French anguish as two eventing European medals slip away: ‘I’m frustrated, but I look at my horse and say, what a week’

  • Maxime Livio has spoken of his reaction after losing two medals in the European Eventing Championships showjumping today.

    The French rider was lying third individually going into the final phase, but he had to jump clear to retain his individual medal as well as the French team bronze.

    His 11-year-old grey, Api Du Libaire, was jumping very deliberately and had the oxer in the middle of the treble at fence six down. This dropped Maxime to sixth and France to fifth behind Sweden and Switzerland.

    “Even though the pressure was on, my horse was being really careful, really focused, really relaxed – the things which normally could be difficult to manage with him,” said Maxime. “Today, he gave me everything.

    “The mistake was because normally in the combination, he always goes a bit too much, too forward because he’s a big horse and very generous, so normally I always have to slow in the combination. Today he was just more careful than normally and he slowed himself. I was ready to slow him and him plus me was too much and then we lost a bit of momentum to that oxer.

    “So it was really a very little mistake, but it shows also that he’s a green horse at that level and he is still changing and improving, even during the championship.”

    Summing up after his European Eventing Championships showjumping round, Maxime said: “I’m really, really happy with the quality he showed in all three phases. I’m a little bit disappointed for sure, because I lost two medals on little mistakes, but that’s sport.

    “My first reaction is to be frustrated, but my second, when I look at my own horse, is to say, ‘What a good week.’”

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