Luigi Baleri: “Being part of this team with Martin Fuchs is indescribable“

Credit : Claire Simler/JOC

Sunday 25 August - 11h32 | Press release

Luigi Baleri: “Being part of this team with Martin Fuchs is indescribable“

Awarded Owner of the year 2018 by the Jumping Owners Club, Luigi Baleri has given his impressions, paying tribute to Clooney 51 and Chaplin, two of his crack horses winning with the Swiss Martin Fuchs. This afternoon, Martin and Clooney, silver medalists last year at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA will once again try to reach the podium at the Longines European Championships in Rotterdam.

Since when do you own Clooney? 
Since the CSI Geneva 2017. Martin told me that Clooney was going to be sold to the USA. We had to prevent this from happening, so that Martin could keep his best horse.

Can you tell us how you felt when you first met him?
This is impossible. The whole purchasing process had to be fast and therefore was an emotional roller coaster ride. After that the feeling was just wonderful.

Why do you think Clooney is more special than your other horses? 
I wouldn’t want to phrase it as more special. All my horses are special and great! But yes obviously Clooney is the most successful so far in terms of show jumping. He has his own strong mind. This is pure luck for us, as otherwise he wouldn’t have performed so well and for sure not overcome his illness as fast as he did. His recovery was truly special to watch. With the silver medal in Tryon, he has shown the whole world how strong his mindset is.

What are your best memories with him?
To be honest, always the latest success. Every time we can celebrate a good result or win is always truly special.

If you had to describe him?
Simply the best.

What are his character, qualities, defaults?
Strong, stubborn, healthy eater. 

How do you usually choose your horses?
When Martin or Thomas tell me: ‘this is the one’.

Is Chaplin the next Clooney? 
No, Clooney can never be replaced. But Chaplin and The Sinner are great horses too. They have shown it with their own success and I am sure they will have great careers themselves. They are a joy to watch everyday. 

What are the differences between them?
Right now Clooney really is just simply the best.

Being a sport horse owner means what to you?
Joy, emotions, thrill and being part of a journey. I’m part of a team and together we celebrate the success but also overcome the failures and losses. Being part of this team is truly special and indescribable.  

Why do you choose to invest in sport horses? 
So that Martin can develop as a rider and hopefully will have many other triumphs in his career. For this, one horse like Clooney is not enough. It needs a number of good horses. The event schedule is so full and tough. If one isn't careful, a horse can be overworked in no time.

Since when do you invest in sport horses?
I’m investing in the sport since more than 3 decades. The journey with Martin began when he was 13 and we decided to give him my horse Riot Gun to ride. Next to our professional relationship, we developed this great friendship with the family Fuchs. Together, as mentioned before, we celebrate the good times and work through the not so good ones.

Your relationship with Martin seems very strong. 
Yes, it is unbelievably great to have seen Martin grow up to be such a great athlete on and off the horseback. This one, like any friendship, has become stronger every year. For this I am very grateful.

How could you describe it? 
Martin has great parents. Everything is organized and so professional. All the decisions concerning the sport are made by the team Fuchs. And the team is exceptional. Thomas must be the world's best show jumping coach. Sean is looking with such great care over all the horses and like that Martin can concentrate fully on the riding. And then there is Martin. He has not only this obvious talent. It is great to watch him taking such a professional approach to his work. Be it his fitness regime or riding training schedule.

Why Martin and not another rider? 
One could see already with 13 years old that this rider had an absolute talent. But one could also see that the boy already was very friendly, loyal and honest. One could not ask for a better rider to give their trust. And now obviously the old saying ‘never change a winning team’ became true. 

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