Interview with Kevin Staut and Isabell Werth just before the FEI European Championships

5 August- There are just 5 days to go before the FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 kicks off, and we asked some questions to Kevin Staut and Isabell Werth during their preparation to compete in Aachen.

The interview was done just before the France team for the European Championship was announced.

TO ISABELL: Sorry to hear the news about Farewell Hannes died because of a colic, apart from that How the preparation is going for the European Championship?

ISABELL: Yes,we had very sad situation with Hannes. The preparation for the European are in the plan, my horse is in a really good shape.

TO KEVIN: You competed over the weekend in Dinard, the latest Rolex show, how the preparation is going for the European Championship?

KEVIN: Dinard is a very good show and it so good the Rolex is supporting this show that came back to a five stars. The preparation is going well, I’m still waiting my selection because our chef d'equipe will officialise the riders shortly. The horse is jumping well. Dinard was similar to Aachen, so as last show before the European, was good to compete well there.

TO KEVIN: After your last shows how is your project in Aachen?

KEVIN: I was very motivated to be part of the French team and I did my best to have enough results to be part of this team, and this week I will know if it was enough or not. I miss a bit the beginning of the season but now the results came back in the right time. All the riders are really focus on the European because they are in Aachen and I’m motivated and hope I will do well in the team. All the French horse jumped good in the last shows so this time we are strong enough.

TO ISABELL AND KEVIN: What is your prognostic for the team and for the individual competition?

ISABELL: We have to defend our team title but this year is difficult because this year we miss Bella and we will see what is going on with the English team. The German team maybe is not as strong as the Great Britain, the last results showed that the British team is really really strong so they will be the big favourite and we will have to fight especially in front of our home crowd with a lot of pressure. Hope we will defend our title, this is our big goal. For the individual situation hope with Don Johnson can come under the top 10. In the last shows he was very good but I’m sure there is no change to be in the top 3.

KEVIN: The prognostic is a bit difficult for the team because we still don’t know which team will go for sure to Aachen. We know that Scott Brash will not compete in the team because he will compete in the Rolex Gran Slam with Hello Sanctos. Normally the British team is very strong but Ben Maher probably will not compete with Cella and John Whitaker will not compete with Argento so when you don’t have these 3 couples maybe is not the same strong team but there will be many other good couples so it could still be a team for the podium. The German team in Aachen will be very strong,the French team have 2 fantastic horses, one belong to Simon Delestre and the other one belong to Penelope Leprevost. We are already qualified for the Olimpic so we don’t have the pressure to finish in the top three and we will be "focus" on our Championship result. For sure Holland is also a strong team so I think Germany, England , Holland and hope France too will be strong teams for the podium. Regarding the individual competition Bertram Allen is really flying at the moment, he will ride Molly Malone V and he has a good change for the podium together with Simon Delestre and Penelope Leprevost. I don't know exactly who will compete for Germany, so from what I know now, these are the three riders for the podium.

TO KEVIN AND ISABELL: Which kind of horse does a rider need to compete in such a big arena like Aachen with its unique and special atmosphere?

KEVIN: Aachen is a special show, 2/3 years ago you could bring old fashion horses very powerful but now you need a horse that is more careful than before. We can feel that in small horses that you can’t expect many power, they can jump a lot in Aachen because you can gallop and give them more power then in small arena. The type of horse you need are not different from the ones you need everywhere:  bloody, careful and for the rest is better that they have been already in Aachen so they will not be worried about the double and the water. Each riders try to bring a horse that have already jumped in Aachen and you know they jumped well there. But is not a different horse you need to win another Gran Prix a sensitive horse, you can give some power in Aachen because you have a huge rhythm.

ISABELL: yes this is a good question, there is such a great atmosphere with the dressage arena in the middle of it. In 2006 I felt really save in this arena, the horse was not scare, the difficult is to go inside the arena from the warming up. For me I think is a really save arena, even if the horses can be a bit scared and nervous at the beginning. Hope the feeling will be the same as in 2006.

TO KEVIN: With the goal of the Olympics, do you think it will be good for Reveur de Hurtebise to compete in this European Championship?

KEVIN: Now he is 15 so is not a young guy but I feel he is really improving each new season I’m riding him, he is one of the best horse I had the possibility to ride. He is very competitive and sometimes he is not difficult to ride but he is difficult to be managed. This because he did huge evolution over the years and each time I had new problems but now I found the right way to ride him. In Caen he was very good in the team competition but in the individual competiton he was a bit more disconnected so I have to find the way to keep him connected. Aachen will be a good test for that, the horse can be very competitive and helping the team but I like also to compete well in the individual. I feel this can be the good year, I don’t normally like to do positive prognostic for myself but maybe this year can be already better then in Caen and maybe good preparation for the Olympic to get really a horse to finish the championship as he will start.
Interview organized by Revolutionsports on behalf of Rolex.

Image: Kevin Staut