After a thrilling jump-off, it was Steve Guerdat and his exceptional horse Easy Star de Talma, who emerged victorious, claiming the Falsterbo Derby Trophy. This incredible victory secured a historic hat-trick for Steve Guerdat, who has previously won both the Grand Prix and Nations Cup at Falsterbo Horse Show. The resounding success further solidified Guerdat’s standing as one of the world’s foremost equestrian athletes.
-I knew that no matter what it would be a positive experience for the horse, but, I am obviously very happy with the result, Steve Guerdat said at the Falsterbo press conference.
With challenging fences set at an impressive height of 1.50 meters, 19 skilled riders navigated the diverse Derby course, featuring water jumps, gates, walls, and traditional fences. Last year’s winner, Andre Thieme, took to the course as the second rider. Prior to the competition, SVT, the Swedish host broadcaster, had the opportunity to speak with him, and his confidence shone through:
-I would say that we are somewhat of derbyspecialists. We are excited about being back here again, and hopefully everything goes well.
Unfortunately he had a couple of downs in today’s event.
-The horse did a good job, but didn’t feel quite right; he didn’t have enough energy. I can’t be mad but we are a little bit disappointed, he told SVT after the ride.
The competition unfolded with a mix of results, showcasing the difficulty in a derby course.
Belgium’s Abdel Said, riding Arpege Du Ru, delivered the first clear round of the class, a remarkable achievement that remained unmatched throughout the entire competition.
After his exceptional round, Abdel Said expressed his satisfaction in an interview with SVT: “I am very happy with my horse. I can always trust her” .
He continued with explaining that the plan for the day had been to take his horse through the course at a relaxed pace, placing greater trust in his horse while providing additional support where necessary.
Sandra Auffarth, the former cross country world champion from Germany, unfortunately had one knockdown towards the end of her round. However, it proved sufficient to secure her a well-deserved third place alongside her horse, Nupafeed’s La Vista.
-She is an amazing derby horse, she loves the atmosphere here at Falsterbo. We had a small mistake I wish I hadn’t made, she shared with SVT after her ride.
Irish rider Thomas Ryan, accompanied by Jens Fredricson’s former horse Karmel van de Watering, tackled the challenging course, unfortunately incurring two knockdowns and securing a respectable fifth-place finish. Ahead of him in fourth place was Przemyslaw Konopacki with Vasco, who achieved the position due to a faster round.
Steve Guerdat from Switzerland was last to start together with his stallion Easy Star de Talma.
-I really like derbys. It’s a good experience for both the rider as well as the horse and you always learn something new. The horse and rider always leave the course better than before, he told SVT before the class started.
While it was Easy Star de Talma’s derby debut the horse delivered a flawless clear round leading to a thrilling jump-off between Steve Guerdat and Abdel Said to determine who would become the 2023 Derby champion in Falsterbo.
Abdel Said took the lead as the first to go in the jump-off, executing swift turns. However, an unfortunate fault on the final fence cost him the win. As for Steve, a clear round would secure his victory, and not only did he achieve that, but he also recorded the fastest time, sealing his triumph in a remarkable fashion.
-He is a superstar in the horse realm, SVT:s commentator AnnaMaria Fredholm states.