Interview with Ruth Krech, owner of Prêt à Tout

What is your background? 
I grew up with horses and they have always been a big part of my life. Even though I loved riding, competing, and being with horses, I stopped at quite an early age and focused on other opportunities. I became a business woman, working with my husband, but I was, and still am a horse owner and a breeder as well.

Why did you decide to become an owner? 
I never decided to ‘become an owner’. I have always had my own horses and I would usually ride them myself. I’ve had Prêt à Tout since he was six-years-old, and although I started riding him, I really bought him for my daughter. I never had the intention of giving him away, however, my daughter decided to dedicate herself to her studies, so I was lucky to find a girl who was growing up at the same time as my horse. Kaya Lüthi and Pret à Tout achieved two successful Young Riders European Championships together before Pret à Tout moved to Marcus in 2015.

What did you first see in Prêt à Tout? 
I met him in France at a friend’s place. He looked at me and I immediately fell in love with him. He had these wonderful eyes and I just knew that he was special. However, obviously at that time I didn’t know what an extraordinary horse I had found.

What is Prêt à Tout’s personality like?
He has the most incredible personality. Toutou, as we call him, always gives his best and loves having a close relationship with his rider. Marcus can really trust him, and his intelligence makes their partnership so easy. He loves the rider, the groom, and in fact, everyone that he meets. He is very kind and has a huge personality, sometimes you almost think he’s human! He’s a horse that you can’t forget, and he won’t forget you – he really is a once-in-a-lifetime horse! We are so lucky to have him.

How often do you see Prêt à Tout? 
I don’t see him enough given that we live in Switzerland and he lives at Marcus’s stables, so I mainly see him at the Shows. When he retires though, he will come back home to our farm in Switzerland, where he can live in our field and will be treated in any way he wants, just like a normal horse!

Do you get nervous watching Marcus and Prêt à Tout compete?
Yes, of course! I get really nervous, it’s my part of the game and part of the fun

What is the best part of being an owner? 
It’s a fantastic experience and so nice to meet people and just to generally be involved in such a wonderful sport.

How many horses do you have? 
Too many! There are two foals on their way next month, one from Comme il faut, and the other from Kannan, so hopefully everything will go well. There are two more young horses who I hope will grow into ‘big horses’ one day. One is a Kannan, and the other one is a Diamant de Semilly. Currently they’re residing at Susanne Behring’s stable so that they can get a good education before hopefully being adopted by an elite rider. Who this rider will be depends on the horse, because in my opinion it’s extremely important that the horse and rider make a good combination. We’ll see what time brings, but the show must go on!

Do you compete yourself? 
No, I don’t ride that much anymore due to an injury I picked up. I did compete in higher classes many years ago, but I’m still very much involved in horses. I’ve learnt so much over the many years of working with them and I’m still learning every day.

What makes show jumping an interesting / exciting sport? 
Show jumping is very exciting to watch, especially given that the result can change so quickly with just one touch of a pole. For me, it’s not just the sport of show jumping that is exciting, but also equestrian sport and equestrianism in general. In my opinion, the most exciting aspect is that an animal and rider can come together and form a special partnership which enables them to achieve things that they never could dream of. The horse learns from the rider every day and in the same way the rider learns from the horse!

How will you celebrate if Marcus and Pret à Tout win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping? 
There will be a lot of celebrations from both parties, but first things first we would have a glass of champagne or a beer!

How long has Marcus ridden for you and what makes him different from other leading riders? 
Marcus started riding Prêt à tout at the end of 2015, and since then they have formed an incredible partnership. Marcus is obviously a very talented rider, but what I admire most about him is his ability to grasp the horse’s feelings. He never pushes the horse to a level where it is not yet ready, and he is able to adjust his riding depending on how the horse is feeling on any given day. Sometimes horses can be pushed too hard, which can affect their confidence, but Marcus knows their limits and is able to get the most out of them. He is kind and polite towards all horses and they share a mutual respect. Marcus really is a true horseman.

Text: www.rolexgrandslam.com

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