Gaëtan Decroix shares the story of how a group of friends created an incomparable adventure around an exceptional horse.
Text Adriana Van Tilburg Photo Therese Alhaug
The 2022 World Championships in Herning showcased unbelievable sports. The showjumping was a thriller from the first to the last ride, presenting the best horse and rider combinations in the world.
For owners and breeders, it is a long-awaited dream that comes true seeing their horse at the world championships.
Gaëtan Decroix is one of the owners and previous riders of the silver medalist stallion Quel Homme de Hus, sired by Quidam de Revel, a showjumping stallion that has proved everything possible as a sport horse and sire.
“Dreams are priceless. They allow you to live priceless moments. “Gaëtan Decroix
Belgian rider Jérôme Guery and Quel Homme de Hus form the duo who took part of the gold medal team at the 2019 European Championships in Rotterdam. They were also qualified for the individual finals, but Jerome decided to spare the stallion. This year, in Herning, the duo was crowned world championships silver medalist.
Quel Homme de Hus was discovered by Gaëtan Decroix eight years ago, which was the beginning of an incredible partnership between the two. In early 2019, Quel Homme de Hus crossed paths with the experienced showjumping rider Jérôme Guéry.
“To be part of the show in Aachen, the Tokyo Olympic Games or the World Championships in Herning, you need an exceptional horse, Decroix explains.
“Quel Homme de Hus has always given me the feeling of being this extraordinary horse who deserved to express himself on the biggest courses in the world. Nothing was ever too hard or too big, and his assurance gave me confidence in all circumstances.”
The thirteen-year-old stallion had to convince his new rider, Jérôme Guéry, that he would be the mount of his life; the one that would bring him the titles and medals. Very quickly, they both convinced each other that they wanted to move forward towards the greatest goals.
“A medal in Tokyo was already in all our conversations, and then the victories in Grand Prix, Nations Cups and championships made this couple one of the safest and most recognized in the equestrian world. The story was taking shape, and beyond any financial aspect, we wanted for Patricia, Jérôme, Alex, Elien, Alice and myself to live a dream.”
Quel Homme de Hus was no longer the horse of a group of friends but became in the hearts of everyone, even beyond the borders of Belgium.Gaëtan Decroix
Decroix tells us how a group of friends created an incomparable story around an exceptional horse.
“Dreams are priceless. They allow you to live priceless moments. It was my great surprise to see that from week to week, from month to month, more and more amateurs rallied to our story. Quel Homme de Hus was no longer the horse of a group of friends but became in the hearts of everyone, even beyond the borders of Belgium. The enthusiasm and support of the horse planet have made this story simply magical. Success is also achieved
through collective support.”
Decroix credits Guery:
“Jérôme Guery, is a great sportsman at heart who sets goals and directs his entire season around a major event. Quel Homme de Hus is managed to perfection in order to arrive in the best condition on important days. The pressure is enormous when you know that the Olympic Games and world championships only occur once every four years. You have to be ready, fit, and, above all, focused on turning the pressure into a performance booster.”
“The pressure was at its peak. When they crossed the finish line, the crowd began to applaud, whistle and sing. We shared happiness!”Gaëtan Decroix
“Jérôme, Alice and I all have the same feeling: Quel Homme de Hus will be faultless if the rider rides perfectly. It’s an extraordinary feeling to enter the arena with this absolute confidence in our team.”
In Herning, Quel Homme de Hus was ready. Well placed on the first day of the competition, the couple had to perform with making no faults. Decroix himself, competed in the Longines Deauville Classic on the same
weekend as the championship took place, and had to watch it live.
“The pressure was at its peak. When they crossed the finish line, the crowd began to applaud, whistle and sing. We shared happiness!
Decroix jumped on a plane on Sunday morning.
“My wife told me I shouldn’t miss this day for anything in the world. After all, we all took this path together because of these kinds of moments.”
“It would be difficult for me to describe the concentration and confidence which characterized Quel Homme de Hus and Jérôme on this sunny day. They became silver medalists, and they so deserved it. I do not forget his groom either, Brianna, who works 24 hours a day to care for this great gentleman whose morale is integral to his success on the track.”
“I do not forget his groom either, Brianna, who works 24 hours a day to care for this great gentleman whose morale is integral to his success on the track.”Gaëtan Decroix
Quel Homme de Hus had his first offspring registered in France in 2012. Beyond being a champion in the ring, Quel Homme de Hus is also an exceptional sire. Gaëtan Decroix is also managing his career as a breeding
“His offspring are still young but appear on podiums around the world; in breeding competitions and Young Horse competitions. His offspring are distinguished by their elegance, model and expressive gallop, which gives
them fantastic propulsion and carefulness, which is well known to Quel Homme de Hus, ” Decroix says.
Since 2019, Quel Homme has covered around 350 to 400 mares per year around the world. Decroix is convinced the story is far from over:
“In the years to come, we will have the pleasure of discovering his offspring shine, just like him, at the highest level. Great events await us and will still make us vibrate.”