The Belgian rider, Jérôme Guery, has climbed step by step to the top of our sport. Beginning in the alleys of an equestrian centre up to the highest step of 5* podiums, the champion now leads an athletic career that would make dream more than one. Meet our airbag ambassador…
HP : Tell us about your career ?
JG : I started at ten in an equestrian center, I had my first pony at twelve years old then my first horse at fifteen years old. At eighteen, I won the Belgian Junior Championships and that is what decided me to live from my passion. I do not come from a riding family but my mother was very supportive on this. So in agreement with my parents, I finished high school and they gave me a year to work at the Haras des Hayettes. Having no doubt about my vocation, I even stayed there one more year! Then I met my wife with whom we set up our stable. At first we were very focused on the commerce and valorization of horses of breeders and owners. It stills an important part of our structure but now I can really focus on my dream, the great sport, since three years.
HP : What is your greatest victory ?
JG : There are several (laughs). The best stills the victory of the 5* Grand Prix of Knokke (in 2015 with Papillon Z, ed.). Firstly because it was one of my first big Grand Prix but also because of all the joy felt when you’re winning in your country! Then there is the Grand Prix de La Baule (in 2016, with Grand Cru van de Rozenberg, ed.), one of the most mythical competitions, it was exceptional : a kid’s dream!
“understand your horse and give him what he needs”
HP : What are your rider values ?
JG : I aspire to trust what life gives me. So far she always brought me what I needed. Then as a rider, I idealize the notion of a consistent and serious work, I try to do my best and understand my horses.
HP : For you, what is an excellent rider ?
JG : The key to excellence is to adapt to your horse, understand him and give him what he needs. The good rider is the one who listens to his horse to get the best out of him.
HP : What other great horseman do you admire ?
JG : I am inspired by many riders, old and new generation confused. Afterwards, I must admit that John Whitaker is the best example : his gift for riding, his quality of adaptation, all these years at the top level despite the evolutions of the sport and horses, he has remained competitive.
HP : What is this year’s goal ?
JG : I form a great team (Monaco Aces, ed.) for the of the Global Champions League with two good friends Simon Delestre and Julien Epaillard (as well as Romain Duguet and Jeanne Sadran, ed.).
The major objective is to participate to the World Championships (which will take place in Tryon, USA, ed.) where I have a card to play to get my qualification for the Olympic Games.
“It should be a reflex to protect yourself”
HP : Why did you choose the Airbag Horse Pilot ?
JG : I am very, maybe too, cautious (laughs). I decided to equip my riders, my family and myself with an Horse Pilot Airbag after an accident occurred in my stables. My house rider had a big fall with a young horse, she did not pass far from the paralysis and luckily got out well. As a father, it is my responsibility to take such measures to avoid dramatic consequences. The Airbag Horse Pilot is complete, comfortable, safe and elegant because it is wear close to the body, an important note in our sport.
HP : What do you think are the safety issues for our sport ?
JG : I think there is still a long way to improve in the area of rider safety. Personally, I see danger everywhere but let’s keep in mind that horses are almost ten times our weight. The helmet is mandatory, fortunately ! But I think the airbag should become too. For all professionals in the industry, high-level riders as well as young horses riders, it should be a reflex to protect themselves! Especially when a product becomes more democratic, technologies evolve. They bring the missing elements to the first prototype and this is what must be done to achieve the security that would suit everyone.
Now that Jérôme Guery and his team can evolve safely, let’s wish him a safe journey to the Tryon World Equestrian Games where the Horse Pilot airbag, discreetly under his competition jacket, will accompany him on the most beautiful tracks!
© Facebook Jérôme Guery / Facebook Jumping de Valence