2024 Le Printemps Des Sports Équestres: CSI5*Guerdat Takes It All

Steve Guerdat & Dynamix de Belheme Steve Guerdat & Dynamix de Belheme © PSV. J.Morel
April 28, 2024

The huge crowd that came to the Grand Parquet de Fontainebleau this afternoon to watch the final rounds of the third Printemps des Sports Équestres were treated to some high-octane sport. Sport at its best. For the teams from GL events Equestrian Sport, the organiser of the event, this week of competitions served as operational preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, for which it will be responsible in a few weeks' time. And, as a fitting conclusion to the week, the GL events Grand Prix CSI 5* kept the thousands of spectators on the edge of their seats.

For the majority of the first round, the youngest rider in the competition, Jennifer Hochstadter from Liechtenstein, riding Golden Lady, was the only competitor to record a clear round within the time limit imposed by the two course designers, France's Gregory Bodo and Spain's Santiago Varela, who will be in charge of the Olympic events this summer in the gardens of the Château de Versailles. For a long time, the spectators even wondered if there would be a jump-off. Then, France's Aurélien Leroy, riding Croqsel de Blaignac, found the solution to set up a second round. Soon after, the Swiss idol Steve Guerdat, the 2012 Olympic champion and reigning European champion, joined them in the jump-off with Dynamix de Bélhème.

In this three-horse jump-off, experience had the last word; the Swiss rider recorded the best time, despite his rivals riding perfect rounds. As a loyal participant in the Printemps des Sports Équestres since its launch in 2022, Steve Guerdat rounded off the 2024 event in style, and can now look forward to welcoming the French public to Versailles. From one royal city to another!

Steve Guerdat (SUI) -1st with Dynamix de Belheme - 0/0/39.28
"Dynamix has shown consistency since she started competing. She's always been perfect, always jumped clear rounds in every age category and class.
She's in great form. She had a long break after Geneva last year, then competed in a few small events in Spain at the start of the year, before taking part in the 's-Hertogenbosch competition and then had another rest. It's fair to say that she surprised me this weekend. I wasn't expecting her to be so dynamic; I thought she was still one or two competitions away from reaching top form. It gives us confidence for the rest of the season."
"The quality of a competition is not determined by the number of stars. I was already involved in the Printemps des Sports Équestres when it was a 4-star competition. Everything here is amazing and I'm just really looking forward to jumping on the grass of the Grand Parquet (laughs). Hats off to the organisers and a big thank you. We're lucky to have organisers like these, who think about the sport more than anything else. We really need people like that."
"The initial course was great, as I said at when I went round to familiarise myself with it. We're used to this kind of excellence from these course designers, who are acknowledged as being the best. I was as nervous at the start, more than I had been for a long time. Not because of the course – at 's-Hertogenbosch, Dynamix and I jumped really well on the Friday, but then I didn't get things right on the Sunday; she hasn't taken part in any competitions since, so I was left with that memory, which is why I was nervous. She has some great qualities and made things easy for me as a rider on this really enjoyable course."
Aurélien Leroy (FRA) - 2nd with Croqsel de Blaignac - 0/0/39.91
"It's an honour to finish second behind Steve Guerdat. I'm really happy, my horse was just great today! Last year, he started the season really well and then, for various reasons, which are undoubtedly down to me, he wasn't as good in the second half of the season. So, we decided to give him a long break and then I drew up a programme that I thought would enable him to come here and compete, if I was lucky enough to be selected. It all turned out as I had hoped, so, I'm delighted."
"I tried to focus on myself and my horse as much as possible. I know that if I don't make too many mistakes then my horse won't either; he's great! I thought the first course was tricky but I had a plan in mind; I watched the class a bit but I didn't worry too much about the number of clear rounds. I tried to stay focused on myself; I felt great in the paddock and my horse came up with the goods".
Jennifer Hochstadter (LIE) - 3rd with Golden Lady - 0/0/42.61
"My horse and I started the season in Doha, and she has been faultless from start to finish. She's teaching me a lot and I'm extremely lucky to have her with me. Everything came together today; I know she has the ability and that she'd give me everything. But I didn't expect such a great performance. It's really a special moment for me. This is my first podium finish in a CSI 5* competition, so I'm still enjoying the buzz, and I haven't come back down to earth yet. In any case, I'm very proud of my horse and the team around us."
"I knew that it was going to be difficult for me to be competitive in terms of speed in the jump-off. I have not handled the pressure very well in the last few jump-offs I've taken part in. But today, I kept my rhythm and remained confident and my horse did the rest."
Santiago Varela Ullastres - Joint course designer
"I'd like to congratulate the riders and especially the two young riders, Aurélien and Jennifer. Being so close to Steve is already an achievement in itself! (smiles). All the horses jumped very well. The course was tricky and technical, but it was fair for the horses. It was designed to suit everyone, and that's the main thing."
Grégory Bodo - Joint course designer
"Looking at the results, the statistics and what we saw of the horses, there were a lot of faults on the verticals; so, they were just little faults, which didn't put the horses under any pressure. The horses were not pushed too hard, notably on the oxers. It was a course that required a certain amount of dexterity, particularly in terms of balance. That's where certain little faults occurred, here and there."

Sylvie Robert - President of GL events Equestrian Sport - Organiser of the Printemps des Sports Équestres
"I would like to say a big thank you to the International Equestrian Federation, the French Equestrian Federation and all the public and private partners for placing their confidence in us. Without them, we wouldn't be able to organise events like this and support the sport."
"This year's Printemps des Sports Équestres was a dress rehearsal for the four Olympic and Paralympic equestrian disciplines. In the CDI and CSI 5* competitions, we saw the best riders in the world. I would like to congratulate them all. I would also particularly like to thank the great champion Steve Guerdat, who has been with us since the competition was launched three years ago. Congratulations to Jennifer too; part of our mission is to support young people and give them the opportunity to take part in competitions like this. That's very important to me. We've seen some great sport this week, and that's what really counts."
"I would also like to thank and congratulate my entire team and everyone who works with us. This year, they will certainly have their hands full, with the Saut Hermès at the Grand Palais, the Printemps des Sports Équestres, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and, last but not least, the 30th anniversary of Equita Lyon and its International Equestrian Competition!" 

Complete results here

By Press Release/Eloïse Lépine