I absolutely love living in France. I love speaking French and learning about French culture. I love the lifestyle here and the food and you know what France has some pretty bad ass horses and riders too! Here are the French horse riders that you need to know about this season.
1) Thibault Fournier.
Thibault Fournier is an eventer, who won Pau 4* in October with Sinani de Lathus despite it being his first competition at that level. He is only 24 years old and is aiming towards the European Championships in August, 2019. I saw him at Pau and he seems to absolutely adore his horse. He is definitely someone to watch for the future.
Fun Fact: Thibault is training to be a physiotherapist along side his riding career!
2) Astier Nicholas
Despite only being 30 years old. Astier Nicolas has had a very successful eventing career already. He has competed successfully at all of the major events including Badminton, Burghley, Pau and Bramham, winning Pau in 2015. He is a double Olympic medalist after winning team gold with France and individual silver in Rio de Janerio in 2016.
Fun Fact: Astier has a degree in Equine Management from Hartpury College and lived in the UK for many years. He has now returned to France and is living in Normandy.
3) Thomas Carlisle
Thomas Carlisle is one to watch! He has been progressing very well over the last few years. Thomas’ BE results are impressive and consistent even though he only started to compete at high level competition a few years ago. Despite this, and his mount Upsilon being the youngest horse in the competition, they won the Event Masters in Bleinham CCI*** in 2016 and they have been doing well since with their last win being Barbury CIC*** in 2018.
Sadly though Tom posted on Facebook last week that their 2019 season has not started well. Upsilon has contracted a nasty virus which had left him fighting for his life. So we are sending good thoughts and really hoping Upsilon is making a speedy recovery.
Fun Fact – Thomas Carlisle was born and lives in France but has English parents. He went to school in Toulouse and a friend of mine knows him!
4) Penelope Levropost
Photo by thomasreiner.pro
Penelope is a successful French show jumper and has had a very successful career competing in numerous World and European championships, including winning a silver medal in the World Cup in Las Vegas in 2015 and winning olympic gold at Rio de Janerio in 2016 to name a couple of her achievements. She also has her own boutique Penelope-store.com that sells riding equipment for horse and rider and is a single mother to her daughter Eden.
Fun Fact: Penelope has become a bit of an internet sensation with a following of 142k on instagram!
5) Morgan Barbancon Mestre
Grand Prix Dressage rider Morgan was born in France but actually rode representing Spain until May 2018. Her father is French and her mother is Spanish but she actually lives in Switzerland. Morgan represented Spain at the 2012 Olympic Games, 2014 World Equestrian Games, 2015 World Cup Finals and 2015 European Championships on Painted Black, but has chosen to represent France to continue to compete at the higher levels of competition. That successfully started with Morgan winning the French Grand Prix Championship in 2018.
Fun Fact: Morgan was born in France, lived in Germany, Holland and now is hoping to develop dressage in the french speaking part of Switzerland. Talk about being European!
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