byNina Fedrizzi| Jun 27, 2017
Take a scroll through the photos on Czech show jumper Emma Augier de Moussac’s Instagram page and one thing is obvious: this talented rider is sitting on some pretty incredible horsepower. Just last weekend, Emma and her KWPN mare Diva put down a solid performance in the 1.60-meter €200,000 Longines Grand Prix Port of Rotterdam CHIO5*, and it’s clear the duo is right at home on some of the sport’s biggest stages. At just nine-years-old, Diva joined Emma’s EAM Sporthorses two years ago and has been steadily climbing the ranks ever since, making her Nations Cup debut at Linz-Ebelsberg, in Austria, earlier this spring.
But Diva is just one of the impressive mounts Emma’s been campaigning throughout Europe this year, and she credits her longtime trainer, Vincent Voorn, with helping her select and bring along her string of prospects. Here, we catch up with Emma to talk guilty pleasures, one epic embarrassing moment, and the best advice she’s ever received (from Mom, of course!) on our Twenty Questions quiz.
1. NF Style: At what exact moment did you fall in love with horses?
Emma Augier de Moussac: I always had horses around me, already as a toddler, my parents made me ride around… so I have been in love with horses from the first time I was introduced to this magical animal.
2. For riding, do you prefer black boots or brown boots?
3. If you could do any other equestrian discipline what would it be and why?
Eventing, because there is still jumping in there.
4. What is the most embarrassing thing to have ever happened to you while riding?
It was in Lummen in 2015, the Nations Cup day. I wanted to ride Kanonja in the first round to qualify her for the Europeans. She was quite a new ride for me, and quite a tricky one too. At that stage, it was still 50 percent of the time, it would go great, and 50 percent of the time, I would have literally no control. So, well, that was one of those days where the control wasn’t at its best…
The classes started earlier for me to be able to do my round, and obviously, it was Nations Cup day, so all eyes were on the first one in the ring. So there I go, fully confident… I jumped number 1, and I felt her hanging a bit on the bridle, then I go to jump number 2, and she is starting to pick up the pace. The same thing happened at 3—so, you can imagine, at that stage, that confidence I had was all gone. I was just trying to figure out what was going happen next. On I go to number 4, and she literally just runs through it. The next fence is the water jump, so I pointed her at it, thinking, what could go wrong? She’s jumped it a million times, and it might actually just slow her down… Well, it sure did slow her down: she stopped and I went flying off (thank god I didn’t land in the water!) but that wasn’t the worst bit of this story.
I was at the other side of the arena with my mare in my hand, with no one around me to give me a leg up (and no chair or ladder to help me get up) but there was no chance I was walking back to the in-gate. It way too long of a walk of shame. I had to get up the old-fashioned way, foot in the stirrup, and sing one. She is a tall animal, and I am a short human being, so you can do the math… it took me at least 10 half-jumps before I managed to drag myself back into the saddle so I could gallop back down to the in-gate.
5. What is the most inspiring thing to have ever happened to you while riding?
The most inspiring thing that has happened to me was at the show last year in Stephex with Kanonja. On the first day, she was very spooky in the class under the lights, and stopped twice. Then, on the last day, we won the three-star grand prix. This really shows that one can start a show in the worst way possible and yet finish it in the best way possible.
6. What is your favorite #TwoHearts Moment of your season?
Nick Skelton and Big Star winning [Olympic] gold.
7. What was the hardest lesson you have had to learn in your riding?
One day you can have it all—your dreams are slowly starting to realize themselves—but in a click of your fingers, that can all be gone, and you are back to square one.
8. Who is your mentor and why?
Vincent Voorn—I have been working with him for the past 10 years. He is someone I respect enormously for his talent and many results individually and on the Dutch Team at a very young age. Vincent is someone, also, who has a very good eye for noticing talent in a horse and for bringing horses up to the highest level. He is a very humble person and someone I trust entirely.
9. If you could ride a horse from the past, who would it be?
10. If you could ride a horse right now, that is not your own, who would it be?
11. How do horses keep you grounded in the industry?
It’s a never-ending learning sport, and when you think you have it all figured out, there is always one horse that will prove you wrong. But, also, a horse without a rider is a horse, but a rider without a horse is nothing; one must never take for granted our horses.
12. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
13. When were you most happy on a horse?
I am the happiest on my horses, when I see them improve and succeed.
14. If your top horse were a famous person, who would it be?
Diva would be the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street—she just needs to hear the treat wrapper and her eyes are already popping out! She is obsessed.
15. What is one piece of riding clothing or equipment you could never do without?
My AA TechnoReady jacket.
16. What is your helmet of choice and why?
GPA First Lady for its great safety protection, comfort, and elegance.
17. Which famous clothing brand do you wish would come out with an equestrian line?
18. What is your biggest splurge to date when it comes to your riding and/or horses?
A stallion I bought straight after the death of my best horse in 2010. I was so desperate to find a new horse to replace him that I ended up buying a horse that didn’t suit me. I’ve never spent that much money on a horse since.
19. What is the best piece of riding advice you have ever received and from whom?
It came from my mother: “It’s a tough world out there, and it will hurt, but don’t ever allow it to bring you down. On the contrary, use it as a driver to make you rise.”
20. What is your life motto?
Never give up—failure is the teacher of success.
-Photography by Erin Gilmore.
- Emma Augier de Moussac on Packing For the Road During Her Whirlwind Show Season [NF Style]
- Ten Things Emma Augier de Moussac Has Learned From Vincent Voorn [NF Style]
- All Twenty Questions posts [NF Style]