“We are on the right path for Paris-2024” assures coach Henk Nooren
A year and a half before the Games, where is the French team?
We no longer have any of the horses entered in Tokyo, others have been sold, such as a 9-year-old by Nicolas Delmotte, and unfortunately Caracole de la Roque by Julien Epaillard. In 2022 we have rebuilt couples and I would say we are OK. Simon Delestre has two level horses for Paris, Cayman Jolly Jumper, Dexter, and even maybe three with Iniesta. He really did the job, looking for horses, owners and sponsors. Kevin Staut in two with Viking and Visconti, and we still have Grégory Cottard and Bibici.
For two months, Donatello d’Auge has really taken two steps forward with Julien Epaillard. Four other riders have horses with potential, Penelope Leprevost (Bingo), Marc Dilasser (Arioto), Olivier Perreau (Dorai), Roger-Yves Bost (Ballerina). When I say OK, that means it’s good, but I would like to have two or three more horses in reserve.
The sale of the best horses is a French specialty, alas. Why ?
This surprises me enormously, I don’t understand. Horse riding is the second or third sport in France, with a lot of people, very good riders, but we don’t have such strong groups of owners and sponsors as in smaller countries, such as Switzerland or Sweden. . But beware, we still have a few, like those around Simon Delestre, Kevin Staut and Grégory Cottard.
“Simon Delestre and Cayman are already level for an individual Olympic title”
Should we fear other sales from here in Paris?
I hope we will be quiet until the Games! We are also working on finding new partners to secure certain horses and possibly find new ones.
France shines in teams in the major championships. Individually, do we have a potential Olympic champion?
Cayman and Simon are already at the level, that’s for sure. Donatello, who is ten years old, can still grow with Julien, and why not Viking… Bingo and Visconti are progressing on the 5 stars (the international level, Editor’s note). Sweden showed it in Tokyo (or team, individual silver), it takes all three horses with the top three riders and all in the form of their lives. Everything will depend on the shape of the day.
You meet the French team this Friday in Bordeaux. What is the purpose of this meeting?
Exchanger. The road is still long until the Games, we have new ideas, on the technique, the material. I want an exchange, the riders tell us what they want to do. We will also progress in the mental preparation of the riders, an axis requested by the National Sports Agency. This is one of the major changes since Tokyo (at the gates of the team gold medal, the Blues had lost everything on the catastrophic course of Pénélope Le Prévost, Editor’s note). Sur is on the right path.
A tray in or
The best riders in the world almost all came with their best horses to form a golden platter. Leader of the general classification of the World Cup, Julien Epaillard is welcome with Donatello d’Auge, who has just won the Grand Prix of Amsterdam last weekend. Ditto for the second, the Swede Henrik Von Eckermann, at the start with King Edward, individual and team world champion 2022, Olympic team champion in 2020 (and 4th individually). Most of the winning couples of the FEI Longines World Cup Grand Prix this season are present for the Bordeaux leg of this circuit: Gerrit Nieberg (GER) and Blues d’Aveline, Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann (GER) and Messi, Scott Brash (UK) and Hello Jefferson, Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli (SWE) and Kalinka, Wilm Vermeir (BEL) and IQ van Het Steetje.
Friday program. 2:45 p.m. Price Beam (1.40m, bar A on the clock). 7:30 p.m. FFE Prize – Generali (1.50m, speed). 10:20 p.m. Derby covered with Decouvoux (cross).