aniel Deusser is in fine form as he looks ahead to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg come April. With a second series win on his mind, Daniel secured victory this weekend at Jumping International de Bordeaux in France, in the last World Cup qualifier of the Western European League.
The German Olympian and Tobago Z, his hopeful ride for the Final, stormed around Jean-François Morand’s course, which Daniel described as “a big, long course with difficult combinations and the time-allowed was long,” to join just five other riders in the jump-off. All but one were clear in the deciding round, but Daniel and Tobago stopped the timers a full 1.35 seconds faster than second place Gregory Wathelet and Iron Man van de Padenborre.
This victory significantly extends Daniel’s hold on the Western European League leaderboard. “I’ve never had a season like this to be honest – not only three wins but fourth in Leipzig and third in Amsterdam – it’s just been amazing!” he said.
Tobago, an 11-year-old Zangersheide stallion, will have a generous break before legging back up for a last run at ’s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands before the World Cup Final. “It’s not an advantage to go to Gothenburg as the leader, but it’s a really good feeling all the same!”
It’s been five years since Daniel’s first World Cup Finals win. Could 2019 be the year of his repeat performance?
Ten Fast Facts About Daniel Deusser:
- Daniel manages nerves by diligently doing his homework: “At home, focus on the process of improving your horse. Once you get to the show, you can’t change that much anymore, so just let it go and ride your best round possible.”
- Daniel has a need for speed. He was a competitive BMX racer as a boy before choosing to focus on horses.
- Having ridden for Belgium’s Stephex Stables since 2012, Daniel is now one of ‘the’ riders to beat in any major five-star grand prix around the world.
- Daniel made his Olympic debut at Rio 2016, securing the bronze medal for Team Germany by delivering the much needed clear jump-off score aboard his scopey mount First Class van Eeckelghem.
- The riders he looks up to most are Franke Sloothaak, John Whitaker, and Ludger Beerbaum. “They were the first three international riders that I knew when I was about 12 or 13 years old. And now, in all these years, John and Ludger are still riding and their style didn’t change and they are still successful with all kinds of different horses – it’s unbelievable.”
- Daniel said when he met his wife, Caroline Wauters, and mother of his daughter, Stella, at the Maastricht horse show in Germany that it was, “honestly love at first sight!”
- Daniel makes a point to set aside quality family time between shows and reduces the number of days he’s away from his family. After Aachen last summer, they went on a two-week holiday in the South of France.
- If he could ride any horse from the past it would be John Whitaker’s famous Milton.
- The best piece of advice he’s ever received: “To forget the moments that aren’t perfect because there are far more disappointing moments in this sport than success we have, so forget the bad and keep on going.”
- “Something that sets me apart is that my riding style isn’t as perfect as some of the other riders but I’m always looking at other riders and trying to improve. I think that’s the only way to move up. You have new horses and different horses; they’re not all the same, but I have to make it work with everyone so I try it.”
Feature photo by Sportfot.