Q&A with Pedro Muylaert: Breakout Victories Propelled This Brazilian into the International Spotlight

Pedro Muylaert at La Baule 2017. ph: Jessica Rodrigues/RB Presse

This article was published in the Summer 2017 issue of NOELLE FLOYD Magazine. If you’d like to receive a hard copy of NOELLE FLOYD Magazine, visit this link.

It’s rare for a rider to have two breakout moments, but within the first half of 2017, both of Pedro Muylaert’s big wins could be justified as such. The 30-year-old show jumper from Brazil has been working his way up the ladder for years, quietly following the seasons from his base in Belgium to winters in Florida. But it wasn’t until he had the good fortune to hold the reins of a spectacular partner that his career rocketed into the spotlight.

The 10-year-old Zangersheide stallion of unknown breeding, Prince Royal Z, was previously seen at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro under the saddle of Uruguay’s Nestor Nielsen van Hoff. In early January, the horse became available at the same time that Muylaert was looking for a top mount. Things fell into place, and just four weeks later, Muylaert topped a CSI3* grand prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival. That emotional win brought into relief the 2016 loss of Muylaert’s friend and mentor, Andres Rodriguez, whom Muylaert stabled with and worked for in Wellington.

“…never give up and keep on dreaming and working. You can get to your goal.”

Now, Muylaert rides with Rodriguez’ memory close, and there’s no doubt that the late Venezuelan rider’s presence was also felt in May, when Muylaert scored an incredible breakout win at the CSIO5* La Baule, France. Once again with Prince Royal Z, Muylaert led the victory gallop of the prestigious Longines Grand Prix Ville de La Baule.

It all points to a bright future for this Brazilian rider, who insists that hard work does indeed make dreams come true—because now, he is living his own.

Noelle Floyd: Coming from an equestrian background, were you always interested in horses and competing?
Pedro Muylaert: Yes, my father is a professional rider in Brazil, and since I was a kid, I’ve always had horses and been focused on competing. I always wanted to make a living out of it.

NF: You and Prince Royal Z have established a strong partnership. How did you do this and what makes him so special?
PM: He’s a horse with a really big heart who always wants to give everything for his rider. I think we established our partnership so quickly because the horse allowed me to. I think he’s a horse that really stands up with all the heart and quality that he has. Any rider would be able to make a good progression with him.

When I started to look for a horse I thought it would take me one or two years to be able to jump in the best shows, so it was a really good surprise when I found “Prince”. To be fair, when I went to try him, I didn’t like him a lot because he’s a really sensitive, difficult horse at home. But I went there with a friend who rides as well, and he told me to buy him because he’s a really amazing horse at shows. And it was a surprise because I never imagined that he would be so good and we would be doing well this quickly.

“…we established our partnership so quickly because the horse allowed me to.”

NF: As the La Baule Grand Prix unfolded, did you feel as if you could win it?
PM: I never expected to win in La Baule because for me, just jumping the Grand Prix at all there was a dream that I was making come true. During the jump-off, I only thought about jumping a good course and going fast enough to get a nice place in the top 3 or 5. But…..

This article was published in the Summer 2017 issue of NOELLE FLOYD Magazine. To continue reading, visit this link and flip to page 22. If you’d like to receive a hard copy of NOELLE FLOYD Magazine, visit this link.

Photography Jessica Rodrigues/RB Presse


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