1964 – 2018
Very sadly, Mexican Olympian Jaime Guerra Piedra passed away unexpectedly on the 30th of May 2018.
Jaime Guerra Piedra competed at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 with Consul and in 1996 in Atlanta with Risueno. In 1994, 1998 and 2010 he competed at the World Equestrian Games and in 1987, 1992 and 1995 at the Pan-Am Games. Over the last years, Jaime has been busy building up a string of younger horses for the top sport and spent April competing successfully at the MET in Oliva Nova, Spain to get ready for the outdoor season.
Our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.
Desiree Johnson’s eulogy for Jaime Guerra:
I first saw Jaime Guerra riding at a show 20 years ago. His talent was obvious and inspiring.
Four and half years my good friend Anna called me to ask if I would meet with Jaime. I was thrilled but I told Anna I can never offer him enough. She said it’s okay he wants to speak to you. so of course I said yes.
At the time I had in my stable some hunters a few misfit jumpers and some 2, 3, 4 years olds. I told Jaime this and told I didn’t have much to offer him. He didn’t pause he simple said: “Des Iʼve done it all and seen it all. I donʼt need it all. How about we build something together?”
And we did
He took those horses and he developed them, nurtured them and we sold them and bought new ones and brought along the young ones.
He had an ability to see a horse’s true talent. To see what they were capable of. To see where they should be headed.
One nice story: We had one horse called Zwiebertjie. He had done a few 1,35 classes with many riders. He had always struggled. He was over careful and not super brave Jaime won that first season many 1,40-1,45 m. I think he was clear in 17 S classes that year. When I asked Jaime about Zwiebertjies future he said: “I think we should make him a hunter.” I said “Jaime Iʼve owned this horse for 9 years he’s not a hunter.” Later that year we sold him to John Bragg as a hunter and the next season that hunter was horse of the year.
Our success as a partnership continued to grow. I trusted him completely and would have followed him anywhere.
He was my rock.
He never asked me for a thing. Sure like all relationships you have ups and downs. We were lucky our ups were far greater than the downs. We never had a bad word between us. Maybe even when we should have. But that was Jaime.
Always when I asked him what he wanted he would say “Des, for me itʼs the same.“
Its is so hard to talk about him in the past tense. He was always so alive. Losing him is so painful and heartbreaking. He was a charming, endearing gentalman a brilliant horseman with a quiet confidence. He had an ease and manner that just made you want to be around him. He lead by example and he was always there to lend a hand or offer some advice. He loved to share his knowledge, to teach others.
He was in it for the long haul and willing to put in the work from the bottom up. I can hear him say: “The people who change their bit every class only loose their horses confidence .” Yes. He was right. Whenever a new bit or back boots or gadget came along. He would take a look and then simply say: “Donʼt follow fashion.”
For Jaime most people were worth a chat a pat on the back or just a comforting look.He made us all feel at ease. He loved to bring people together and cook for them. He was a really good cook and equally as good a story teller. I will miss those dinners a lot. I know a lot of you here will miss those dinners too.
Jaime was a faithful Catholic who prayed every day and strove to live a simple, clean, well meaning life, and aside from a little Johnny Walker or the odd shot of tequila he did.
In the saddle he was a fierce competitor but his horses were better for every ride and every class. He had respect and love for his horses. He understood a horses mind and how to manage them to improve them and give them confidence and when the moment was right how to win.
And when he won it was a team win! And his horses also knew they were victorious and there was always something left for tomorrow, and when he was second he would always be the first to congratulate the victor and acknowledge their win.
At the German shows he loved the rivalry he had with Marc Boes. They always wanted to see who was superior senior on that day. I loved the respect they had for each other.
Marc and Eva and Mauro and Jaime as fiercely competitive as they were would always give a hand in the warm up when needed …. And I loved that.
He was kind and forgave easily ….. but he never forgot.
Jaime liked to work hard and no work was beneath him. If something needed to be done he rolled up his sleeves and got involved. I fondly remember many nights he was there to give a hand and help me pull a foal out. He loved breaking in our babies. He was the one who would teach them to tie up and to lunge in the saddle and bridle. When I would say to him “you really donʼt have to do that,” he would say: “Yes, I do Des. We have to win their trust starting now.” He won all their trust through his gentle hands and carrots, lots and lots of carrots.
This year he had already picked out his favourite three year olds of the group. But in every horse he saw possibility. That was Jaime.
Jaime was a real family man. Even though the sport and his passion pulled him many km away – he was an excellent father to his son Sebastian who came and spent this last summer with us. Even with distance between them Jaime had raised a polite, respectful and enjoyable young man. When they were apart Jaime made sure to call home every day. He talked with his mother, his father, his sister and of course Sebastian. Despite their calls being in Spanish I could still see and understand that Jaime was an excellent, patient, fair and loving father. That was Jaime.
One of Jaimeʼs old clients who prefers to remain anonymous has offered to pay Sebastianʼs tuition as long as he wants to stay in school. That is such an amazing, important and generous gift. I know Jaime would be so moved.
Every day I was in awe of his talent and humbled by his passion. I feel like the half of me is gone ….. but I know many of you feel the same.
He lived as he died …. all or nothing. And that was Jaime.
Jaime, I will love you and miss you forever. You will remain in my heart and not a day will go by that you wont be quoted or asked …. what would you do?
I feel as though God has lent us one of his favourite angels and despite the short amount of time we had with Jaime , l am so grateful for having had Jaime in my life.
Fly high my lovely angel