Vassily de Lassos (Jaguar Mail) – individual bronze, team silver with Australian eventing veteran Andrew Hoy

By Marc Verrier
Photography: FEI/Christophe Tanière

Selle Français achieved a mighty feat at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in eventing: All three individual medals going to riders riding horses born in France, finishing with six SF in the top seven, plus at least one French horse in each medal-winning team.

Jean-Baptiste Thiébot from Normandy is a very happy breeder. After seeing Piaf de B'Neville (Cap de B'Neville x Rêve d'Elle) become Olympic champion in Rio 2016 and individual runner-up with Astier Nicolas, this time it was the Selle Français mare Amande de B’Neville who won gold in the delayed Tokyo Olympic Games, ridden by the German Julia Krajewski. Jean-Baptiste Thiébot is, therefore, the first breeder in the history of eventing to have bred two gold medal-winning horses. It should be noted, however, that these two horses come from completely different maternal lines.
The new Olympic champion, Amande de B'Neville, is a daughter of Oscar des Fontaines (Lando x Mr Blue) and Perle de B'Neville by Elan de la Cour (Vas Y Donc Longane x Jalisco B). Started by Jeroen Zwartjes, Oscar des Fontaines competed in 1m50 showjumping classes with Pénélope Leprévost up to the age of 10, before being sold to Slovakian Radovan Sillo. At 19 years old, he finished his career with the young Czech Sara Vingralkova (19). Although Amande de B'Neville is the first in her family to perform at a high level in eventing, there are several winners over 1m60m in this line, including Fort de B'Neville (Fort de la Cour) with Bernardo Alves, Droit de B'Neville (Talent Platière) with Ludo Philippaerts, and Cocodes (Tenor de la Cour) with Hervé Godignon.
Silver medalist in the individual and gold medalist in the team competition, Great Britain’s Tom McEwen rode the Selle Français gelding Toledo de Kerser. Bred by Kerstin Drevet, Toledo is a son of Diamant de Semilly and Ariane du Prieuré II (Papillon Rouge). Although Diamant de Semilly is best known as a sire of jumping horses, Toledo de Kerser is not the only son of Diamant de Semilly who is competing at the highest level in eventing. In Tokyo there was also Viamant du Matz (Diamant de Semilly x Voltigeur le Malin AA) under the saddle of Germany’s Sandra Auffarth. In the family of Toledo de Kerser, there are several horses that have performed at a high level such as Rubis Rouge (Jalisco B x Sire xx), Annahof's Farceur du Pepin (Plein d'Espoir IV x Matador du Bois), and Taranis II (Fort Grandchamp x Diable Rouge)... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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