This weekend Cronenberg in the Netherlands hosted CCI up to 4*L. While France excelled at this last level thanks to Rodolphe Scherer’s second place on the Song du Magay, the Habs won it all on the CCI3*L, taking the first four places. And on the first and second steps of the podium, Charlotte Bordas, who is in her first season with Young Riders, manages to place her two horses, As Boy de Kappa and Firewall des Aucels Z, for their first performance at this level. Hugo Provasi and Quasari du Gans round out this top trio, with Mathis Portejoie and Yvan in fourth place.
Can you tell us about your weekend in Cronenberg where you placed 1st and 2nd in your first CCI3*L?
It’s just magic, I originally went there just for the sake of qualifying. I knew very well that I could hit hard and get into the rankings, but I was very far from winning both the first and second! Because there was a lot of competition, already on the French side, with a lot of young riders and more experienced riders, as well as a lot of foreign competitors. We didn’t have good weather, it was very cold and snowing on the first day of training. I was very impressed with the cross-country, it was done completely differently than in France, it was very dry, without legs, only with small flower pots, without volley obstacles. It remained clear, but it was very technical. When I get out of the juniors, it’s really a competition where I see that I have changed the category. This was our first 3*L for all three.
First, let’s talk about As Boy from Kappa who wins. How did he behave?
He’s pretty regular in dressage, always super clean, always wants to do well. And there he unfolded the perfect lift, trotted better than usual. He liked the judges and easily took the lead, taking first place. After that, it is a real crosser, it has a very large amplitude and a large canter. I knew the weather wouldn’t be a problem. He ran his cross, he was straight to the end, he was looking for pennants, he was incredible, he jumped very well. For his first at this level in length, this was not a problem for him. This is a fairly heavy horse, which allowed me to see that after 8 minutes and 30 jumps, he recovered very well, with great ease, without any stiffness. This is a horse that jumps a little thin and a little physically, which leaves no room for error. He jumped very well, demonstrated and rode a horse. He set up the perfect contest.
And for Firewall des Aucels Z?
He really became the surprise of the competition. Bought at 3 and a half years old, returned after an unsuccessful run-in, everything was built on it. He is very sensitive, he is really a small child in the family. He will definitely mark my career, I think he is extraordinary, really above many. This is a horse with a very strong movement, he recovered well in dressage. Unfortunately for him, there was still snow on the square, and he broke a little. I also had a loose horse around my square that also twirled around for a while. There were several factors that meant I couldn’t install my lid the way it should have, but it showed me its full potential. He knew how to trust me, and I am very proud of him. On the cross country, I was much more afraid to turn than with As Boy, because Fire is a horse that jumps very hard and can get scared quickly. He really surprised me, he immediately went into a canter, and this was the first cross where I saw him looking for pennants. When I saw him leave, I knew that nothing could happen because he just wanted to cross over to the other side. It is the same in equestrian sports, this is a horse with very good potential, he jumped 30 cm above each bar. We even had a few offers to buy after the horse show, but it stayed in the family.
What will be the rest of your season and your desires after?
The horses will rest there for a bit and the next target will be my first Pro 1 at the French Young Riders Championship on the Lion d’Angers during the Grand National in mid-May. After the last competition before qualifying for the European Championship, he will be in Vittel for the Pro 2 championship.
What are your wishes after that?
I have two young mares 7 and 6 years old. And for Ace and Fire, so that they continue to improve them, so that they move me forward as well. I hope to continue to rise in events and maintain my level at 3*. I have hope for the European Championship, I will have to find my regularity. Then I’ll have two more years of junior riders left, and if with the horses I have they can make a star at the top and keep going, that would be great. After that, I’m doing my law degree next door, and I’m only 18, so I still have time to look. I still have three years at Pole France, which gives me three years to think things over.
How do you feel about the beginning of your career, because in 2019 you are entering the international level for the first time?
I did my first interactive with a completely different horse. He didn’t want to fit in, he wasn’t built for the sport, he was sold for dressage. Then I immediately took Fire and along the way As Boy. With Ace, eight months later, I was already at the European Championships. It is true that he has risen very quickly, in less than eight months I have managed to prove that I have taken my place in international competition by winning the 2 * L Jardy, I am 12 years old.and at the European Championship with As Boy for my first championship. After that with As Boy we took 2nd in 3* Pouget at the end of the year and Fire already won the Pro 3 Grand National of Saumur this year.
What does Pôle France bring to you?
We are supervised every day, it’s just huge, we have real support, incredible facilities with exceptional conditions. I was there for a year and a half, I was a small exception, because I returned at 17, and not at 18, at my request. In my senior year I changed schools and my father accompanied me to Saumur for a year. I went to a very demanding private high school. The first year was not easy with the tuition and pressure of a bachelor’s degree, you needed mental strength to hold on. The results were not always there. There I begin to shine a little on the international stage, because all the time I worked hard and tirelessly. And behind that, there were so many failures that we had to stand up, wonder if it’s good to have such results today.
Full results here.