Marc Bettinger finds the Swiss air suits him.
Having left for Switzerland with his partner Faye Schoch about to give birth, Marc Bettinger is still there, and he has even decided to build stables to set up a base there. Once his string rebuilt, the German is back with three Grand Prix victories this year, the last of which was this weekend in Wiener Neustadt, riding Casalini (photo).
"I am really very happy. We have very good young horses and in addition, I am lucky to have new customers who have entrusted me with two very good horses with Casalini, a nine-year-old Casall trained by good riders who took the time to do things right, and whom I picked up last October, as well as Aston des Etisses, a son of Mylord Carthago who was also entrusted to me by the Müller family two months ago. In the end, everything is of course for sale... but I think that here I will have time to ride them up a little longer and go a little further, which obviously delights me.
Honestly, high level at all costs is not my goal! I was very happy to be able to participate in the Longines Masters in Lausanne, especially since I hadn't competed at this level for some time. It feels good to be able to place myself and I was very happy to come out of the Grand Prix with one fault after having made several rankings over the weekend. My goal is not to do top level every weekend but to choose competitions where I think I can be competitive and leave with money. I hate to pay a bill at the end of the weekend. We do not have a sponsor and competition is very expensive. So I prefer to select my contests and it works pretty well for Faye and me right now.
Obviously, our way of working is very different from the one we had in Belgium. At that time, we had a lot of trade and a lot of horses. Here in Switzerland, we have completely changed our operating system. We don't want to have more than 15 horses for both of us, but we want high quality horses that we will train for at least two or three years as we did with Quincy who, after a year off, has come back in great shape with Faye and placed in the Sopot Grand Prix. My current priority is really focused on building our stables and especially on the happiness of my family; that is really the most important thing for me."