Wednesday 21 August - 17h28 | Press release
The Star Riders and Horses Enter the Haras des Grillons’ Ring
D-1 before the launch of the fifth edition of the Jumping International de Valence! While the Haras des Grillons (Ratières, Drôme) is getting ready to play host to more than 30, 000 visitors, from 22 to 25 August, and from 29 August to 1 September, the stars of the discipline are on their way to a key event on the international high-level show jumping calendar. Focus on the line-up of the athletes expected for the first weekend (CSI 1, 2 and 3*). The line-up of the first weekend of competition is going to be very impressive with Olympic champions, riders in the World top 20, legends of equestrian sport and multi-medallists. Almost 150 riders and 330 horses are getting ready to thrill Valence!
A HAT-TRICK FOR KENT FARRINGTON AND GAZELLE?
All eyes will definitely be on this efficient combination. After two victories in the 5* Grand Prix in 2017 and 2018, America’s Kent Farrington and his dynamic Gazelle are returning to the Jumping International de Valence, of which they particularly fond and where they are clearly successful. World number 1 from April 2017 to March 2018, the winner of the Final of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 in 2015 and the current number 8 in the Longines World Rankings, Kent Farrington will arrive in Drôme as the show’s top rider. Regarded as one of the fastest combinations in the world, Farrington and Gazelle are in Olympic form: at the end of July they won the CHIO of Aachen’s mythical Grand Prix, considered as the Holy Grail of equestrian sport. Alongside Kent Farrington, his fellow countrywoman Katherine Dinan will be accompanied by a certain Sydney Une Prince, the mare which enabled France’s Roger-Yves Bost to become Olympic team show jumping champion in 2016.
SOME SERIOUS FRENCH COMPETITION...
France will be sending a solid legion of riders who will come face to face with him! Three of the five best French riders in the World rankings are expected in particular, the two others having been selected for the European Championships. Spectators in Drôme will be keen to support, among others, Simon Delestre, World number 19, Julien Epaillard, 23rd and Olivier Robert, 57th, loyal to the event organised by the successful businessman and experienced rider Sadri Fegaier, who will also be taking part in this first weekend of competition. The current Olympic team champion, Philippe Rozier, will also be present at the CSI2* event. The French Pro 2 category champion, Cécile Bouzinac, with Alana with which she won her title a few weeks ago, will also compete in the Haras des Grillons’ ring. Alongside Sadri Fegaier, Michel Robert, Mégane Moissonnier, Sylvie Robert, Olivier Perreau, Julien Gonin and Thomas Levêque, among others, will proudly represent the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.
... AND LEGENDS AND BIG INTERNATIONAL NAMES
For this first weekend of competition, all eyes will also be on an legendary name in equestrian sport, coming to Valence as a family: four Whitakers will be taking part in the classes created by the course designer, the Italian maestro, Uliano Vezzani. Michael, Jack and Robert Whitaker will compete alongside John, their brother, uncle and father respectively, the icon of international show jumping at the end of the 80s, who, with his white gelding Milton, competed for years with the French heroes Jappeloup and Pierre Durand.
Six of the nine best Italian riders in the world rankings, who are also just as impressive in the ring, will be present including Alberto Zorzi, World number 41, Emanuele Gaudiano and Roberto Turchetto.
And of course, the Haras des Grillons’ rider, who has been at the stables since 2011, Colombia’s Carlos Lopez, fifth at the most recent World Equestrian Games in 2018, will try to shine before his adopted public.
A FREE EVENT SUITABLE FOR FAMILIES
The Jumping International de Valence’s goal is to put exceptional sport and its best athletes centre stage to allow as many people as possible to discover their universe. As a result, the whole competition is open to everyone and free of charge. Throughout these two weekends of great sport and celebrations, the children’s area, the exhibitors’ village and the entertainment and many activities will allow families to perfect their discovery of this very unique sport. On Saturday evening, the so-called “six bar” class in which the height of the rails is progressively raised every time a horse and rider combination jumps a clear round (in 2018, Brazil’s Pedro Junqueira Muylaert cleared 2m05!), will delight equestrian sport enthusiasts as well visitors who are novices.
Monday 19 August - 09h41
Friday 23 August - 21h55