If there’s any reason to jump on a plane and jet-set off to France, it would be for the Jumping International de Valence show held at the gorgeous Haras des Grillons arena. Who can say no to the warm summer sun, fresh baguettes and croissants, French wine, and not one, but two weeks of top-level show jumping? Right, didn’t think so.
From August 16th to 26th, the top stars of show jumping will ascend on this 11th-century city in the southeast of France. Home to the famous St. Apollinaire Cathedral and stunning views over the Rhône Valley (wine tours anyone?), there’s something for everyone.
So drop what you’re doing, pack your bags, and vive la Valence!
1. The royalty of show jumping is in attendance
As we’re approaching the opening ceremonies of the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, riders are fitting in their last shows before heading across the pond to the States – and that means one last tune-up before the big event. Six of the Longines World Top 10 will be in attendance including last year’s Grand Prix winner and World No. 10 Kent Farrington, as well as No.1 Harrie Smolders, No. 2 Peder Fredricson, No. 3 Eric Lamaze, No 6. Daniel Deusser, and No. 9 Kevin Staut.
Kent Farrington and Gazelle.
2. Free makes everything better
The word free has a beautiful jingle to it. But when it’s free admission to a four-star horse show, count me in. Only two hours away from Paris by train, the Jumping International de Valence show attracts visitors from all areas. With star-studded VIP access, a fun children’s playground, as well as a restaurant overlooking the ring for all guests, Valence knows how to put a horse show on for all ages.
3. A strong hometown contingent
When I say strong, I mean the who’s who of French show jumping is headed to Valence. Major names include Roger Yves-Bost, Philippe Rozier, Pénélope Leprevost, Patrice Delaveau, and former World No. 1 Simon Delestre. If there are any signs pointing towards a hometown advantage, I’ll put my money on a French(wo)man.
Simon Delestre and Chesall Zimequist.
So who will it be taking home the Week 1 CSI4* Grand Prix and the Week 2 CSI5* Grand Prix? You’ll have to wait and see!
Photos courtesy of Sportfot.