Gulliver Champeix AA with Victor Bernadin

By Marc Berthon / ANAA (Translation by Jonathan Landi)
Photography: SHF (Caroline Artaud, Jean-Phlippe Fleurisson) and Private Collection (Victor Bernadin and Ainoha Manero Benevente)

This article gathers together the testimonies of riders who have obtained good results aboard Anglo-Arabians in showjumping during 2020. For the reason of time, and because it is not always possible to reach out to them all, we have focused our attention on a particularly revealing sample of this special talent pool.

As they love their horses, respect them, and always strive to improve them, they all have some great stories to tell. So much so – that we could have published a novel from the available material... Given the endeavours of these women and men, the Anglo-Arabian (AA) breed clearly has a bright future ahead of it, thanks to riders Victor Bernadin, Carolin Artaud, Jean-Philippe Fleurisson andAinhoa Manero Benavente.

Victor Bernadin

• Showjumping circuit: Age-group competitions for young horses (four- to six-year-olds), National Pro and CSI
• Number of horses: 22.
• Lead horse: Dollar Champeix (SF = Selle Francais)

Victor Bernardin, 27, has set up shop in the Cher region where he’s a rider and conditioner of young horses. In October 2018, in partnership with Lyvan Roger, he set up his own business, VBLR Jump, and, for professional reasons, he leases the facilities of the Société Hippique de Vierzon. “Prior to this I obtained the DEJEPS (Diplôme d’Etat Jeunesse, Education Populaire et Sport) diploma which entitled me to train jumping horses before embarking on a four-year stint at two different establishments. My primary task is to prepare horses for competition, and with the option of either selling them on or enhancing their value by developing their potential.”

Guadaloupe ATLG jumping with Caroline Artaud

As a competitor, Bernadin was omnipresent on the circuit for young horses, both nationally and internationally. During the end-of-September-early-October period, including the Fontainebleau final, the fruits of his labours were rewarded, as two of his horses achieved the ‘excellence class’ standard, with a third making it through to the ‘very good’ class rankings. They included the 15th- ranked finalist, and the recipient of an ‘excellence’ grade in the wake of an ISO 119 rating – reflecting a stellar season as a four-year-old in the ‘CSO classique’ class (age-group showjumping division) – namely, Gulliver Champeix (Upsilon AA x Ulyssa Champeix AA x Milor Chjampeix AA): an Anglo-Arabian (AA) (28.69%) born at the stud of Hélène Herrmann. An attractive bay Anglo-Arabian, bred by Herrmann at her Haras de Champeix, which is considered to be nursery of future champions.
Bernadin: “Gulliver [Champeix] joined the stable at the very moment when we were starting out. He was a three-year-old at the time, and the aim was to prepare him for the qualifier for males. He won one such contest at Lamotte Beuvron in October 2019, before being selected for the Saint-Lô qualifier where he exhibited a lot of ability and an assertive temperament. He then returned to the yard where we prepared him for the ‘Cycles Classiques CSO 4 ans’ (four-year-old age-group showjumping series). He’s a remarkable horse who shone throughout the season. He is blessed with three great ways of moving in his paces, is well balanced and strong to boot, exudes great suppleness, and has a good way of jumping. He is very smart when it comes to measuring the obstacles and is a real class act. He’s very willing, somewhat affectionate by nature, and is a horse who invariably aims to please. He has a bright future ahead of him and is already being prepared with next season in mind, when he will be campaigned as a five-year-old.”

Jean-Philippe Fleurisson jumping with Etna de Rouhet

Caroline Artaud

• Showjumping circuit: CC JC (age-group competitions for young horses (four- to six-year-olds) and National Pro
• Number of horses: 18
• Lead horses: Virtuose de Jallènes (SF) and Vitesse du Plessis (SF)

Caroline Artaud obtained her riding instructor’s qualification in 2008 at the age of 20. She’s now a professional rider based at the Haras de la Tonnellerie at Cerelles near Tours. “I am very interested in breeding, pedigrees, and genetics. I cut my teeth by working for several breeders of ponies and became passionate about foals. That's why I decided to specialise in young horses. I prepare them so I can ride them in competitions further down the line. Ensuring that an untrained horse who has never been conditioned reaches the next step. Breaking it in and conditioning it prior to seeing them evolve at a higher level, is both very satisfying and very rewarding. It's a long process which requires attention to detail, know-how, and finesse. We ensure that they get used to us from the moment they are born by getting them used to us handling them. We take another step forward with them every six months. We then move to the pre-breaking-in stage when they are two-year-olds, which is something of an initial selection stage, and then wonder how will they react? The work begins in earnest during the winter period when the three-year-olds are on the verge of becoming four-year-olds.”.. To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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