As we write, Russia’s attack on Ukraine is in full swing and it is all happening under our eyes. It is neither our role nor our competence to deal with this subject, but we are involved in the sports sector and therefore quoting the International Olympic Committee’s statement made on February 25th: ‘The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has advised that athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus should be banned from all international sporting events’.
The IOC has also told International Federations to move any events scheduled to take place in Russia or Belarus out of the countries.
The FEI, EEF are IJRC are all in agreement with the IOC statements. While all this is happening, life goes on, albeit in a state of shock. The outdoor show jumping season has started with week-long circuits in Spain, Italy and Florida, involving unimaginable travel for horses and those involved. Amidst all this coming and going, we wish here to find time to remember Diamant de Semilly. A horse, a champion and a story that will forever remain in all our hearts.
Diamant de Semilly would have celebrated his 31st birthday on May 22nd. His is an unbelievable story consisting of obstacles to be overcome and not only at shows, starting with the very first day of his life. His dam, Venise des Cresles, in fact died just an hour after his birth and so Diamant was bottle-fed by the Levallois family together with another orphaned foal. A great champion in show jumping arenas and the undisputed king of sires, Diamant de Semilly’s story is inextricably linked to that of his breeder Jules Mesnildrey and to Germain Levallois.
There are many tales to be told about Diamant and in the following pages you will find some of his life story with a number of never before published photographs that Anne Sophie Levallois kindly shared with us.
Diamant de Semilly is an ‘étoile’ but he represents all the horses in the world, both the most famous ones and all those inhabiting stables and paddocks everywhere, each one a great champion in its own way.