French Fly to Victory

18 August 2016

France claimed Team Jumping gold for only the second time in the history of the Olympic Games with a brilliant performance yesterday.

Silver went to Team USA while Germany won out in a thrilling two-way jump-off against Canada for the bronze. 

“There is no prouder feeling than representing your country”
  
  

This is only the second French team gold in the history of Olympic Jumping, the first won at Montreal  in 1976

It hasn’t all been plain sailing for the French who have endured a series of setbacks, including the withdrawal of Simon Delestre’s horse, Ryan, who was injured and then a night in the veterinary clinic for Penelope Leprevost’s mare Flora de Mariposa after the pair took a fall in Sunday’s first qualifier.

  

The Canadians were first to go in the two-way showdown for bronze...

...but it was three German clears, from Ahlmann, Michaels-Beerbaum and Deusser, that clinched it. “We always knew there was a high possibility of a jump-off” said Michaels-Beerbaum, “we all fought very hard for this medal today and we are very grateful to have it.”

Text by Louise Parkes

Photography by ©FEI/Richard Julliart & Eric Knoll

Back in the winner’s enclosure, Kevin Staut reflected on how his team managed to turn it around in a week when nothing seemed to be going their way. “Maybe the problems helped to make us fight more and more” he said. And how it feels to be crowned Olympic team champion? “Really proud - to be French, to be a rider and to be a gold medallist!