For His First Victory in a 5* Grand Prix, France’s Olivier Perreau Shakes Up the Hubside Jumping de Valence

Olivier Pereau and GL Events Venizia d’Aiguilly. Photo by SportFot

France’s Olivier Pereau and GL events Venizia d’Aiguilly ensured that suspense was at its height until the very end of the class, winning the CSI 5* Hubside. Store Grand Prix this Sunday at the HUBSIDE JUMPING de VALENCE (Drôme).  A great sporting occasion for the best riders and horses, cheered on by a very enthusiastic audience.

The experts of world show jumping took part in the CSI 5* 1.60m Grand Prix at the HUBSIDE JUMPING de VALENCE on Sunday afternoon, in front of grandstands which were full and an enthusiastic crowd.    The course designed by France’s Cedric Longis promised some great sport.  Thirty-five combinations were competing in the class, thirty-five possibilities, but just one outcome. Number 10 which was a vertical, the first element of the double, number 12, and above all number 11 which was a plank, cost the riders dearly and were undoubtedly decisive in the class. There wasn’t a clear round until the significant, eleventh combination came into the ring, and after that a string of clears followed. Grégory Cottard and his great mare Bibici, a combination which will be representing France et the next European Championships, proved that it was possible!! In their wake, Morgan Bordat and Uma also jumped clear and went through to the jump-off. In total, eleven combinations managed to obtain their ticket for the second part of the class. Five nations were in the running: France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Belgium. The jump-off was impressive and really exciting! 

Grégory Cottard on his prestigious grey mare had the difficult task of going first in the jump-off. Well done! The opening combination was not faint-hearted, took a lot of risks and finished clear, in a time of 37:25. So the following riders had to go very, very fast!  It seemed impossible to improve on the time to beat, but that was without counting on Rhône Alpes’ Olivier Perreau and GL events Venezia d’Aiguilly did just that, finishing in 36:92.

Watch the winning round. Video Courtesy Grand Prix TV / HUBSIDE JUMPING

Olivier Perreau (FRA)
This is my first CSI 5* Grand Prix victory. I saw Grégory Cottard’s round, which was already very fast, then Simon’s one, which was just as quick. I had all this in mind when I was last to go and so I pulled out all the stops. It was an advantage for me to go last, especially concerning the distances I chose. I knew where I had to go fast if I wanted to win. There were eleven of us in the jump-off, so we were all going to be placed. If I wanted to win, I had to give it my all. GL events Venizia d’Aiguilly was fantastic and I’m delighted. All my horses were placed this weekend: I came with six and all six were placed. They were amazing. I would really like to thank Sadri Fegaier and his whole team. We were also lucky to have a great audience,  which is very positive. I would also like to thank and congratulate Cédric Longis, who built some great tracks throughout the weekend.  He’s a really modern course designer. He is really talented because his tracks are designed with the horses in mind.  If they make mistakes, they never result in lots of poles being knocked down. He really allows the horses and riders to progress.  I will be at the HUBSIDE JUMPING de VALENCE again next week. I plan to ride GL events Venizia d’Aiguilly in the CSI 4* Grand Prix. I’m a regular at this show. I have been here every year since the beginning. It takes place in my region and these are really great shows in every way, so I love coming here. GL events Venizia d’Aiguilly was bred at my farm. My family has bred lots of horses over the years. And we have been breeding even more for the last few years. Now we have around twelve foals every year, that we train for sport and also trading purposes.

Grégory Cottard (FRA)
This weekend has been exceptional, especially at this level, and this has never happened to me before.  I’m really proud of my horses and how they performed throughout the weekend. I have really gained a lot of confidence, in preparation for the European Championships. When I set off in the jump-off, I gave it my best shot, but I knew that there was some serious competition like Simon Delestre, Lorenzo de Luca and Olivier Perreau was last to go. Even if I had gone after Olivier, I couldn’t have done any better. I was even surprised myself at how fast I went, so I think that I put pressure on the other riders, but apparently not enough on Olivier! I approached the Grand Prix positively and my mindset was good, so I am really satisfied.

Wide Grégory Cottard jump to runner-up honors. Video Courtesy Grand Prix TV / HUBSIDE JUMPING

Simon Delestre (FRA)
Hermès Ryan has had another incredible season this year. He was already third at the HUBSIDE JUMPING Grimaud – Gulf of Saint-Tropez. He still has what it takes at sixteen-years-old and that is incredible. I really try to manage him show by show, but it is exceptional for him to be in that shape at his age. He is just as dynamic as ever and I feel that he always performs well so that is incredible. I knew I was going to finish after Grégory Cottard, because there are places where he can take out a stride with his mare Bibici. I know Ryan off by heart and today I really respected his scope and did the best job I could.  But I suspected that with Grégory’s number of strides he was going to finish ahead of me, but that’s sport for you.

Watch Simon Delestre and Hermes Ryan’s third-place round. Video Courtesy Grand Prix TV / HUBSIDE JUMPING

Cédric Longis, course designer
The result is positive: you can only be happy when you finish with a Grand Prix like this.  We did everything possible for four days to prepare the horses for this class, which obviously puts pressure on you. Olivier Perreau was the winner and was last to go in the jump-off, which is the ideal situation. We had eleven jump-off riders but that was in keeping with what we had planned. We only had thirty-five riders competing, but it was tough because all the horses could have jumped clear as we had an exceptional line-up. We managed ensure that all the horses knocked down a few poles here and there, without making the course too hard.   It was the goal to have eleven jump-off riders. So we did a good job.

Sadri Fegaier, rider and President-founder of the HUBSIDE JUMPING
The first week of this sixth edition has really been fantastic, with a wonderful Grand Prix and a fabulous jump-off. I’m really proud of Olivier Perreau, who is a regional rider. I’m delighted for him and really proud of his win. We were behind him today. The grandstands were really full. There were people who were standing behind the grandstands, so we decided to let them sit in the private areas free of charge.  The public was delighted and so were the riders. We had some really great sport. As for my performance, I’m really pleased, as it’s my fourth 5* Grand Prix and my horse gave it his all. I wasn’t far off, so I’m a really happy man. Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo, the rider from our stables, the Haras des Grillons, narrowly missed out on being qualified for the jump-off today and had one pole down. Next week Pénélope Leprevost will be joining us for the CSI 4* show. Some other very good riders will also be here. So there will be some more great sport.