Eric Navet reached the top levels of the sport in partnership with a homebred stallion from his father’s breeding farm. For the Frenchman and many fellow riders of his generation, when it came to reaching the upper echelon of the sport, capitalizing on opportunity was the name of the game. When talent spoke for itself, it was recognized and groomed into something much more, and through that, doors were opened and household names were born.
Eric has been an active member of the sport for over 40 years, and he has witnessed the various stages of change that define its nature today. He continues to find success at a competitive level, and splits his time between being a participant of the sport and a mentor to U.S rider Karl Cook (watch Karl's videos here). Navet, who was 1990 Double World Champion and earned Olympic Team bronze at Barcelona 1992, has been based in California since 2013.
In a look back on the environment that helped foster the growth of riders like himself, Eric reflects on the sport that was and the culmination of its evolution today:
Show Jumping has evolved a lot since I started to show, especially from when I started to compete at the high level. The breeding has followed the evolution of sport, so it too has changed. The sport doesn’t require the same quality of the horses. They’ve become lighter with more blood and more feel, but they’ve also become more fragile.