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Didier Gerschheimer’s Journey from Supply Chain to Show Jumping Excellence

Today, we’re excited to share an inspiring story from the picturesque countryside of Alsace / Lorraine, on the French-German border. Meet Didier Gerschheimer, one of Altix Team Members in France.  In this interview, Didier shares his passion for horses and how he and his wife Sandrine have turned a hobby into a thriving international show jumping breeding enterprise.

Didier, would you share how you became involved in horse breeding and where your passion for horses originated?

Absolutely. My passion for horses comes from a combination of factors, including childhood experiences and a natural affinity for these majestic animals. While my wife Sandrine is the professional horse breeder in our partnership, her expertise and enthusiasm have been instrumental in nurturing my interest and involvement in horse breeding.

Over time, I’ve developed a great appreciation for the intricacies of breeding and the rewarding experience of seeing our horses grow and compete in international competition. My wife and I form a powerful team, me, the strategist with a keen eye for optimization, and Sandrine, the hands-on caretaker deeply attuned to equine needs.

How did you get started with horse breeding?

As I said, it all began with a fascination for these magnificent animals and our desire to train them to reach their full potential.  We started by meticulously selecting horses with exceptional pedigrees and desirable characteristics. Each pairing was carefully considered, aiming to produce top-tier athletes, and the potential to excel in the highly competitive world of show jumping, always with respect and animal welfare in mind, which are values that are very important to us.

It feels like you and your wife created a powerful partnership combining your professional expertise in this endeavor.  How in fact are you contributing your industry expertise in your horse breeding hobby?

Interestingly, my professional background, and long career in Supply Chain, has greatly influenced our approach to horse breeding. We apply the principles of SMART goal setting, ensuring that every aspect of our equine pursuits is thoughtfully planned and executed. From setting objectives for each foal’s growth and development to crafting tailored training regimens, my professional skills enable us to optimize our efforts and maximize the potential of each horse.

Can you explain your approach to training the horses and how do you handle all the different parts of running your horse breeding business?

Training our horses is a multifaceted process that combines patience, expertise, and a deep understanding of equine behavior. We take great care in planning each training session.  As the foals mature, growing strong and graceful under Sandrine’s watchful care, I apply my logistical mind to choreograph every jump, refining techniques for the demanding international stage.

Running our horse breeding business is very similar to managing a complex project. We oversee every aspect, from the day-to-day care of the horses to the strategic planning of their development. We emphasize efficiency and organization, ensuring that each component of our operation works seamlessly together towards our overarching goals.  We apply holistic thinking and a thorough understanding of interconnected systems and values which is actually very similar to my work in industry.

What do you feel when you get to witness your horses perform at their peak during competitions, and how do these moments reflect the dedication and bond you share with them?

Competitions are the culmination of years of dedication and hard work. The thrill of seeing our horses perform at their peak and winning international competitions is incredibly rewarding. Through countless hours of training, care, and mutual trust, we’ve formed a connection that goes beyond words. Seeing them excel in competition is extremely thrilling and a testament to this bond.

On a more personal note, for my wife and I, these moments reinforce the importance of our dedication to the sport and to each other. They remind us why we embarked on this journey in the first place—to pursue excellence, to push boundaries, and to share in the joy of achievement together. It’s a beautiful synergy of passion, dedication, and mutual respect, and it’s what makes our partnership with our horses so special.

Thank you to Didier for taking the time to share your amazing journey in the world or equine breeding and competition.  It’s always fascinating to learn what driven professionals like yourself do in their spare time and how they manage work-life balance and draw energy from their hobby.  Your story of pursuing your passion for horses alongside your professional career is truly inspiring and demonstrates that with dedication and teamwork, we can achieve our dreams.   

##### Breaking News! Just before sharing this newsletter, we are thrilled to announce the arrival of OHIO last night! A beautiful foal, both mother and OHIO are in great shape. Everything went smoothly and safely #####