What could be better than the French Vaulting Championships in Le Mans to get back into the game! Now on the other side of the fence, I could see the competition with a different eye, that of a former vaulter and judge. For some of the vaulters the Championships sound the end of the season, for others, it is a way to the bigger events, in this case the European Championships (Kaposvar) and the World Equestrian Games (Tryon).
Verdict soon for WEG. Opinions about the competition may be mixed. Indeed, no Noroc/Team France and no Lambert (injured and only back on a horse), our “stars” for the next WEG. But that doesn’t mean we did not see good performances. Vincent alias “tintin”, champion of France in amateur elite, presented us magnificent compulsories, followed by super freestyles and technical test. A freestyle where he interprets wonderfully the character of Tintin (in Strasbourg). Beyond the costume, from Snowy on the horse’s pad and from Fabrice as Captain Haddock, Vincent ticks all the boxes within the artistic score. Even if the “theme” does not speak to everyone or please everyone, let’s inform ourselves before saying that it is not “deep”. Clément injured himself during his first freestyle, so he could not continue the competition and make us (re)discover his very nice technical test as a steward. Theo finished second, in front of Erwan, third. Regarding the women, Manon alias “Amélie” won the event with her well-known freestyle on the theme of Amélie Poulain. Manon showed us some pretty dancing. Behind her, Estelle on her horse Atilas, who showed very big and beautiful progress with Loïc at the end of the lunge. Congratulations to the trio! Anne-Sophie finished on the third step of the podium.
On their way to the Europeans. For the youngest, it is the European Championships in Kaposvar in Hungary that are coming fast. Are concerned: Charlotte L., Anaïs B., Théo G., Dorian T. and the young amateur 1 team of the Club Hippique de Meaux. All won their category or finished second (for Dorian and Anaïs). Charlotte, associated with Papillon, was lunged by Danièle Agnus and did a wonderful job. The trio has evolved since the different CVIs competed together. Charlotte vaulted smoothly while emanating something, this little “trick” that judges are looking for in artistic. For me, it was there. As for Anaïs, she was part of the team throughout the year. Returning individually for the Championships, she proved that she had the level to compete both individually and in a team (representing France) ! Amongst the men, Theo was in the same case as Anaïs since initially in the team that was preparing for WEG. Back alone on the track, but associated with Sushi and lunged by Maud, he presented compulsories worthy of their name and freestyles just as good. He was ahead of Dorian, who was vaulting on his own young horse, and who, in terms of musical interpretation, was stunning! Let’s remember that Dorian has often injured himself in the past years, this year he was at the top! Both individually and in the team. Indeed, Dorian is part of the team from Meaux on Plouf that won the junior event. On the theme of Ravel’s Bolero, the young vaulters presented us a program composed of originalities of all kinds.
Separate the Pas-de-Deux category. Regarding the Pas-de-Deux, wouldn’t it be interesting to create two different categories? This would avoid having the numbers 1 / 2 and the others. Indeed, Manon and Jordan flew over the event, in front of brother and sister Martin on the theme of “Singing in the rain”. Then we have three other less experienced Pas-de-Deux.
Few elites, so what? We’ve seen a small number of elite teams, just one. Noroc not having competed, the Ecuries de la Cigogne were the only ones entered. That doesn’t mean the show was any less beautiful and impressive. On their horse Ultra Chic HDC, the team showed a freestyle where they seemed to enjoy themselves, have fun, cohesion was present. And that’s what makes you want to see more and more, isn’t it? Individually, too, they were few, but is there any point in inflating the numbers, just because “it’s better to have more elites”? No, I don’t think so. Let’s climb the ladder little by little. That’s why there are several levels after all! There were also great performances in the other categories. The EVEM team and the Ecuries du Petit Dan were head-to-head throughout the competition. Only two entered, but a suspense present until the end with very tight scores… And then, the succession is assured with promising young people!
Let’s not be afraid for our sport, let’s continue to be passionate and happy to practice vaulting at our own level, and we’ll meet again next year! For now, good luck in Kaposvar and Tryon Frenchies!