Tag Archives: Saumur Complet

Fourth Victory for Christopher Burton in Saumur

Picture copyright Les Garennes.

For the fourth time (after his 2012, 2016, and 2018 victories), Australia’s Christopher Burton wins CCI 4*L of Saumur Complet, after having dominated the dressage and the cross-country tests and after a course without any fault on show jumping. At the end of the Saumur competition, his horse Polystar I now fills the qualifying conditions for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Burton is ahead of two Tricolores: local Jean Lou Bigot, associated with Utrillo du Halage, and Christopher Six, on Totem de Brecey. Respectively second and third at the end of the cross-country test, France’s Nicolas Touzaint (on Absolut Gold) and Victor Levecque (on RNH MC Ustinov) downgraded to sixth and fourth place following 8 and 4 penalty points on show jumping.

Reaction of Christopher Burton, winner of the CCI 4*L of Saumur Complet 2019:
“It’s incredible. It’s a very special feeling, especially since Saumur is such an endearing site. Whatever may have happened here today, I would have kept exceptional memories of Saumur. I love coming here and when I arrived on Tuesday, I had a large smile on my lips. The horse was exceptional today: I cannot believe that I am paid to ride such an extraordinary horse (laughs). He is now qualified for Tokyo, so we have only to think about the direction we want to give to his preparation, and to go on!”

Reaction of Jean Lou Bigot, second of the CCI 4*L of Saumur Complet 2019, best French rider:
“The horse was ready; it was an important goal of his season. I was working on his fitness since the beginning of the year for this CCI 4*L. The main quality of this horse is his canter. He knows how to be fast on the cross-country test. His weakest point, which remains to improve, would be the dressage. But it progresses continuously, and I grab points on each competition. I have Utrillo in may stables since he is five, we could have stopped at a time as it was complicated between us, but Nicolas Touzaint gave me valuable advice on training. So, now, we take our time; we will not try to grill the stages.”

Results: https://www.worldsporttiming.com/results/-1107/cci4x-l-1108/overview.html.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT
Relations médias & influenceurs
M. : +33 (0)7 50 39 37 40
juliette@blizko-communication.com

CCI3*L Saumur – China Is Getting Closer to Olympic Qualification

Picture copyright Les Garennes.

At the end of the CCI3*L cross country test at Verrie racecourse (France) as part of the Saumur Complet, China is leading the provisional ranking of the four Groupe G nations, 2 of which 2 will qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.  In the individual provisional rankings, the Spanish rider Gonzalo Blasco Botin is leading, being one of the only two riders to complete a perfect test without any faults and within the time allowed.

China is in front of Japan, automatically qualified as the host nation, with Thailand in third place and Hong Kong in fourth. Before the last test, the show jumping, China (118.6) has a comfortable lead of 16.7 points over Thailand (153.3) and equally Thailand has a comfortable lead of 38.3 points over Hong Kong (173.6). However, there is still pressure on the Chinese as the team only has 3 riders left after the elimination of one of the 4 team members during the cross country and so cannot afford the elimination of one of its riders in the showjumping any more than Hong Kong (who only had 3 riders to start with). Only Thailand finished the cross country ‘complete’ and can still call on its 4 riders.

As a reminder, Saumur Complet and its CCI3*L is the only chance for countries in Group F (Africa and the Middle East) and Group G (Oceania and South East Asia) to qualify a team for the next Olympic Games in Tokyo.  Two teams will qualify as a result of this weekend’s competition in Saumur. Then all that will remain for the 2 teams that qualify is for the 3 riders who make up the team to gain individual qualifications.

Results: https://www.worldsporttiming.com/results/-1107/cci3x-l-1109/overview.html.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT
Relations médias & influenceurs
M. : +33 (0)7 50 39 37 40
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Saumur Complet / CCI 4*L / Dressage / Burton Already in the Lead; Levecque at Second Place

Picture copyright Les Garennes.

Friday 24th of May was the start of Saumur Complet’s highest level of competition: the CCI 4*L with the dressage test. After this first test, the most awaited athlete of the weekend, Christopher Burton, who was part of the Australian bronze medal winning team at the Olympic Games in Rio, is in the best position: first place of the provisional ranking with his horse Polystar. He is ahead of two French riders: Victor Levecque with RNH MC Ustinov, second at the provisional ranking and, in third place, Christopher Six with Totem de Brecey.

