Abdelkebir Ouaddar Interview – The star from Africa

14. Jun 16 | 16:04 | By | Category: INTERNATIONAL NEWS, interviews

14  June  2016


Abdelkebir Ouaddar is probably one of the most interesting persons in show jumping. The 54 year old rider came all the way from Morocco to the big show jumping arenas of the world. He now lives in France but is visiting Morocco very often because his wife and daughter are still living there. In 2015 Abdelkebir Ouaddar and his horse Quickly de Kreisker were named the best rider-horse-combination by the FEI. Here the rider let us know about his wishes for 2016, his horses and how it´s like to be from a country not famous for show jumping and nevertheless becoming one of the best in the world.

You had so much success while the last few years. Big wins and a great performance at the WEG 2014. How did you experience all that?

All my victories and great performances are unforgettable. Participating for the 1st time at the WEG and being placed made me so proud. For me this was the fruit of working very hard. And at the end, the only thing we remember is that it was all worth it.

In 2015 you and your horse were the best rider horse combination according to the FEI. Is this making you especially proud?

Of course, I knew for a very long time that Quickly was one of the best, or may be THE best (joking). So, this nomination made me proud and it was like a reward to our great moments that we had together.

What can you tell us about your horse Quickly de Kreisker? How did you get him? What kind of horse is he? What is making him so special for you?

Quickly is a fantastic horse, he is the horse of my life. I rode many horses in my life but what makes him so special is the connection that we have. At home, he is like a club horse, lazy and not making any effort. However, once he arrives at a show for the vet check he may show off a little (after all he is a stallion…) and once we enter in the ring he becomes a lion. He will do anything to draw the attention on him.

Quickly as you may know is the propriety of His Majesty The King of Morocco. He bought it for me in order to represent with honor our beautiful country. And I will never thank the King enough for the trust he has on me and the beautiful gift he gave me by being able to ride Quickly.

People here in Germany don´t know much about you. But you are very well known because of your recent results. But what should people know about Abdelkebir Ouaddar? How did you fall in love with horses?

Since a very young age (about 12years old) I skip school to go to the stables. The Royal family raised me and they are the ones who made the man that I am now. I can qualify myself as an easygoing person, and thanks to my Moroccan culture I am very attached to people and love when my fans send me messages to express their support.

What do horses mean to you?

Horses are my life. When I travel with my family, I can’t be away from them more than a week.

When did you decide to become a show jumper? It´s not the sport where you would search for people from Northern Africa… How did your show jumping career begin?

I am a showjumper since my young age, I rode a lot in Morocco. It was only in 2012 that my international career really began. My 3rd place in the GCT of Monaco was the key to this world.

Do you live and train in Morocco or in Europe? And where?

Since 2012, I live in France, Bois-le-Roi at the Rozier’s stables. This family became my family too as I live and see them everyday. I am based with my horses there and by time to time, as much as I can, I go back to Morocco to see my family. I also try to go back to Morocco every July to participate to the Moroccan Championship.

How would you describe the world of horses and horsesport in Morocco to people here in Europe?

Morocco made an incredible effort to be like showjumping in Europe. The Prince Moulay Abdellah, president of the FRMSE (Federation Royale Marocaine des Sports Equestre) made a lot and now I can say that Morocco does not need to envy Europe. Our well known Morocco Royal Tour is getting more and more famous and brings a lot of international and well known riders.

How does a typical day for you look like when you are at the barn training horses?

I am an early bird. At 7 am I am in the stables, I ride my horses (young ones too) all day. I ride the “big” horses on mornings so about 4 horses and then the afternoon I ride the young horses.After the morning rides I have my lunch then the afternoon is devoted to the care of the horses. Also, as an athlete I do not avoid walking and jogging. I also by time to time try to swim in order to keep my muscles in shape. When I´m not on my way to the airport for a show or flying back home and I have finished riding thr horses I like to bike or just to run in the forest where I´m used to ride horses near the stables in Bois-le-Roi.

I´m not the kind of man who read books and stuff. I like action movies and watch a lot of shows on Equidia… However, I am more likely to sleep early because of the early bird I am. 

I like very healthy food! Unfortunately I cannot cook moroccan meals because I don´t have the time or maybe don´t know how to cook them (joke!)

My favorite meal is the traditional Couscous, in morocco we are used to eat it every friday so when I settled in france it was very hard for me to eat something else on fridays but I´m used to it now. I like cooking! I make some really good salads. And when I am in agood shape I can go out for dinner with friends and likely go and watch a movie at the cinéma.


Along with Quickly de Kreisker – do you ride a lot more horses? Do you have some more big talents?

I have many horses at the stables. But three for the big tours: Quickly, Cordano that won a lot of small shows. Saphir is the youngest one. We are taking our time to learn how each other is like. I know that he can be the next future star of my stables. I have a lot of young horses that are very talented and I keep having a lot of hope fort hem.

2016 is the year of the Olympic Games. What are your plans for this year?

This year I am focusing only on my qualification to the Olympic Games. I need to stay 1st in the Arabs to go to Rio. So, Marcel Rozier, my trainer, planned very carefully which shows I should participate in.

Do you have a philosophy in life?

My philosophy in life is quite simple and maybe too much cliché but still it is what I believe in. I think if you are a hard worker and a patient person, God will give you what you deserve.

What is a wish you want to fulfill yourself one day?

I wish I am going to participate to the Olympics, and why not come back home with a medal…

Interview: Alexandra Koch


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