The horse who battled horrific injuries to compete at Caen
How many World Games have you contested?
This is my second. I rode at Kentucky in 2010.
Why is this particular WEG so special for you?
Eighteen months ago my horses were involved in a horrific horsebox accident in Verdun. The vehicle tipped over on a corner. My horse Wilton was paralysed and had to be put down. Leopold Pierreville, the horse I am riding here, was severely injured. He had to be nursed back to health over many months so that the deep cuts in both of his front legs would heal.
Did you ever think he would jump again?
My French vet calls him a real warrior. We were out of the game for too long, though, which is why our performances have not been so sensational in Caen. We have not had enough practice and lack precision. This WEG is only his second contest back at this level.
Are you only interested in horses?
No, I want a career as a pop singer. I had to shoot a music video in Paris last week. It wasn’t perfect timing but I’m very dedicated to my singing career. I ask a lot of myself and everybody around me, including my horses.
How did your equestrian career begin?
I was a gymnast when I was younger and then, as a compromise, I began vaulting. I actually competed at the 2006 WEG in that sport but after several national championship titles in South Africa I had to give up because promoting my showjumping career kept me away too often and jeopardized my team’s performance. It was then that I decided to really concentrate on jumping.
At the WEG in 2010 you were the youngest Jumping competitor. Tell us about your ride there
It was also Leopold Pierreville, the horse I have here in Caen. We grew up together and he is special, special, special to me.
Where do you plan to ride next?
I’m all about challenges and my next one is on my horizon already — I want to be an Olympian and ride at Rio. We’ll have to see how that pans out with my move to London while also producing pop music in Amsterdam.
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