Olympic champion Roger Yves Bost on Winning, Losing & Giving Up Chocolate!

Roger Yves Bost, hoping to win in Paris in April
Credit : Scoopdyga

Sunday 07 January - 07h53 | Léa Dall'Aglio Translated by Lulu Kyriacou

Olympic champion Roger Yves Bost on Winning, Losing & Giving Up Chocolate!

2017  did not go exactly to plan for French team stalwart Roger Yves Bost, particularly the European Championships were a little disappointing for the Olympic gold medallists, but he is not letting that disuade him  from aiming high in 2018  with his strong team of horses.

The year 2017 followed your coronation at the Olympic Games in Rio. How did you approach it?
Roger-Yves Bost: We could not have done less well! So we set ourselves other goals. We wanted to let our horses run a little in Rio. By trying other horses at the European Championships, for example. I made a start of the season with a lot of 4-point courses - it was necessary to motivate the troops - and a good mid-season, even in Gothenburg. The important thing this year was to stay among the best in the world, which I managed to do. I did not stop the season!

You returned without a medal at the European Championships in Gothenburg, after having declared an individual withdrawal. Did this disappoint you?
R-Y B.: Disappointed not to have a medal, yes, but we had horses that had never skipped those events. We can not win every time! In Rio, it was our day, it was not there. We made small mistakes on the second day, we ran out of luck.

You were however happy with the performances of Sangria du Coty. How has the horse progressed since?
R-Y B.: Sangria was very good at Gothenburg: she did two great clears. But we made two mistakes, one day, by my fault: it was after the Hunt, I realized a course better than what I thought, rather fast for her. And the next day, I slightly underestimated the work I had to do, so she was a bit open when she entered the track. The next day, I tightened a little and she came out again without penalty. Since then, she has progressed a lot: she is easier, more precise in the courses. She passed a course.

What was your best contest this year?
R-Y B.: Without hesitation, Madrid, since I won the Grand Prix! A beautiful World Cup to add to the winners. It is also one of the three faultless Sydney A Prince Grand Prix this year, with Lyon and Paris. And it's the second Grand Prix World Cup she wins, with that of Mâlines, in December 2016. It's important to win a World Cup, it shows that we are in the game.

More broadly, what events do you remember from the equestrian year 2017?
R-Y B.: The victory of the Paris bid for the 2024 Olympic Games really gave me a shot of energy, motivated me. The two Olympiads coming to Tokyo and Paris are really goals. In France, I will be at least there to watch!

And from a more personal point of view?
R-Y B.: We are still Olympic champions for 3 years, it's already not bad (laughs)! And that is thanks to my team that helps me a lot: I have motivated owners and, above all, my wife and my children who do everything for me to be of the highest level. My children ride with me, they prepare my horses on cycles 4, 5, 6 and 7 years ... All alone, we can not do much.

Your victory in the Longines Grand Prix of Madrid at the end of November and your fifth place in Mechelen at the end of December will give you almost a place for the World Cup final in Paris in mid-April. Is this one of your goals for 2018?
R-Y B.: Of course! I'm really happy to be qualified. I had already ridden in Bercy, which I won the Grand Prix in 1996, and I really want to do it again. It will be a performance, but I already have the chance to compete, thanks to my two mares who were very regular this year, with whom I could juggle.

Which appointments do you take this year?
RY B.: At the high end, there is the Tryon World Equestrian Games: they are very important to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. And to prepare them, we will look at the Nations Cup: The Baule, Rome, Hickstead ... But first of all, I have a World Cup to win! It would be nice if it was a French, it's been a long time since it happened ... I would also like to continue to participate in the Global Champions Tour, it makes us progress to compete against good, and the endowment is good.

On which horses will you be able to count?
RY B.: I have Sangria du Coty, Sydney A Prince, Pegasus du Mur who can make big tests from time to time, Qoud'cœur who has already done great performances ... I'll be able to juggle and draw a good program with the coach. We'll have to bring our best horses to Tryon. I think the choice will be made, as for the European Championships last summer, between Sangria and Sydney, which are the best, for the moment.

Is the finish line for you the Tryon World Equestrian Games at the end of the summer, or the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, the qualifying period of which begins?
R-Y B .: It's hard to say: my mares are 12 years old, they will have 14 in Tokyo - it's still playable. What is important already is to go to Tryon and make a performance there. The WEG are part of the obligatory passages to show that we are a good team of France. But by Tokyo, he will probably have some change ...

What are your good resolutions for this year?
R-Y B.: Stay at the best level, always question me, pay attention to my horses. And to be "fit": it's not just the horses that have to be fit! I'm over 20, I have to avoid chocolate, I pay attention to my lifestyle, it can make the difference in a jump off ...

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