Simone Blum had not wanted to be the last rider at the last day. At least she said that after winning bronze with the team. But then, she joked, she was just too good, and stayed too good. The rider from Zolling near Munich and her DSP mare Alice by Askari/Landrebell performed well under pressure and delivered two rounds as if they were an experienced pair. There was no doubt they would not stay clear. Over the last days, the 11-year-old mare, who has been with Blum for four years never once touched a bar and was the only horse without jumping mistakes, they only had a time penalty point in the second round – as almost all other pairs. This means Simone Blum became the first female individual world champion since Gail Greenough from Canada in 1986. It is the first title in the individual rating since Franke Sloothaak in Den Haag. Who would have thought this possible?
“I am so grateful, it is unbelievable,” Blum said. “But it does not matter if I am the first woman in the history of the WEG or not – it does not matter, we are all equal. Alice was so great the whole week. I think she knew she could win and she wanted to win the hearts of the whole world here.” She said she had not been nervous during the last days, but today she was. “But I could focus well during the course.”
She declared her love for her future Husband, Hans Günther Goskowitz, who will take the name “Blum” in four weeks. According to her he was the best man in the world and without him she would not have been here. “He discovered Alice”
After the failed team medal the show-jumping world championship ended on a good note for Switzerland. With Martin Fuchs and 12-year-old Westphalian gelding Clooney by Cornet Obolensky’s silver medal and Steve Guerdat and Bianca by Balou du Rouet’s bronze medal they gained their first medals ever in the individual rating. And it was even more special that exactly these two men stood next to each other on the podium. “Everyone knows that I am Philippe Guerdat’s son. But the Fuchs family is like a second family for me. They treat me as if I was their third son. We live next to each other, talk to each other every day – therefore it is something special for me.”
He was proud of Bianca’s performance. “I wanted to give her a medal because she earned it.” the Olympic winner of London said. “She loves jumping. When she sees a fence she does not just want to jump it – she flies over it. I cannot describe the feeling. It is such an honour to share my life with such an incredible animal.”
Martin Fuchs, who became teary-eyed on the podium and then again when his friend Steve Guerdat talked about his family said: “I ride one of the best horses in the world – just as Simone and Steve. I had a good feeling all week long. And I knew that I could afford a time penalty point and still be ahead of Steve. That is what happened. Then I watched my friend Max Kühner, who unfortunately made mistakes – and then came Simone. She was so far away from touching a bar and therefore she became World Champion.”
To the question if he missed the horse change that took place in the Normandy for the last time Steve Guerdat answered: “Yes, I do. It would have been great to jump a round with these horses. But I can live with the decision to do without it. Our sport deals with the partnership with a horse and therefore it is good how it is right now.”
Max Kühner certainly was one to be sad at the end of the day. The rider from Austria, in second place until the second round of the final had two mistakes with his 11-year-old Holsteiner stallion Chardonnay by Clarimo/Corrado and fell back to rank six. US American McLain Ward and Clinta just missed an individual medal, they finished fourth. Columbian Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo and Admara surprised with a fifth place.