A PRIVATE CHAT WITH...
WHEN WAS YOUR VERY FIRST EQUESTRIAN COMPETITION?
I was probably 12 and was riding a pony at home in Bois le Roi. I remember my second competition as if it were yesterday. It was at my uncle’s, Hubert Parot, near Barbizon. I was scared to death!
WHAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
The Olympic Games, of course, were an exceptional moment. The World Cup Final in Bercy back in 1987 where I finished second with Jiva was also a very important moment to me. This is why I would like to qualify for the Final next year and return to Bercy.
WHICH GRAND PRIX WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN?
I think it is every rider’s dream to win the Aachen Grand Prix. It is strange but my father is so far, the only French rider to have won that Grand Prix in 1971!
Which horse in the five-star circuit thrills you?
Fit For Fun is a dream mare. She is respectful, sensitive, with an exceptional head and very hot blooded. She has all that I love in a horse. Well, if I don’t have Rahotep, of course! (laughs)
IF YOU HAD NOT GONE INTO HORSE RIDING, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE LIKED TO DO?
I would have been a groom. I have always loved horses, so even if I had not been successful at the highest level, I would have stayed close to horses. In any case, I would have chosen a job related to horses.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CITY?
There are some, but I would say Rome. It’s an amazing city! In France, I like Dinard and Chantilly, cities with lots of space to ride and beautiful shows gathering all the ingredients for great equestrian sport.
What is your favourite dish?
It depends. It can be a fast-food hamburger, pasta, a big steak, a beautiful entrecote…
WHICH OBJECT DO YOU ALWAYS KEEP WITH YOU?
My cell phone! It’s glued between my pocket and my ear! (laughs)
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE ATHLETE?
I find a lot of inspiration in Ayrton Senna’s story that I have heard about thanks to Rodrigo Pessoa. Beyond sport, Ayrton has brought happiness to a lot of people.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PIECE OR TYPE OF MUSIC?
I listen to all types of music, the hits of the moment, but I like to listen to disco sound because it brings me back to my youth and the parties!
WHICH HOLIDAY DESTINATION DO YOU PREFER?
I love the sun and the mountain; they complement each other. For me the ideal holidays would be spending 8 days in Méribel and 8 days in Mauritius Island to rest and recharge batteries.
THE BEST MOVIE OF ALL TIMES?
I love great movies like Gladiator, a theme that deeply relates to equestrian sports. You can be at the top one day and find yourself at the bottom on the other. I also like to laugh with lighter movies like “The dinner game” or movies with Louis de Funès.
WHAT KIND OF TV SHOWS DO YOU LIKE?
Lately I have enjoyed watching Versailles and Vikings.
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR IDEAL SUNDAY (WHEN YOU ARE NOT IN A SHOW JUMPING EVENT)?
I am very lucky to live close to the forest in Fontainebleau and I love riding through the woods with my horses, just to relax. On Sundays, I like to be with my family and spend time with my daughters.
WHAT IS YOUR EVERYDAY CAR? AND YOUR DREAM CAR?
I’ve been driving a BMW for more than twenty years. The last Aston Martin would be my dream car. I like it very much, it is very classy.
INTERVIEW & PHOTOS PAR JESSICA RODRIGUES