Eugène Mathy, portrait
Vice President of the Royal Belgian Equestrian Sports Federation, President of the Ligue Equestre Wallonie Bruxelles, member of the obstacle commission, international Course builder, Organiser of the Jumping International de Liège.
Today, Eugène Mathy talks to us about the job of course builder
Blog : What was the path that led you to become a course builder?
EM: I have long been a rider in international competitions. When my son started to ride, I stopped. The interest for the course was already very present so I trained alongside Jean Legat, the best manager in Belgium. Then I travelled a lot. I have worked with many other professionals and got the best out of each to build my own way of doing things. That was 35 years ago.
Blog: What is the daily life of a course designer ?
EM: He travels a lot. This is less my case today. Everything must be done through feeling. The quality of the grounds, the colours, the rain that makes the ground deeper, the front sun that changes the appearance of some colours.
Blog: What are the qualities required for this job?
EM: Knowing the horse well, the sense of strides. Have respect for the animal. And always keep in mind to create difficulties that are solved by the riders and not by the horses, the latter should not put too much effort.
Blog : When you build a course, what is the objective to be achieved?
EM: There is always an educational objective for horses. Especially for young horses. When the level is higher, the balance between no fault and fault is an objective. It is also essential not to forget the audience, who must have fun. Placing shallower supports, shortening strides or lengthening them, imposing a faster speed…pushes at the fault.
Blog: Is it true that your mission is to put forward the rider and his horse?
No doubt about it. The rider who passes the test will appreciate and congratulate my work, the others will be less enthusiastic (laughs)
Blog: Outside the world of horses, what are your sources of relaxation?
EM: Walks in the forest and hunting.