ITx Café #1 : Resilience

ITx Café : #resilience (summer 2020)

Kevin Staut interview – Olympic Champion and World vice-champion


“Resilience is part of the daily discipline of any top athlete”

During this spring of 2020, he should have been preparing to go to the Tokyo Olympics in July to put his title back on the line. But the Covid-19 crisis decided otherwise …

At under 30, reigning Olympic champion Kevin Staut was already European champion in show jumping, the most competitive discipline in equestrian sports. Then he was world number one for a long time. Ten years later, his record has impressed, notably with a title of vice-world champion and this team gold medal at the last Olympic Games. And it is probably not over yet!

Always on top, he is still today, at 39, one of the best French riders, while he had to radically question himself last year when he separated from his main sponsor and that he therefore lost the rearing of his best horses. A questioning situation that he has experienced several times in the past. And that the Coronavirus crisis has accentuated this year just when he had just restructured and rebuilt a stake of horses capable of reviving him.

And yet, this champion – admired by all riders around the world – keeps smiling, moving forward, investing, embarking on a multitude of projects and continuing to work hard every day to relaunch himself and resume competitions at the most. high international level as soon as possible. How is it ?

Hello Kevin. I’m not asking how you are: you look great!

Yes, thank you, indeed it’s going very well. Although I obviously can’t wait for international competitions to resume, because first and foremost I am passionate about sports and I have competition in my blood. I miss sport, but I took advantage of this very special period of confinement to work on my new structure, renew contacts with former investors and some owners, discover new horses that have just arrived in the stables and with which I have good hopes, to rework the basics, to keep a sufficient physical shape… and to immerse myself in the reading of the classic works of equestrian culture. It feels good every once in a while to have time to refocus on yourself.

It’s true that the usual pace of life of a high-level rider is pretty hellish …

In recent years, the creations of major equestrian events and international “five star” competition circuits have multiplied around the world and every weekend, the horses, their grooms and the riders must sometimes be in the United States. , sometimes in Hong Kong, sometimes in Qatar, sometimes in Germany, in France, then again on the other side of the world. It is a complex logistics that requires a tight organization as well as a sharp and motivated team. Generally, I leave on Wednesday and only come back on Sunday evening, or even Monday morning. But it is necessary in an economic model which remains essentially based on the earnings of the horses in competition. And then you have to accumulate points for the world classification of riders, which precisely gives access to certain major prestigious events reserved for the twenty or thirty best.

This dramatic Coronavirus crisis has come at a delicate time for you, since you had to start from scratch last year after the sudden end of your collaboration with the famous Haras des Coudrettes, with which you had been associated for many years. How did you experience this break-up and how did you prepare for your new start?