Simon Delestre: Why Hermes Ryan is my horse of a lifetime

    Hermes Ryan: Delestre's horse of a lifetime
    Hermes Ryan: Delestre's horse of a lifetime

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    Hermes Ryan: Delestre's horse of a lifetime 02:23

    Story highlights

    • French show jumper Simon Delestre reveals his favorite horse
    • Chestnut gelding Hermes Ryan has earned over $500,000

    (CNN)Born into a family of horse lovers and show jumpers, Simon Delestre has been riding for as long as he can remember.

    The Frenchman has enjoyed a distinguished career in the saddle, representing his country at the Olympic Games and placing fourth in the last two Longines Global Champions Tour seasons.
      With gold medals in the Mediterranean Games and FEI Nations Cup, the 36-year-old has been lucky enough to ride many fine horses.
      One in particular stands out -- 12-year-old chestnut gelding, Hermes Ryan.
      "I was No. 1 in the world rankings because of him," Delestre tells CNN EQ. "He's always fighting for me, he's always helping me and, to be honest, he's really a part of our family now."
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      Hermes Ryan at home

      The Selle Francais sport horse has earned Delestre over half a million dollars in prize money since the start of 2015 -- something the rider attributes to Hermes Ryan's terrific character.
      "He fights like no other and his brain is also something special," says Delestre. "He's a very intelligent horse and he really likes to be with people. He likes human contact."
      Simon Delestre on Hermes Ryan at the Cannes leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour.
      The two have been together for upwards of seven years now and don't look like parting any time soon.
      "He really enjoys being with our groom or with me" says Delestre. "He's very jealous when we give time to the other horses; he really likes all the attention.
      "When he sees the lorry arrive to take us to a show, he really wants to get in and when it's not his turn because he's having a rest he really gets angry!"
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      Hermes Ryan will have a home at the Delestre household long after retirement.
      "My kids are crazy with him," says the St. Tropez Pirates rider. "He's small and he's a really delicate horse. The kids can go with him and he's like a dog at home. It's really fun.
      "He will always stay with us at home. He really needs that contact, to be clean every day and a nice bed at night.
      "He's a fighter that nobody can beat."