Interview to Daniel Deusser after he won last edition of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final

Why and when did you start with your equestrian career?

My family was always involved with horses: my father, my grandfather and my uncle were all riders.

I rode a horse for the first time at the age of 2 but I started to compete not before I was 9 years old. Before becoming a professional rider, I tried many other sports at a competition level, but then I decided that my life would have been among horses.

How do you plan your competition calendar?

Normally I take part to all the big events which belong to the main circuits, as the World Cup, Nations Cup, Global… but I also like to test the new shows appearing on the calendar too. I enjoy competing in shows where I am invited and I can meet up with good friends.

At the moment are you training young horses in order to prepare them for a future international career?

Right now I do not have 4-5 years old horses, but I’m riding some good 6-7 years old. Hopefully they will become something special on the international courses in some years.

What is the first thing you look at in a horse you’re trying?

I look for clever horses, with a good attitude, willing to jump and go forward. A mental approach which tells me a lot about their future ability to push for the win and be very competitive.

Have you special hobbies when you are not riding?

Well, I relax, maybe reading and visiting new places nearby.

Which are the riders you value the most?

Franke Sloothaak, as he was one of my trainers in the past and I spent 5 years in his yard. John Whitaker: I think he really is “the legend” in our sport. And last but not least, my team colleagues, Ludger Berbaum and Marcus Ehning: I really appreciated their precious suggestions and support in the last Top Ten Final, staged in Stockholm.

Is there a special horse that you would like to ride?

I am lucky because I’m already riding my dream horses.

Which are the next aims for the future you would like to achieve?

A: I’m not planning anything on the long term, but I’m reaching my goals step by step, show by show.

What would you suggest to a rider who considers you as an example to follow?

I would remind him to be always very patient and calm with horses, and try not to let  stress take him over when he has to face important competitions. I would say to him that in our sport results arrive with hard work and day by day, and anything must be left to change.

Do you have special rituals before entering the arena?

I prefer not to have any.

How would you describe the work of the IJRC?

I think it is a big support for all us riders, for our horses and our sport. It really helps us with rules and regulations. It makes our voice heard at the important tables.

How do you feel after having won the 2013 Top Ten?

I still have a really good feeling. Winning in Stockholm was very emotional for me. Both the organization and presentation of the Top Ten helped creating a very captivating atmosphere. The public was enthusiastic and greeted us with a warm welcome being great support through the entire event. This triumph meant a lot to me, as much as winning a big championship. It is an important victory for a rider’s career and it is well renowned: everybody remembers you have won it, even a long time after the event took place.

Who are the persons that helped you the most at the beginning of your career?

I would mention Manfred Koetter, whom I met when I was riding by Franke Sloothaak. I don’t meet with him so often now, generally not more than once in a month, but he has been a solid help for me along the way. He has a great knowledge of all my horses and he always gives me worthwhile suggestions.

December 2013