Valence International Jumping

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Last week end an unique event was hosted in Drôme Ardèche : Valence International Jumping @ Haras Des Grillons in Ratières ( even if I grew up here I never heard this name before). For the newbies what it is ? It’s an equestrian event during few days organized by stud farms where hundreds of riders and horses are coming to confront on differents trials, for us it was jump competition.

source photo: https://www.facebook.com/harasdesgrillons26?fref=ts
source photo: https://www.facebook.com/harasdesgrillons26?fref=ts

There is many of it in France already, but this level is not so common. We never had before in Drôme a 3 stars jumping competition. And huge difference Sadri Fegaier, the founder, propose a free entrance so everybody can enjoy the show.  Everybody, everybody, I know you are thinking: okay Astrid sweetheart I’m not passionnate about horses.

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source photo: https://www.facebook.com/harasdesgrillons26?fref=ts

To be honest when my sister offered me to do that on a Saturday I was kind of spectic. I’m always going with pleasure to her competitions, because even if it’s not this level I live it with her, I’m stressful before the jump and happy at the end. Finally I accept and we are now driving to Ratières. Theses roads didn’t that much people during their all lives ! I even think some visitors from others countries probably though they were lost.

Arrived, parkings are very well organized, security guards are nice and efficient. First meeting with the place:infrastructures are huge, couples sellers are there, tons of horse trucks too: welcome to Horse town! Only one slight note: tribunes were to small for this amount of visitors but for a first edition we can excuse it !

Finally found a seat I leave the magic begins and I feel like a kid admiring riders and horses working in a total accordance, like no one is here watching them and expecting a beautiful show. It’s called concentration right ?

source: Le Dauphiné.com
source: Le Dauphiné.com

I’m impressed, time went so fast. It’s time to reward the winner, as the same time people are working hard to change the trial to be ready for the last one. Everybody is helping, we were able to see some city shoes on the sand.

During the wait the amazing Horseman Team offered us a wonderful show: men jumping under obstacles like horses. Yes you read well like horses, that means they run as horse and jump as scissor: one leg in the front, the other behind. And yes again it’s incredible but it’s possible. Proof with the video. Thanks @claiire.brd for posting it on Instagram. Mine don’t look good.

We are talking abotu a world champion who is also a lawyer in his other life.

horse men
source photo: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Horseman-Team/26684876799

Competition starts again, it’s power hardship: 12 riders,  5 possibly tours , 6 rods to jump on a row, every one taller than the one before, every tour we add 15cm to the rods. At the fifth tour just 4 competitors left, the taller rod is 2,05 meters. Yes take a minute andthink about what 2,05m means. It’s taller than à Audi Q7, taller than the entrance for a parking and even taller than the horse itself. 3 first failed, the fourth one has pressure on him and he made it !! The audience stands up and applause ! What a crazy ambiance ! And he is riding his horse around to succeed, realizing he made it on a hardest hardship.

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source photo: https://www.facebook.com/harasdesgrillons26?fref=ts

The day finishs on an incredible show ! A ballerina hangs to a giant balloon filled with helium and managed by 2 guys on the floor. Magic is on the air.

https://instagram.com/p/6_DGEuws6-/?taken-by=fringinto

Around midnight the day is over, everybody has sparkles in the eyes, from kids to grand parents.  The audience is convinced: “it was amazing, such a good organization, I will be back next year for sure.” Talking about next year, I heard that the competion could become a 4 stars .. Stay tuned !

I’m a big fan of event so it’s always a pleasur for me to be there. I was really impressed, the organization went very well ! Maybe just add more pictures on the social media next year ! Even if you are not a huge fan of horses you will appreciate the event for sur ! See you next year.

Cavalièrement,

A.

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