EQ Life Masthead - 2019
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Stellar season for Keach

Scott Keach and Fedor of Australia - Photo Credit Eric Knoll

Scott Keach and Fedor, pictured here at a previous event.

© Eric Knoll

 

Australian Jumping rider Scott Keach is having a stellar season in the US. With two weeks left to go on the famed Spruce Meadows circuit, he’s gearing up for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 in September for which he has been short-listed to ride for his home country. He’s hoping that by being based in the US, the host nation for this edition of the WEG, he will have a slight advantage and help lift Australia to a strong performance. Equestrian Australia spoke to him to see how he’s tracking.

How long have you been based overseas now and how much has this helped take your career to another level?

“I’ve been here for nine years. It’s hard to quantify, but it has certainly helped with opportunities I have been given and the competition opportunities that we have here in the United States.”

What has been the highlight/highlights for you over the past 12 months?

“Any placings in 5* events are always highlights and probably just as recently as the weekend at Spruce Meadows I had a third placing in the 5* Grand Prix there was great.”

Tell us about your current headline horses and their background?

“The main one is Fedor which was bought as an 8YO in Europe when jumping in 1m30 classes. He did his first big class four years ago and then I also have five other horses that are jumping 1m45 Grand Prix and another four which I have produced from 7YOs and one was bought for me to ride which is an 11YO mare that has placed in a 1m60 class and I have just started doing Grand Prix on her. I also have a 10yo that has jumped and placed in a couple of 3* events and three 9yos that have done their first Grand Prix competitions in the winter.

Overall, I feel that I am fortunate enough to have some horses that I consider to be potentially good horses.”

Who are your most supportive owners currently?

“The people that own Fedor and a few other horses for me called Anne and Dave Quanbeck who are from Virginia. They were the people that gave me a start in this country. In 2009, 2010 and 2011 I trained their daughter. Then they bought a 7YO mare in Germany that I jumped in and placed in numerous Grand Prix events as well as winning some. They have been very supportive ever since.  I also had one horse owned Hugh Lynch from Charlotte, North Carolina and also one owned by Edith Ramika who is from Virginia.”

What are your preparation plans between now and WEG for which you are a shortlisted AUS rider?

“I have two more weeks jumping here at Spruce in 5*. There’s a 5* in Chicago in August and then we will see how we go after that.”

What are your hopes for WEG performance wise based on your recent form?

“Firstly, in the teams for Australia, we want to do well. A top-six finish would be very good as competition is very strong. There are so many countries that can field a really strong team.”

How much do you think competing on the US circuit ahead of WEG also being staged in the US this year will benefit your performance?

“I would say that most people that compete in North America say that Spruce is an excellent prep for a championship. So hopefully it's going to prepare myself and Rowan Willis as well as possible for WEG and we both feel that this is as good a preparation as we are going to get jumping at Spruce Meadows.  Having to travel only five hours to Tryon will certainly make it easier on the horses too.”

Could you give us a brief insight into an average day in the life of Scott Keach?

“There is no average day, some days are more full than others. Sometimes I might ride many of my own horses and train others. I have two girls that work for me that I train. Typically, I have people that I train rather than people coming in for individual lessons. I like to have a balance between riding and doing other things like riding my motorbikes. When I am around the horses I am very focused but I also like to have time where I switch off and don’t have to think about it too much.”

Source: Equestrian Australia (EA) website

 

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