Christopher Burton talking about his CCI 4*L dressage test:
« We are delighted with Polystar. His attitude is about as good as he can do at the moment and we are very proud of him. He and I were in total harmony and he didn’t make any mistake. Of course, in dressage things can always be better but Polystar was really at his best! »

Burton about Polystar I:
« He’s a wonderful story. He came to me for sale some years ago, but we couldn’t buy him. I always knew that he was a good horse and then, three years ago, Trisha (his current owner) bought him for me and the moment she owned him he started winning. »

Burton about Saumur Complet:
« This competition has always brought me luck and I come back every year with pleasure. When we needed qualification points for Polystar, I had the choice of three competitions. His owner immediately advised me to come to Saumur because the competition would suit me. »

Victor Levecque talking about his CCI 4*L dressage test:
« This is his first outing at this level and I am very satisfied with my horse. He does dressage pretty well. Perhaps I didn’t expect such a good result, but I wasn’t expecting a disaster ever.  But we know we still have the rest to do. I am happy, the horse was as serious as usual, and I hope that it is a good omen for the rest. »

Levecque talking about the CCI 4*L cross country:
« I have already walked the course three times so I really have it in mind – the obstacles, the combinations. Once again, it is a first for me in any case in the long format. I don’t really know the capacity of my horse to do the distance. But it is a horse who has enormous qualities; we have been preparing him for this level. He will give me everything. It remains for me to be as fluid as possible and to encourage him the best I can so we get to the end. I have the chance to be trained by Maxime Livio who has a lot experiences and who has helped me greatly in preparing for this important competition. We have made a plan which is really clear in my head and I will try to stick to it the best I can. Now, all that remains is for me to modify my riding with the feelings I get. I have competing in lot of 3*L and some 4*S. In the technicality and the height of the obstacles, it is always possible to be caught out, but I’m not overwhelmed by it. Nevertheless, for the distance, that is more of an unknow quantity. The same combination is always different after 6 to 9 minutes. »

Results: https://www.worldsporttiming.com/results/-1107/cci4x-l-1108/overview.html.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT
Relations médias & influenceurs
M. : +33 (0)7 50 39 37 40
juliette@blizko-communication.com

The Olympic Future of China, Thailand, and Hong Kong Will Be Set in Saumur

Picture copyright Les Garennes.

This weekend, at the international competition of eventing « Saumur Complet » during the CCI 3*L, countries from group G play their team qualifications for the next Olympic Games of Tokyo in 2020. After the first test (dressage), one of the three tests of eventing, China started well. Second after Japan, country that is automatically qualified as it is the « host-country », China get ahead of Thailand and Hong Kong. On the individual side, at the first place of the temporary ranking after dressage, we can find Alex Hua Tian… a Chinese athlete! Reaction of one of the coaches of the Chinese team, the French Pascale Boutet:

« This weekend’s challenge is huge. We have three countries, China, Thailand, and Hong Kong, and only two places for qualification at the next Olympic Games! In terms of sport experiences, those three countries are really young, and they all have recently decided to be active in eventing. The last 2018 World Equestrian Games had qualified Australia and New Zealand; Japan was automatically qualified; from then, the qualification process of the G group (Oceania and South-East Asia), only two places were still at stake. Those three countries have decided to take the opportunity, predicting that it might be easier to be qualified to the Olympic Games in eventing then in show jumping (explained by the fact that there are fewer countries competing in eventing than in show jumping). »

« I’ve worked with China for ten years, and everything got faster a few months ago. We had to put in place a viable project that plan to create a Chinese team training in Europe. Meanwhile, the stables had to stay in China as horses living in China cannot leave the country and the Chinese riders do not have a long-term visa. Thus, in Europe, China has three stables: in France, at my home, in Belgium, and another one in Holland with Martin Lips. The leader in this team is Alex Hua Tian, a Sino-British athlete, living in England. For the stables where I have the responsibilities, horses were bought in December; it is really recent. It is only the third competition, here in Saumur, for those combinations. In France, I train the horses, the riders train in China, and they come back in Europe a few days before each competition. Today’s results, in dressage, are encouraging; we are particularly proud! »

« If China qualifies its team for Tokyo’s Olympic Games, then we will have to qualify individually the athletes that will compose the Chinese Olympic team. Those individual qualifications are done at the CCI 4*L level; our riders do not have experience at this top level; the challenge will be higher than qualifying the team this weekend. But in the Chinese culture, we go for it; we trust coaches and horses! Yesterday (Wednesday 22th of May), we have done the course inspection; they were impressed as they do not have the experience at this level, but they will go for it! As they will do at the 4*L level, if they succeed to qualify a team. We will have then to qualify three athletes; it will be another huge challenge, as there is a big level difference between 3* and 4*. The stable based in Holland from a longer time than the one in France, has few experiences at the 4* level, but the athletes of the horses based in the French one haven’t any experiences. »

So let’s see what will happen Saturday morning, from 10 am, for the CCI 3*L cross-country test. The gap between the results after the dressage test is small. Thus, the competition between the three countries is going to be thrilling. China has only 19 points (89,2) ahead of Thailand (108,2) and 25 points from Hong Kong (114,9), meaning nothing when we know that a refusal in cross country is already 20 points!

JULIETTE FEYTOUT
Relations médias & influenceurs
M. : +33 (0)7 50 39 37 40
juliette@blizko-communication.com