Jappeloup now prances in the Olympic Park

Jappeloup now prances in the Olympic Park

He looks so proud to find himself in the Museum park! The life-size statue of Jappeloup de Luze, created by Dutch artist Gabriel Sterk, has just found a home in the Olympic Museum’s pasture, not far from the forecourt and its majestic columns. He recently left the vineyeards of Bordeaux, where he had been living with his owner and rider Pierre Durand, who, for many years, had been dreaming of seeing his horse on the shores of Lake Geneva among other athletes of his ilk.

Gold in Seoul for Jappeloup and Pierre Durand

Pierre Durand and Jappeloup were Olympic champions in Seoul almost 20 years ago (2 October 1988). For this bouncy little horse of just over 15.5 hands, it was a real exploit, as show jumping horses are normally much bigger. But the French rider had been obsessed by the Olympic title since childhood, when he saw Pierre Jonquères d’Oriola win gold in Tokyo in 1964. “A moment of emotion, of accomplishment. The dream had come true, the Olympic Ideal had become reality”, wrote Pierre Durand later as a dedication on a photo…

Jappeloup, a legendary horse…

As for Jappeloup, if there is a horse that non-riders know about, it is indeed him. He marked the history of equestrian sport in the 1980s. With his rider, he won practically everything: Olympic champion in Seoul in 1988; European champion in St Gallen in 1987; finalist in the World Championships in Aachen in 1986 (4th); French champion in 1982 and 1986; French number one from 1986 to 1990; 2nd in the Final of the World Cup in Dortmund in 1990; 2nd in the Final of the World Cup in Gothenburg in 1988; winner of the European Final of the World Cup 1987/88; and 3rd in the Final of the World Cup in Berlin in 1985. Who can top that?

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