During the Longines Global Champions Tour-Longines Paris Eiffel Jumping 2019, the best riders aged 21 and under will be honoured for the second consecutive year by the Ile-de-France region. The goal is to promote high-level sport and the future of jumping.
Won in 2018 by Louna Garo (15 years old), this circuit is aimed at young Frenchmen selected during 4 qualifying stages between March and June.
At the end of these events, riders score points that allow the top 8 of the general classification to participate in the final which will take place on Friday, July 5 on the track of the LGCT-LPEJ.
Louna Garo will also have the chance to come back and put her title on the line "I am delighted with this invitation. This is a great opportunity for me.”
They will be 9 riders to compete for the victory in front of the greatest champions (Philippe Rozier, Kevin Staut, etc.) with in mind their dream to participate in the Olympic Games of Paris 2024.
1) Since when do you ride? How did you come by this passion for Jumping?
Hard to say, I wouldn’t be able to give you an exact age. My parents own a stable in Saulx-les-Chartreux in the '91, and ever since I was a kid I’ve been swimming in this universe. I started riding in Shetland, around the age of three or four. I ride on the national and international circuit on 135/140cm, and pony on 125/130cm.
2) Do you always ride the same horse/pony?
I’m shooting with several. In CSI*, I moved with Pyramid Pironnière. Since last year, I’ve been riding Valse to Villers. There is also Ravel des Temps, with which I won the title of vice-champion at the As Juniors Championship in Tours Pernay. Or Alto de Fougnard, a pony that I ride in CSIOP as well as in the Nations Cup.
3) For you what is the main asset you are looking for in a horse/pony?
First of all, the mind. In view of the heights that we ask them to jump, a steel mind is a differentiating factor in competitions. Next comes strength and technique, which are also important for the performance achieved.
4) You won the 2018 Longines Paris Eiffel Jumping Star Tournament, how did you experience this event?
The Longines Paris Eiffel Jumping Star Tournament was a wonderful opportunity. To compete in an event of this kind is an incredible opportunity, especially when it takes place in a magnificent setting at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. A great opportunity to ride alongside great riders.
5) How did you prepare it?
I discovered the LPEJ Star Tournament by Olivier Bost, France Junior Team selector. I then took part in the qualifying events of Jardy and Barbizon, which I won with Valse in Villers.
Valse and I prepared for the final of the Stars, in Paris, in the same way that we approach all competitions and championships.
6) Since the 2018 YCJA, what has been your journey?
Since the Star Tournament, I have participated in many championships.
Just after the 2018 edition of the Longines Paris Eiffel Jumping, I won the title of vice-champion of France with Ravel des Temps in the Junior category, during the As Championship at Tours Pernay.
With Alto de Fougnard, I was also part of the French selection for the FEI Jumping Nations Cup Youth in Opglabbeek, Belgium, last September. In October, I competed in Olivier Bost’s French selection for FEI Ponies Jumping Trophy at Equita Lyon, where Alto and I finished 5th on the first day. Meanwhile, Ravel of Times, with whom I had participated in the LPEJ Stars tournament, got injured and took rest to recover.
7) And tomorrow, how do you see the continuation?
I’m thinking about stopping the pony this year. After thinking about it, I think I'm too big to go on. I hope to be successful thanks to my new team "MiragEquestre", composed of Aurore Christen, Thomas Couve Correa and myself, during the Grand National in 3 weeks*.
8) A horse-rider couple that you admire in particular?
There are many couples that I admire, but if were to quote them in particular it would be : Marcus Ehning andComme Il Faut, and on the French side, Félicie Bertrand and Sultane des Ibis.
*Interviewed February 21.
Valérie Pécresse, President of the Ile-de-France Region
"Accompanying young French athletes to the highest level is one of the objectives of our new sports policy, which aims to make our region a land of sport excellence. I wish our young riders every success. May their passion, their will and their talent lead them to the top of the podium, amd may this beautiful event contribute to the development of sports practice, as well as to influence and attractiveness of Il-de-France.
Qualifying steps :
- Jardy - Grand National - 1m40 - 17 March 2019
- Fontainebleau - CSIO Jeunes - 1m40 - 2 May 2019
- Mantes la Jolie - Grand Prix - 1m40 - June 1st 2019
- Fontainebleau - Grand National - 1m40 - June 21, 2019