12 things you need to know about 2018’s youngest four-star winner

Last weekend Thibault Fournier won Les 4 Etoiles de Pau, in France (24-28 October). This was Thibault’s first attempt at four-star level, which means you might not know much about him, so here’s a few facts about him to help bring you up to speed…

1. Thibault is 23 years old, and therefore the youngest winner of Pau’s four-star during the 11 years it has been running.

2. He is a second year university physiotherapy student (for humans) in Limoges at the ILFOMER (Institut Limousin de Formation aux Métiers de la Rédaptation), which specialises in training rehabilitation.

3. Siniani De Lathus, the horse Thibault rode at Pau, is a 12-year-old Selle Francais, known as Sissou at home. Thibault took over the ride in 2015. Until that point, the chestnut had been produced to CCI2* by Rafael Mazoyer.

4. Thibault and Sissou led the CCI3* under-25 class at Bramham after the dressage in 2017, but didn’t complete the cross-country after leaving a leg at a corner early in the course, unshipping Thibault in the process…

5. …But they returned to Bramham this year and finished second in the same class behind Emily King and Dargun.

6. Thibault represented his nation at the 2015 young rider European championships in Strzegom with Sissou, where they finished 11th individually.

7. Together this pair were listed as potentials to compete at this year’s World Equestrian Games in Tryon, but they were ruled out of contention after Thibault fell off during their cross-country round in the CICO3* at Aachen in July.

8. He would like to combine both physiotherapy with riding once he is qualified and has no plans to focus solely on eventing.

9. At the end of September, Thibault was ranked 118 in the FEI eventing world rankings.

10. He started competing internationally in May 2013, when he rode Roxanne Blues in the CIC* at Sandillon.

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11. Thibault now has four horses competing internationally; two six-year-olds at CIC* level and a 10-year-old two-star horse in addition to Sissou.

12. When Thibault realised he had won the CCI4* in Pau, much to the delight of the crowds, he jumped off Sissou and gave him a big hug in the main arena, moments after completing their showjumping round.

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