Mar 21
21haze_f's picture

Jappeloup

 
Don’t disregard the tiny horse.

The thundering of hooves splits the silence of the crowd as the slim, black Selle Francais gelding gallops toward the last obstacle; his last hurdle. His muscles roll rhythmically under his gleaming coat as he approaches the jump, but suddenly, he tenses up. Shooting his body over the poles, his hind legs spring off of the ground whilst balancing the rider on his back. For a second time seems to stop as the crowd inhales. It looks like the wind has caught the 500 kilogram horse between its fingers: he is gliding without any intention of setting his hooves on the ground anytime soon. Time repeats as the sound of a smattering, controlled gallop breaks out on the Olympic horse jumping course once again. It takes a moment for the spectators to understand what has just happened. Jappeloup and his rider, Pierre Durand, just won the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Why was the crowd shocked you might ask? With the meager height of 1 meter and 58 centimeters, Jappeloup was considered minute compared to the average professional jumping horse. Because of this, nobody believed in him-- trusted that he could actually leap over the obstacles without knocking a pole down, trusted in his capacity to win, trusted that he actually was an exception. They were wrong.

At the beginning of it all, Jappeloup was a horse which had too many faults to count: he was stubborn, impetuous, and way too small to ever become a great showjumper. Disregarding his size though, he had a remarkable jumping ability. This, Pierre Durand noticed. Like his horse, Pierre Durand too was the exception: he had deserted the idea of triumphing in a legal career to work with his true passion, show jumping. Nobody believed in him though -- trusted that he could leap over the obstacles without knocking a pole down, trusted in his own capacity to win, trusted that he actually was an exception. So when his father gambled away all their money on the young and unpromising horse, many laughed. But, they were wrong (to laugh?).

Don’t disregard the tiny horse. See it as the exception to the rule, and notice that you too can be different. Afterall, Jappeloup didn’t win an Olympic medal because of nothing.