Sometimes love at first sight does exist, as when Brazil’s Pedro Veniss fell in love with a young Selle Français chestnut stallion, eight years ago. At only five-years-old, Quabri de L’Isle (Kannan X Socrate de Chivre) caught the eye of the Brazilian rider, who immediately inquired about whether the horse was available. But Veniss would have to ask after the horse for the next five years and wait through several owners and riders before the pieces fell into place.
In 2016, Veniss and Quabri de L’Isle became household names with a string of unforgettable performances. In August they represented Brazil on home soil, jumping clear rounds at the Rio Olympic Games; in September they jumped a brilliant double clear in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final at Barcelona, and in December, the won the Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva CHI5*, one of three show jumping majors.
We met Pedro Veniss and learned more about the best horse of his career thus far:
- Quabri was bred by M-Etienne Poisson in France. I saw him for the first time when he was a five-year-old, at Rodrigo Pessoa’s stables in Belgium. He stayed at Rodrigo’s stables as a five, six and seven year old.
- When Quabri was 8, I saw him jump a two star grand prix and I loved him. I decided to talk with his owner about riding him, because I didn’t have anyone to invest in the horse to buy him for me. But the owner said I would have to buy him. I talked with my friend Cassio Rivetti, and the horse was sold to Oleksandr Onyshchenko, but as a 8-year-old he was a bit sensitive for Onyschenko, so Ulrich Kirchhoff started to ride him.
- Then, Onyshchenko decided to sell him and luckily it was just when my mother in law gave me the chance to find a horse for the Olympics of Rio de Janeiro as it was in going to be in my home country, which only happens once in a rider’s career. She knew this and gave me the chance to look for a horse to try to be in Rio with, and the timing was perfect. I called Cassio and learned that Quabri had arrived in his stable just one week before to be sold. I was at the Sunshine Tour then, so I left the show and went to try him.
- He is a horse with a lot of strength and scope, he has a lot of quality, but for me the most impressive thing about him is his mind. He is a horse with an extraordinary head.
- He always tries his best and he’s never very different from one day to another. He loves to compete and always tries to jump clear.
- When you don’t know him, you don’t see him as he really is. He is a stallion so when he sees other horses in the paddock he neighs and sometimes you can think he’s a bit bad or too strong, but it’s the opposite. He’s the best, very kind and intelligent.
- After the Olympics, we decided to not sell him, he’s like the family’s horse and we all love him and we want to keep him for a very long time.
- He started his career as a breeding stallion just after Geneva, and he has been at stud for one month. Now he will keep competing but he will still be breeding as his second career.
- I’ve always dreamt of riding him in Aachen, and this year thanks to our win at Geneva last December we have the chance to compete there. It’s something very important for me and of course it would be amazing to win there, but I know it’s going to be tough. It’s the best show with the best riders, but I think Quabri can do it, and I’ll try to be good for him that day.