Georgina Bloomberg credits her exceptional string of horses for her successes over the last several years, but there’s one in particular, Chameur 137, that she points to as the star of the group.
“I jumped at the [Longines FEI] World Cup Finals [Sweden] with him last year [finishing 17th],” said Bloomberg, “and it had been a long time coming. It felt like a big comeback. That was our goal for the year, and to accomplish that because of him—he had a lot of success in the World Cup qualifiers to make it to the World Cup. I was really proud to finish where we finished. That being said, I’ve been riding him for a little more than a year, so I think the best is yet to come.”
The gelding came to Bloomberg in the summer of 2018 after Danish rider Zascha Nygaard Andreasen campaigned him up to the CSI3* level.
The partnership has developed over the last year and a half, despite some initial hesitation. “At first I tried him, and I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a good match,” admitted Bloomberg. “I had trouble steering him, and he was really strong, so it took me a while to feel comfortable enough to jump a course with him. My first show with him was the Hampton Classic [New York], and we went right into jumping the grand prix there. It’s a stressful grand prix for me anyway because it’s my hometown grand prix, and to compete with a horse that I had never even jumped 1.40 meters on was a tall order. We got around it, and he was amazing; he only had the last jump down. I knew right then that he was a special horse, and that made me really excited to build a partnership with him.”
Let’s go behind the stall door with Purple Road LLC’s 12-year-old Westphalian gelding (Cayetano L—Gina, Grossadmiral).
• Bloomberg described the gelding as a “showman” who takes his job as seriously as his rider does. “It’s a quality that I think you will find with most successful horses,” she explained. “He gets to a show, and he knows why he’s there; he’s there to do a job. At home he relaxes, but he gets to a show, and his attitude perks up.
“He’s fierce,” she continued. “He loves going to horse shows and is always trying his best. He is never one that you can get really beautiful pictures of; his ears are pinned, and he’s focused and just all in. I have a few horses that always look very pretty, and I can always guarantee a good jumping shot with. But with him, it’s all fire. He just goes for it.”
• In the ring, Chameur can “get a bit strong and against the bit,” said Bloomberg, “but I’ve always sort of liked that about him. I would rather have a ride that takes you to the jump. He has a bit of fire, and a lot of energy—a horse that really wants to get to the other side of the jump.”
• His team appreciates the effort Chameur puts in, no matter the location. “I think we are still trying to figure it out,” said Bloomberg, when asked if the gelding had a favorite venue. “He’s been wonderful, and he’s great in a big grass field, but he’s also great in a tight indoor. I think that’s a very useful quality for a horse to have. Especially while competing on the Global Champions Tour, you get a lot of different playing fields. For example, Chantilly [France] is a big grass field, while Berlin is a small, tighter sand arena. In my opinion, he’s a very similar ride in both, and that’s very handy.”
• When it comes to treats and rewards for a job well done, Bloomberg said, “He eats a little bit of everything! He’s funny. When my other horses come out of the ring, they automatically expect a treat; they go right for them. But he actually won’t eat a thing! Even if you offer it, he won’t touch it. He’s very much a competitor in that sense. He’s so focused on what he just did and on his job. Once he’s back at the barn he’ll take them, and that’s when he knows he can relax.”
• Does this calm, cool equine competitor have any pet peeves? “We had a revelation at GCT Berlin: He really didn’t like the video screen!” said Bloomberg. “There is a big TV screen in the warm-up, and that was the first time he has really been reactive and shown distaste in something like that, so apparently, he doesn’t like TV screens! When I think about some of the rails we’ve had down in the past, there has usually been a screen in the ring, and he’s been slightly too focused on that.
“So, he’s not one for TV. He’s more of a reader,” she said with a laugh.
• Don’t try to cuddle with him. Chameur likes his personal space. “I have horses at home that like to be showered in affection, but he’s just like, ‘No, that’s OK, let’s just do our own thing,’ ” said Bloomberg. “If I was a horse, I’d be very similar to him in personality. He’s definitely not a pet. He is a show horse, which I can appreciate. We are very similar, both very competitive.”
• He was worth the wait. “We’ve known each other for a little over a year, so I feel like we are really getting to know each other, and it’s wonderful to have a horse that can carry me around again and be competitive against the clock and also jump the big jumps,” Bloomberg said. “He’s the horse I’ve been waiting for for a while, so it’s nice to have him with me.”