FRANCE (by Adriana van Tilburg) The bright and dark side of life are sometimes not that far apart. Eric Levallois (53) and Diamant de Sémilly (Le Tot de Sémilly - Venise des Cresles x Elf III, bred by Jules Mesnildrey) became French team World Champions in 2002 at Jerez de la Frontera. His competition career has included some exception- al horses, including Diamant’s sire, Le Tot de Sémilly and also excellent results as a young rider: individually fourth, team gold at the 1984 European championships.
The following year, Levallois placed second in the Hickstead Nations’ Cup. When Le Tot was nine, he placed second in the CSI Wiesbaden Grand Prix, won the Bois le Roi GP, and finished third in both the CSI Gijon GP and Nations’ Cup.
However, his first top horse was a mare, Graine d'Oria (Rantzau xx - Risette x Fakir, bred by Charles Tessier) with whom he made his international debut. He participated with this mare at the young rider European championships in Wolfsburg in 1982 and in Geesteren 1983.
The remarkable Diamant de Sémily became an outstand- ing performance partner for Levallois. They arrived at the top level in 2002: world champion with the French team (9th individually) in WEG, Jerez, and champion of France in Fontainebleau after a great showjumping season (11 clears out of 12 rounds in Nations’ Cups, including Rome, Aachen, Donaueschingen). In 2003 they won the team silver medal at the European championships in Donaueschingen.
In 2007 Diamant’s son, Diarado (Diamant de Sémilly - Roxette x Corrado I, stamm 318D2) became the Holsteiner approvals champion and was bought by a syndicate comprising the Holsteiner Verband, Joop van Uytert and Paul Schock- emöhle. Anne Sophie Levallois (married to Eric’s broth- er, Richard) had this to say about Diamant’s offspring: “Diamant de Sémilly crosses very well with chic German mares which bring length in the top line, nice paces, while Diamant de Sémilly brings a strong short back, easiness (top mind), and the offspring have strength, good balance and blood. Diarado’s title helped Diamant to become well known and respected everywhere in the world, even for the breeders who only believed in German bloodlines.”...