Brazil in the heart

In the last few decades, there were a few colorful jackets on show jumping grounds. But no one can miss Yuri Mansur’s one. When the yellow jacket – the color of the sun, Brazil, his country – appears on the arena, no doubt possible: Yuri is there. The thirty-year-old is distinguished not only by his look, but also by his career, that of a teenager who realized his dream, wear the colors of his country at the highest level.

Born May 24, 1979 in Sao Paulo, in the southeast of Brazil, Yuri Mansur, full name Yuri Mansur Guerios, is not from a family related to the horses … but the virus quickly influenced! “I always wanted to ride a horse” remembers Yuri. “At two, I was riding a rocking horse, then I watched the film Black … I did a lot of things around the horses.” After the divorce of his parents, Yuri moves away from his dream, but takes advantage of every opportunity to practice horseback riding, especially on vacation. From 8 to 13 years, he has to take a break away from horses. “We lived in Sao Paulo, we did not have much money,” he says.

Then at 13 years old, at the corner of a street, he reads a small classified ad: a breeder of hacking horses sells foals.I phoned to ask how much they costed. He replied ‘$ 100’. It was not much.” A few days later, after convincing his mother, Yuri buys his first horse. “We had no place to put it, I knew nothing about horses,” he admits. In Brazil, there are not as many equestrian centers as in Europe. Only three or four major clubs connect the gigantic territory of the country and everyone goes in there. Yuri chooses the cheapest. “This horse was like a dog to me, I was walking it … I did not want to do classic riding, I wanted to become a cowboy, classical riding was not very manly.” Yuri then begins to break in his horse when it was 3 years old and takes his first real riding lesson. This happened to act like a revelation.

Yuri has never been good in other sports, football, karate and others he tried. But on horseback, he immediately felt himself in his place. He accumulated the hours in the saddle, and quickly realized that he wanted to become a professional rider. This was not thought highly of by his family, very involved in teaching. The lack of means prevents him from starting the competition in children and junior categories. He competes in his first 1.35m class at 18 years old. Yuri then studied at the university but for lack of financial means, her mother refuses to send him there. He took the opportunity to get into the horse business.

First stay in Europe

Yuri seizes an opportunity: a place is offered to him in Belgium, at Yves Villain’s stables. He is only 18 years old. “Imagine. I came from a Brazilian club where I was riding a horse a day. There I arrive, I clean the boxes, I feed the horses, I break them in. It was an incredible period! I remember that at the end of the week of Gesves (the young horses final in Belgium), I went to bed on Sunday at 6 pm … and I woke up Tuesday at 12 o’clock. It was so stressful, I did not speak the language, and everything was new! “. Yuri learns a lot from Yves, including by riding the young horses in competition. But Yuri dreams of top sport. After several jobs as a groom, notably for Emile Pequignet, he landed at a certain … Ludo Philippaerts. “I started as a groom and then I became a rider. I did a lot of flat work, and his horses progressed well. Ludo then gave me the opportunity to do some competitions,” he says. At the time, Ludo Philippaerts worked a lot with the British horse trader Neil Jones, based in Belgium. Yuri is entrusted with some international level horses, and really starts his career. “It’s a key moment in my life, a lot of things have been put in place,” he admits.

Brazilian digression

Yuri then decides to return to Brazil for some time. He thinks about stopping to ride. He works with his mother, director of a school in Sao Paulo, but it does not work. Forced to leave her home, the Mansur family must find a solution. Yuri chooses to work for the owner of a stud, where the Mansur settles, and rides horses after a 6 months stop. Thanks to his European experience, Yuri convinces the stud’s customers to trust him. “It was difficult, I did not have enough experience, no money, nobody knew me,” he says. The only asset for him is trade. He convinces a Brazilian owner to associate and very quickly, thanks in particular to the Internet, Yuri creates his own network. He does not lose sight of his ambition to become a top international rider. “I participated in the grand prix even with $1,000 horses. Sometimes I did not have the money to pay the toll by going to the event. So I asked people to help me. I had to win at the show to pay for my return.” In his first season as a trader in Brazil in 2001, Yuri sells 25 horses. He rents a stable and develops his business. In 2004, he began importing horses from Europe. Then in 2007, Ludo Philippaerts recalled Yuri. “He wanted to associate with me and send me horses. From 3 horses imported every 6 months, I moved up to 3 per month. I started working with major sellers such as Axel Verlooy, Paul Schöckemöhle, Stephan Conter … ».

Yuri’s method

I believe a lot in repetition. When you work a horse, you have to know what you are looking for, and do it in a climate of trust. I increase the level of difficulty of the exercise when I feel that the horse has acquired the previous level. When I watch Ludger Beerbaum, Marcus Ehning, Marco Kutscher, that’s it: repeating and repeating tirelessly. Then, for two years, I also learned that it was necessary to compete until the horses were perfect. In Brazil, because there are not many competitions, we spend much more time training at home. Here in Europe, shows come one after another very quickly, while working on dressage. Nelson Pessoa, Franke Sloothaak, all the riders who inspire me work on dressage before anything else. I rode a mare for a time. I was winning a lot in the speed classes. It was a little mare, and I let her do it. One day I had a problem with her, so the owner sent her to Michael Whitaker. The results were not very good but the mare turned wonderfully well because it was trained. When one looks at the English riders, one does not suspect that they are traind their horses so much but in reality, they do. It’s incredible what you get from a trained horse!

