By Jan Westmark
Swiss Olympic rider Martin Fuchs, currently ranked as the world’s No.1 rider on the Longines Jumping list, has returned to Florida to compete at the Palm Beach Masters Series. At the Palm Beach Masters Series in 2019, Martin won the first FEI class of the series, the CP Welcome Stake CSI4*-W. Martin comes from an equestrian family with strong ties to the Olympics: His dad competed in the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 and his uncle, Markus Fuchs, won a team silver in show jumping at the 2000 Summer Olympics. With a family filled with Olympians, it’s not surprising that horses and show jumping are in his blood. Martin kept the family tradition alive in 2016 when he competed in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Martin and Clooney 51 have developed a strong partnership and Martin is quick to say that Clooney is the best horse he has. With nerves of steel, Martin and Clooney are a tough combination to beat. Sidelines caught up with the 27-year-old wonder rider from Switzerland to find out more about his life in the saddle.
How did your horse career start?
I started riding when I was 7 years old with my pony, Cleopatra. It was at a riding school close to my home in Switzerland.
What are your goals with the Rolex Grand Slam?
My goal is always to be competitive and win. Thanks to my great horse, Clooney, I know that nothing is impossible.
What does the Rolex Grand Slam mean to you?
The Rolex Grand Slams are the best shows that we have in our sport. It’s any rider’s dream to win a Rolex Grand Slam.
You are returning to the Palm Beach Masters Series in Wellington, Florida; what do you like about this show?
It’s a great field with beautiful jumps and good footing. They have a good schedule, which allows the riders to bring several horses. It’s a very nice atmosphere, very colorful and different than other shows.
Do you have any great memories from competing at the Palm Beach Master Series?
That I won the first class I jumped there.
Will you also compete on the Wellington show circuit?
Yes, Florida is great to produce horses and bring them to a higher level.
What have been your favorite shows to compete in?
Aachen, Spruce Meadows, Geneva and Zurich
What’s your favorite thing about being part of the horse world?
I love the partnership with our horses, and the horse world is very diversified and never gets boring.
If you had a week off, what would you do?
Vacation on the beach
Any favorite horses? Why are they your favorites?
Obviously, Clooney because he’s just so amazing! I also really like Chaplin because he always gives his best.
Who inspires you?
People who are satisfied with little
What talents do you feel you have?
I have a good feeling for my horses.
What’s your favorite item of clothing to wear?
My Rolex watch
Most embarrassing thing you’ve ever worn?
I don’t get embarrassed very easily.
What’s your favorite meal?
Favorite type of pizza?
Something people don’t know about you?
I speak four languages.
What would be the best gift in the world?
To be healthy forever
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
To be able to fly
What’s something everyone should try at least once?
Ride a horse!