding clear. “But Dynamix was amazing; she helped me, so I hope I can keep her form and I can improve mine.”
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