Maxime Livio is 5th at world championships!
You’ve just completed a fantastic WEG, finishing 5th in the individual rankings, what were you thinking as you left the stadium?
I’m just a touch disappointed for the team. We came really close to a medal and we had a super group that really wanted to medal here on home soil. That’s sport…However, I’m more than satisfied with my horse. He’s inexperienced but has all the qualities needed and he proved it again today. This morning, he was really nervous about changing sites, so it wasn’t easy. As a result, I was nervous. But during the warmup I could tell he was totally focused. This showed on the course, twice the crowd went bananas and he stayed with me, he kept listening. And when he is focused on my aids, he’s a horse that jumps well. He was fresh and was clearing the bars with ease.
Did you imagine finishing among the world’s best in the individual?
Before coming here, someone asked me that question. I answered that if everything went according to plan the horse was capable of being in the top 15. Sport decides whether you finish 3rd or 15th: a bar here or there, a few seconds here or there….And everything kind of fell into place. The horse was at his full capacity this year. I think he can do even better in the coming years, but given our experience, we did what we needed to do and sport decided that we would finish 5th.
What did the team medal come down to?
It was really close. We all wanted to same thing. I think all the horses were ready, because they all finished the cross-country really strong yesterday. Today, the run was fairly straightforward. Matelot and Cadeau are very close in terms of bloodline, maybe they lacked a little bit of strength after a cross-country course like yesterday’s. If they had been at 4 points each instead of two knockdowns, we would be in the medals. That’s sport: out of a total of 200 points, we lost the bronze for 4 points. It all came down to the slimmest of margins. We would have liked to have had another rider run clear yesterday. Rodolphe’s mare had an excellent WEG. I think that he was inspired by everything that has gone on around him. At the same time, Thierry couldn’t have gambled on her given the season she has had. I don’t think we have anything to regret. We’ll have to learn from this experience, but the horses have made progress and the French team will be hungry for better results in the coming years.
France qualified for the Olympics, did you reach your goal?
Of course, that was the minimum we were hoping for. The other goal was to win a medal. But we’re going to roll up our sleeves; we’ve got two years ahead of us.
Qalao has shown what he is capable of…how much better can he get?
I think that we can make strides in jumping, both of us could be more confident and more at ease as we approach this type of test. In the cross-country we could trust him more and not fight him quite as much. But that will come naturally, without forcing things too much. And in dressage, when he is really calm on home soil, I can ask him to do the moves that the Germans do, or close…in the future, he’ll be right there with the best of them.