FRENCH DOMINATE PODIUM AT FEI WORLD YOUNG ENDURANCE HORSE CHAMPIONSHIPS
100th Anniversary of Compiègne celebrated in style
23 August – French riders were in sparkling form when taking all three medals in the Eight-Year-Old division, while only Spain’s Monica Comas Molist stopped them from doing the same in the battle for the Seven-Year-Old honours at the FEI World Young Endurance Horse Championships at Compiegne, France. Cecile Totain, Laetitia Goncalves and Roman Lafaure secured a clean sweep for the host nation in the senior 160 km section for the eight-year-olds, while the Spaniard separated gold medallist Melody Theolissat and Clementine Manoha as the home runners also flexed their muscle in the seven-year-old class run over 130 km.
This prestigious fixture, filled with the oysters-and-champagne lifestyle that has long been associated with this particular endurance venue, might be considered a “jolly” affair by some, but that couldn’t be further from the reality. Compiègne is a tough, competitive track requiring skilled and tactical riding and, of course, a talented horse. It is well-recognised as one of the toughest courses on the International circuit but, some years ago, the course was modified and the competition was run over flatter terrain with speed being the main focus. Last year the track was modified again, reintroducing more technical aspects of the sport.
This FEI World Championships attracts the cream of the crop of young endurance horses and often those that will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. The 2010 event was no exception, with representatives across the two categories from Sweden, Belgium, Spain, USA, Argentina, Qatar, Portugal, Slovakia, Germany, Great Britain, Brazil, the Netherlands and of course, a strong contingent from the home nation of France.