Retired Olympic Show Jumper Jalisca Solier Euthanized

Jalisca Solier, Olympic bronze show jumping medalist ridden by Steve Guerdat of Switzerland, has died following a pasture accident.

The 17-year-old bay Selle Français mare, owned by Swiss watch manufacturer Yves G. Piaget of Geneva, “slipped” and broke a bone in her front right leg on Jan. 26, said Guerdat’s manager and brother Yannick Guerdat. Yannick Guerdat declined to give additional details about the fracture.

“Jalisca was seen immediately by two veterinary specialists who performed a series of radiographs and confirmed the fracture,” Yannick Guerdat told The Horse. The fracture could not be repaired in such a way as to guarantee the horse’s welfare or survival, and the decision for euthanasia was made.

Although Steve Guerdat was competing in Zurich, Switzerland, over the weekend, he returned home in time to say a “tearful farewell” to the mare, said a press release from the Guerdat family.

“You are and always will be one of the most beautiful things that has ever happened in my life, and I will never be able to thank you enough for all you have done for me,” Steve Guerdat said. “I will miss you, my princess 'Lisa.' ”

With Steve Guerdat, Jalisca Solier was part of the bronze medal Swiss show-jumping team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong. She was also a member of the gold medal team at the 2009 European championships.

In December 2013, Steve Guerdat announced the mare’s retirement in front of an emotional crowd at the CSI in Geneva, where she had saw some of her greatest achievements, including the 2006 Grand Prix Rolex World Cup and the Top Ten World Cup Finals in 2010. Fans in the audience flew Swiss flags and banners thanking Jalisca Solier for her contribution to Swiss equestrian sport during the ceremony.

“From the first time we met, I had a feeling that I’ve rarely felt. I’ve tried a lot of horses, and often, it’s a gamble,” Steve Guerdat said of the mare on his website. “But with Jalisca, it wasn’t. We got along marvelously, and she (was) the queen of the stables.”

Her connections had intended to use Jalisca Solier for breeding during her retirement, the press release stated.

About the Author

Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA

Christa Lesté-Lasserre is a freelance writer based in France. A native of Dallas, Texas, Lesté-Lasserre grew up riding Quarter Horses, Appaloosas, and Shetland Ponies. She holds a master’s degree in English, specializing in creative writing, from the University of Mississippi in Oxford and earned a bachelor's in journalism and creative writing with a minor in sciences from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She currently keeps her two Trakehners at home near Paris. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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