Kevin Staut, president of the IJRC, is one of the most respected and popular riders in the world. A top competitor with extraordinary technical capabilities and also very experienced, Kevin is an even more sensitive horseman and attentive to the smallest details to ensure his horses’ psycho-physical wellbeing. This is what he told us when we met recently.


When working with your horses at home, how much time do you spend outdoors concentrating on overall fitness and how much instead do you spend working in the arena?


Kevin Staut:

When I am at home with my horses, it’s always outdoors for a specific and very good reason: I don’t have an indoors arena! So I love to use the nature surrounding me and I also live close to the beach. I’m lucky in that, so I often take my horses down to the beach, I ride outside a lot. As far as the technical part is concerned, to be honest I have many experienced horses. I’m lucky in that as well, so they compete at shows and if I need to jump between two competitions I can do it at home. But it’s not something I usually do because the horses travel a lot, they experience stress or the pressure of competitions just like riders, so when they are back home I am pleased they can go outside in the fields, they can go to the beach and there it not really much technical work.


What has been the best moment of your career so far and is there instead a moment you wish had never happened? 



For as long as I can remember, I have quite a few good memories because equestrian sports bring so much success and failure and one has a mix of all these feelings. Winning the team gold medal in the Olympics in Rio was a very special moment. If I have to remember an event I wish had never happened I think it would be all the times I had one fence down in Championships and caused my team, the French team, to miss being on the podium because of me. And that happened not just once, unfortunately, but on many occasions when I needed to jump clear in the final of a Championships to win a medal for the team, for my team, and it didn’t happen. So, I wish those days had never happened.


You are an example to everyone. Which are your three best qualities and what advice would you give young riders whose goal it is to become like you?



It’s always difficult to speak about personal qualities. I don’t really know, but from what I have heard from others, perhaps working hard is one of the qualities I may have. The second one is linked to that and it is to never give up. In our sport especially we know that we have to fight hard. I think it’s the same in every sport, in every job; but so as to be successful you have to work really, really hard and never give up. And the third quality? I don’t think I have three qualities, so two are enough, but for kids what’s really important is to be aware that as a rider you can have a really long career. So, it takes time to get to the top, not everybody can do it, but you have to be passionate. Horses are at the centre of our story and it has to stay that way. You have to be horsemen and, as I said, it’s really important to never give up.


Talk to us about Tolede de Mescam, the mare you rode in the last edition of the Top Ten Final; her temperament, personality, the feeling there is between you, her life in the stables, an anecdote…


“Tolede de Mescam is a great mare and I have now been riding her for over two years. She has a lot of quality and is really a fighter. I think that is important in a competition like the Top Ten in which you will feel the pressure and need to fight, so I’m happy to have a warrior with me to do that. I think she is a mare with whom one can establish a great connection when riding. In the stables she is a bit similar to Silvana, another great mare I rode in the past. She likes to be alone and you don’t need to spend too much time around her. Especially at the show she likes to be left in peace, quiet and alone, so we have to respect that. As far as a special anecdote is concerned, maybe the first show I took her to - or one of the first. It was in London and the mare was really scared by the atmosphere there, the people. But I didn’t realize exactly what it was and we fell, both of us. Neither of us were injured and everything was fine, but I still had the problem to fix before the next indoor show and find out what she was scared of. When I returned home to my stables I realized that it was my guy helping me on the tractor; she was scared of tractors. So now it’s all right; whenever they have to fix something with the tractor I really stay away because otherwise she goes crazy.”


The new season has now started for Kevin Staut with excellent results. Together with Viking d’La Rousserie, Kevin is aiming straight for the World Championships in Herning next August. 

The IJRC wishes our President all the best!