After rumors circulated widely during the Longines Global Champions Tour of Lausanne, it was confirmed this week by Janika Sprunger that the incredible Palloubet d’Halong has been acquired by top-lady rider Edwina Tops-Alexander and Stal Tops. This is one of the biggest sales of the year and this new combination will certainly stand as a formidable force.
Looking to the World Equestrian Games in Normandy next year and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Janika spoke from her stables near Basel today about pasing Palloubet on to Edwina Tops-Alexander, the amazing bond they share and what the biggest sale of the year means for her and for the sport.
“Palloubet is still in my stables. The truck is here to take him but we are waiting on the papers.” The 10 year old Selle Francais gelding will need his papers changed and adjusted for now the incredibly talented young horse will compete under the Australian flag. All possible prospects for the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France next year must be registered under their chosen country before December 31st of this year.
We spoke with Janika Sprunger, who finished second in the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen, about how it feels to pass on her best horse to top-lady rider Edwina Tops-Alexander and what it means for her as a rider. “Okay, it’s difficult but I have great hopes. I have many good horses, younger horses also, who I have big belief in and big hopes for but there is no chance that I will ever get a second Palloubet.”
“There has been so much interest in him from the beginning of the year. So many offers and such big money. We turned down so many offers and the money just kept going up. There came a point where we just had to say yes. It was crazy for me. It is stressful too. But for me its my baby, in some ways I don’t get it because its just my horse, my kid. It’s been going mental with the prices and I’m like, but it’s just my baby. I’ve had him since the beginning of his six years.”
“This year has been unbelievable and he has helped me achieve so much. The memories are unbelievable and no one can take that away from me.”
So we asked Janika, what such a big sale like this does for the sport and for sponsors, is it good for the sport or is it bad?
“It is good for sponsors. It is good for them to see that it is possible to get big money and it motivates sponsors in our sport. It has motivated my sponsor so much. He is more motivated now then ever before. For us riders, this is our life, we need the sponsors and we need their support. We can see the need for money but for us it isn’t just about the money. It can’t be. It is about the horses.”
“It is not a bad thing. You just have to watch the fairness. Now, they could go and and win the WEG, then for me, I am happy and its fair. I think in the end it is good for our sport.”
“I can be very proud to have developed such a horse at my age. No one can take that away from me. For me, for my sponsor, for my dad, what we’ve accomplished, it’s wonderful. In the end it’s only good. It can be only good.”