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. »
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