The French reining team is ready to go
Bastien Bourgeois, who hails from right here in Normandy, was selected for the second time after an inaugural selection with the French national team at the European Championship last year. He is thrilled to be participating at the Games for the very first time. In 2010, his horse came up lame just before he was scheduled to travel to the United States, which meant he couldn’t participate in the event. This year, his horse, Arh Lucky Whiz Dunit, seems to be in top form. “I need to give him some exercise today. He has a lot of energy, which won’t help our cause although this will allow me to work with him all the much better after that,” he said. Bourgeois will be the team’s third competitor but he doesn’t feel any extra pressure to get to the end. He will follow Sophie Guerreiro, who is one of the most consistent performers on the team. She sees this first-time experience as a “stepping stone towards the future and the highest levels of competition,” she said in a voice that was still hoarse from cheering at last night’s Parade of Nations.
Romuald Poard aboard Peppys Ruf Sailor and Franck Perret on Nu Sailer Lena will compete for the individual title. “Either way, it’s a great experience to participate in this event,” said Perret, the current leader in the FEI rankings. “It would have been disappointing to have been unable to participate in these Games. I’ve prepared some of the horses and I have partners who have supported me and followed my results closely. Of course, I would have prefered to experience the competition with the team, because the team spirit is really great within the national team, but the most important thing is to be here and do my best.”