The mistery of the yellow jacket

At that time, I had my business of horse trading in Brazil and a group of horsemen worked for me. Then they start up themselves on their side and became rivals. We had potentially the same clients. So I wondered how to differentiate myself. In addition, I always thought that the jacket of the Brazilian team had to be yellow, not green, because other countries use this color. Just yellow. 

Delayed take-off

Thanks to these horses brought back from Europe, Yuri obtains his first sports successes. Vice-Champion of Brazil, he wins some classes but remains first in the minds of the people a horse dealer. He won his first Grand Prix of the of South American League in 2010. Financially, Yuri lives complicated hours. He has just bought his own property and built his stables. He leaves however for Europe for preparing and competing in some WorldCup stages. “Until Dortmund, my horse was very well prepared. But a week before Geneva, Ideal de Balia (Selle Français by Bayard d’Elle, ndla) died after severe colic and a fracture after the surgery.” Double blow hard: insurance does not work, Ideal having already been operated in his younger years while Yuri did not know. The organizers of Geneva still invite Yuri to compete in the intermediate classes.

First Devision, Cornetto K…

Yuri then returns to Brazil and starts again: training, enhancing, progressing. And again, he dominates the South American World Cup league with little experienced horses. He flies again to Europe and takes part – finally! – in his first World Cup final in Leipzig (GER) with Gitano and Vip v. Keersop. He misses the last round for a small penalty point. He joined the Brazilian team at the CSIO4 * of Linz (AUT) and Copenhagen (DEN) before returning to Brazil where he won a second title of Vice-Champion of Brazil. After a nice season 2012, Yuri achieves its best year in 2013.

Of the 12 major Brazilian Grand Prix, I won 9 and finished 2nd of the other three. This was my best season there!” he says. End of 2013, precisely, Yuri crosses the road of First Devision he purchased from Harrie Smolders (NED). He was then only 7 years old. “Nobody believed it!” Yuri says. At 8 years old, the bay is crowned Brazilian vice-champion and allows him to qualify again for the World Cup final. “It was already a performance” he admits. “For Europeans, it’s normal to go there when you’re on the circuit. But in Brazil, there is only one indoor per year, we are not used to it.” 23rd of the final of Lyon (FRA), Yuri then stays in Europe. 5th of the Nations Cup of La Baule (FRA), he finishes double clear in Rotterdam (NED). “It was the show of my life! No one knew me, my horses were really green, I had built them myself … I am the only double clear with Gerco Schröder (NED) who was riding London.


Now a full time member of the Brazilian national team in the Nations Cup, Yuri is determined to defend the colors of his country at the World Equestrian Games 2014 in Caen. Despite his excellent results, Yuri is a reservist. “I was a bit frustrated,” he admits. Noting that he had no chance of integrating the final selection, he decided to sell First Devision to Qatar but chose to stay in Europe. “I got to the maximum of what I could do in Brazil,” he said. “It was a choice of life. I could stay in Brazil and live comfortably the rest of my life. But I wanted more.” Because Yuri keeps his dream in mind: reaching the highest level and staying there. He is lucky to cross the road of Cornetto K. They match immediately. The couple aligns the clear rounds and finds himself invited to the Global Champions Tour of Hamburg 2015 where he finish with another clear round. Winners of the Grand Prix 3* of Lier (BEL), 5th in Saint-Lô (FRA), Yuri and Cornetto K accumulate the performances. But once again, the news come up: no selection for the Pan American Games. Yuri decides, as for First Devision, to sell his excellent son of Cornet Obolensky.

New era

This sale allows him to buy two excellent mounts, both chestnut. First, Babylotte, very quickly clear and which today allows Yuri to compete with the world’s best; then Quartz de la Lande, which started in January 2016 at Drachten CSI3* (NOR) after winning the 3* Grand Prix of Saint-Lô in the saddle of future Olympic Champion Roger-Yves Bost (FRA) in October 2015. With these two horses, Yuri wants to build a lasting relationship that allows him to get close to the top. Somewhat like the one he has with his rider Adir Abreu Jr. “We are part of the new generation, with Marlon, Pedro, Stefan, me … Beautiful years are getting ready.” His goal: enter and stay in the world top 100 ranking, and compete every weekend in the best CSI5 *.

Main performances

  • 2 times Vice-Champion of Brazil
  • 3 times qualified for World Cup Final
  • Winner of the international grand prix of Sao Paulo, Lier, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre, and the Nations Cups of Porto Alegre, Buenos Aires and Barcelona.
  • 2nd in the Nations Cup of Calgary, 3rd in the Grand Prix of Vejer de la Frontera and the Nations Cup of Linz, 4th in the Nations Cup of Wellington, 5th of the Grand Prix of Saint-Lô, 6th of the Grand Prix of Lummen and more !
  • Winner of Grand Prix Hickestead

  • Winner Nations Cup Hickstead

  • Winner Nations Cup La Baule