Swiss Show Jumper
Name: Beat Mändli
Date of birth: 01.10.1969
Competing for: Switzerland
Lives in: Amriswil between Zürich and St. Gallen
Could you tell us a little about the current top horses at your stable?
“I have quite a young team of horses now. Louis (Lord Pezi x Ultraschall) is the oldest one and he is twelve. I also have Una Traviatta (Contender x Lys de Darmen), she is eleven years old and Colore (Contender x Lord) is ten. Then I have four nine-year-olds and a couple of eight year-olds.”
Which horse is your favorite through the times?
“I have been lucky to have many good horses. City Banking was a super horse. But I didn’t have him for long - unfortunately he died right after the World Cup final in Gothenburg due to colic. Although he was only ten when he died we had already four or five Grand Prix wins and competed at the Olympics in Atlanta.”
“Then I had Pozitano. He’s the one I‘ve had most success with, but also the one that I had for the longest time in the sport. I competed him from he was nine until he was fourteen. Then of course there is Ideo du Thot. We won the World Cup final in Las Vegas together. Now I have Louis that I really like. He is a great horse.”
When and how did you start to ride?
“I had no choice as I grew up at a breeding stable run by my father and my older brother. I was not so hot on going to the stables, but I got a little pony and we won the first class we started together. That made me keep up the riding. It was not because I liked working in the stable,” Beat says with a little smile.
And when did you decide to become a professional rider?
“At fourteen I decided that I didn’t want to do anything else.”
Who do you train with?
"I train by myself and my wife looks from the floor."
Could you name one or more persons that have been influential for your show jumping career?
“Sport wise; my brother Markus. Unfortunately he died a few years ago. I also have to mention Ted and Liz Edgar in England. I stayed with them for one year when i was nineteen, and I learned a lot. Lisa is a great horsewoman.
Which personal trait has served you well in this sport?
“Well, I’m not lazy - that does help,” Beat states with a big smile. “I have a bit of talent too, but to get to the top you also have to be able to go into details. That is important to make it.”
Can you mention your career highlights?
“The Olympic Team Silver medal in Sidney with Pozitano was nice, and of course winning the World Cup final in Las Vegas in 2007 with Ideo du Thot. But I must say that every Grand Prix win is nice. I have won Grand Prix’s with 22 different horses, and every win is something new and exciting,” the sympathetic Swiss explains.
The most embarrassing moment in your career; what’s that?
Beat starts smiling as he takes us back to the day when he won his first class with his little pony. “At the prize giving ceremony the pony started bucking. As I fell off he was running through the arena towards the entrance, and I had to walk out. I was so embarrassed I didn’t ride for three months,” Beat laughs before he states; “I have had some real ups and downs!”
What are your goals for 2012?
“As I have so many young horses my plan is to try and bring them up to Grand Prix level. And I hope to qualify with Louis for the Olympics.”
What’s your favorite Kingsland product, and how do their products help you perform better?
“I like them all, but I especially like the vests. They are great for riding,” Beat says while he tries to come up with more favorites. “The jackets are also very good. They are so light. Everything from Kingsland fits well, and the clothes are really comfortable which is important as we wear them all day long doing our work.”
What’s your advice for riders who want to get to the level that you are at?
“Work hard, be happy with small steps, take your time and keep trying if it doesn’t work! These are the best advices I can give from my own experience,” Beat finishes.
Interview by: worldofshowjumping.com