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Léa Vandekerckhove wins the CEI3* in Fontainebleau / Endurance / Sport / Home

Caroline and Gilles Cabardos, at the head of Grand Parquet Endurance, had once again mobilized all the energies of their volunteers to offer an international spring meeting for fans of the discipline. On Friday, young rider Léa Vandekerckhove won the weekend’s flagship event with nine-year-old Guemra du Lauragais, born into her family’s upbringing.

Despite almost summer weather conditions, the organizers of the CEI de Fontainebleau noted a significant drop in entries in all events (CEI1*, 2*, 3*, YJ, Amateur 1 and Elite) with two hundred horses instead of the usual three hundred . This, no doubt, due to the increase in fuel prices, especially since many competitors are based in the south of France. Among the novelties to report during this edition: a 160 km race in a version of six laps instead of five, and a division tested at the request of the federal staff with a view to the October Masters over 120 and 160 km. “The objective is to have more veterinary controls and facilitate the evolution of the horses”, explains Caroline, who also says that she spent part of the winter revising the routes, optimizing the distances of each of the loops, in collaboration with the National Forestry Office, to finalize the new routes for all the labels. The FEI, for its part, had introduced a new procedure: as of Wednesday, a veterinarian and a steward were responsible for checking each horse upon arrival at the site, that is, its identity, its vaccinations and its temperature, which must also be informed morning and evening by the rider throughout the competition in the FEI HorseApp application and which also allows the horses to be geolocated in real time. A novelty also tested in the preparation area, always with a view to the end of the season event in which a wider participation is expected: the riders must now remove the buckets of water when their horse enters the veterinary control area, to leave space for the following riders A method that is also part of a philosophy of sustainable development by limiting the amounts of water used.

Lea Vandekerckhove wins

Of the eighteen couples on the starting list, only seven cross the finish line. read vandekerckhove -whose portrait L’Eperon had drawn a few months ago-, who had taken his time while staying in contact with the head in the first five loops, waited for the last phase to let his Gemma of Lauragais (Sisko, AR) express themselves fully and thus win over the other job applicants. “It was our first 160”, Lea says. “In the beginning I was late, in the penultimate loop I had taken a step back, for her to recover and offer her a transition loop, and in the last one I realized that she was super fresh and could catch up to me very easily. . In the last kilometers she left everything. She is a very calm, cold, serene mare, but when she is asked, she gives her all. » A strategy that paid off in this winning race of eight hours and almost thirty minutes, confirmed by the final veterinary inspection. On Léa’s season programme: Uzès, then Castelsagrat, selection race for the European Junior Championships in Vic (Spain), then perhaps the World Championship for Eight-Year-Old Horses. But before and after this bellifontaine race, for a week, Guemra will divide his time between the paddock and the walker to eliminate toxins, before being entitled to a well-deserved rest. “in a big field with his girlfriend”, says Valérie, the rider’s mother.

It came four seconds later, Elizabeth Simonassociated with the norm Suleiman’s Adage (Ceres de Lafon), had come from Ampus, in the Var, where he breeds and trains about forty horses, ten of which are his. Elisa, worthy daughter of Virginie, member of the French national team from 2000 to 2006, will choose other couples for the next installments since her accomplice of the day begins her breeding career in the coming weeks, but she will hold back from this appointment bellifontain “an impressive race”.

Completing this podium is the Omani pilot Hisham Saleh Mahmoud Al Farsthirty-four years old, at the head of Alrissa de Gueyte (Djebel Lotois, AR), to the delight of her French trainer, Manon Ravel, based at Domaine de Montjay (77), in the stables of the Royal Cavalry of the Sultanate of Oman. Goal of the season for the rider, as well as for his compatriot Saleh Al Balushiroom with Astic du Cambou (Sadepers, AR): Confirm in CEI3* and earn a selection for the world championship in Verona in October. The Frenchwoman, in charge of around thirty horses for three years, including twenty CEI level and ten youngsters, has the support of two other riders to train the seven Omani riders. “We have already classified five, and our goal, to have the option, is to classify another five. We are in the best conditions with two fiber gallop tracks and walkers, but we come to work once or twice a week in the Fontainebleau forest. »

Next appointment proposed by Grand Parquet Endurance: the Masters on October 14 and 15.

To see the full results of this race, click here.

At Fontainebleau, Beatrix Fletcher

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