Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jumping: Helsinki International: An Interview with Kevin Staut (FRA) - Rolex Ranking Leader

Kevin Staut on Silvana -  Meydan Fei Nations Cup. (Kit Houghton/FEI)
The first ever five-star Helsinki International Horse Show is proud to present the Rolex Ranking leader, Kevin Staut as the top rider among five other top 10 riders; Pius Schwizer, Edwina Alexander, Ludger Beerbaum, Jessica Kürten and Marco Kutscher.

Staut, 29, has been to Helsinki before, last year, as a brand new European Champion and in 2008 as an international debutant. This year he is also the team silver medalist of the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.
European Championships 2009 - Kevin Staut (FRA) Individual European Champion Jumping. (Kit Houghton/FEI)

Mr. Kevin Staut, are you pleased with your result at the WEG?

-          For the team I am really happy. We hoped to finish among the top 5 nations to qualify for the London Olympics 2012. I am happy about the silver. We had a good team spirit at the WEG. It was not easy as there were a lot of other teams close together in results. For myself I was disappointed after the first day (the speed class). I had one stop and finished at 70th place with almost 8 points. We reacted well with Silvana de Hus after the shock. We were double clear in the team competition. I was in last in the team and had to go clear for us to stay on the medals.

What does being world number one mean to you?

-          It has always been my dream. I don’t think I have realized it yet. It is something special. Three years ago I watched the best riders in the world on television. It is like a dream when I’m riding with the best, but when I’m in the ring, I don’t think about it. I just think about the riding.

How have you been able to reach the top?

-          I have a top sponsor, Mr. Marie (of Haras de Hus). He owns all the horses except for Kraque Boom who is owned by my grandparents. He has a lot of young horses and a good system to bring them up. I have three horses that I can expect to win grands prix’ with and 8-9 years old horses that are ready next year.

Two and a half years ago Mr. Marie needed a rider for all the young horses, especially the stallions. I had a good job in Switzerland then and I was not interested in only riding young horses. So Mr. Marie asked me what I wanted to take the job and I told him I also wanted experienced horses to ride. We talked for an hour, and he bought me three grand prix horses. Mr. Marie does not come to competitions, he spends a lot of time with breeding horses. But each day I give him a call and tell how the horses have gone.
European Championships 2009 - Kevin Staut (FRA) riding Kraque Boom Bois Margot (Kit Houghton/FEI)

You seem to have a warm and close relationship with your horses. Is it a part of your success?

-          I started riding at 12 years old and I have a lot of patience for the sport. One thing I like is to ride the horse and I also like being close with the horse and being a good horseman.

You start your Rolex FEI World Cup™ season from Oslo and Helsinki. What is your aim for this season?

-          I would like to qualify for the final. I enjoy the World Cup shows and I would like to have points early in the season. There is a special feeling in the indoor shows. It is nice to be inside at nice arenas when it is cold outside. I also like especially the Scandinavian shows and the people and the atmosphere. The arena in Helsinki reminds me of a world cup show they had in France a few years ago, Bercy. I was only watching it then. Helsinki looks a bit like Bercy. It is amazing I am now one of the best.

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