France looks set to be a serious contender for an Olympic showjumping medal in Rio next month with three of the top 10 riders in the world on the team.
France’s showjumping team is as follows:
- Roger Yves Bost and Sydney Une Prince
- Simon Delestre and Hermes Ryan (formerly Ryan Des Hayettes, pictured)
- Penelope Leprevost and Flora De Mariposa
- Kevin Staut and Reveur De Hurtebise HDC
The travelling reserve will be Philippe Rozier with Rahotep De Toscane.
The quartet brings an enviable wealth of talent and experience.
World number one Simon Delestre, 35, took individual bronze at the European championships last year with the 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding Ryan and has shown form with two runner-up spots on the Longines Global Champions Tour this season.
Kevin, 35, and Penelope, who will be 36 at the time of the Olympics, and their respective horses were also members of the French squad at the Europeans last year and helped secure team silver at the world championships in 2014.
All three are competing at their second Olympics, having represented France in London 2012, where the team finished out of the running in 12th place.
“Bosty”, who turns 50 in October, is the senior member of the French team but, somewhat surprisingly, this is also only his second Olympic call-up and comes 20 years after he made his Games debut, in Atlanta 1996.
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The former European champion rides a 10-year-old Selle Francais mare by Baloubet Du Rouet.
France’s showjumpers are led by chef d’equipe Philippe Guerdat, whose son Steve Guerdat is the reigning Olympic champion from London 2012.
The team will no doubt be making a bold bid for team and individual podium places in the Olympic showjumping, which kicks off in Rio on Sunday, 14 August.
Don’t miss all the showjumping action from the Games at horseandhound.co.uk and in the 25 August issue of Horse & Hound.