Exclusive HSJ interview with Patrice Delaveau at Piazza di Siena

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And here we are with our interview with one of the VIPs at this year’s Nations Cup at Piazza di Siena, where we contacted Patrice Delaveau who very kindly gave us a bit of his time (and it is not easy to find between the CSIO and everything else!) to answer some of our questions.
Firstly, we talked about the Furusiyya Fei Nations Cup, which is the most important equestrian event which takes place in Italy in the summer season and so we are really curious to know what are the feelings this event raises in one of the most experienced international riders and the world’s best (remember that Patrice Delaveau is currently number 6 on the ranking list) and what kind of Cup he expected today, given the caliber of the names in the field:
“I’m always very happy to come to Rome. For me it is one of the most beautiful shows, especially its traditional and it has a great history and it’s really a very particular feeling to live this year without Raimondo and Piero D’ Inzeo, for the first time …
All the best teams are here this week, especially Germany, which was not in La Baule last week to compete in their National Championships.
It will be a really tough event, not only do Germany have a formidable team, but also the Netherlands, Britain’s Scott Brash, Ben Maher and Peter Charles, France and do not forget the winners of last year , Ukraine.
The French team looks good, it is important for us to get a good result but we also have two young horses, Flora de Mariposa with Penelope and Leprevost For Joy van’t Zorgvliet with Kevin Staut both of which have nine.
The Nations Cup in Rome is always a very nice experience and I hope that will be the case this year, we will be the first to go out and I will close the round riding the Orient Express .“
We chose to explore different topics with a very experienced rider such as Delaveau, also reviewing some of those decisive events of the past months and analyzing those that will be in the near future, we start with France’s victory in the Nations Cup last week in La Baule, the same arena where Patrice Delaveu won the GP last year with Orient Express HDC after a wonderful round:
“La Baule is a fantastic event for us in France and it is important to begin the outdoor season with a good start in an event as important as that of La Baule, which usually hosts the first stage of Furusiyya Fei Nations Cup Europe Division 1 but this year many factors were different and have further raised the level of the event: the opening of the tournament was held in Lummen 15 days ago and most of the horses arrived in La Baule already in good athletic condition, then the weather was great and has been a major factor …
The organizer Remi Clergy did a really great job.
Last year it was important for me to get a good placement because it was part of my preparation for the European Championships in Herning , this year was different: Lacrimoso was out with an injury and Orient Express is preparing for the World Equestrian Games so I was at La Baule with Carinjo 9 and only for the Grand Prix , the atmosphere and the pressure that we felt around us were very different from the previous year … Orient Express was scheduled to participate at the CSIO in Rome and to avoid straining too much I saved it from La Baule. It was a good result considering that I finished in 3rd place in the GP and I’m very satisfied because it was really impossible to beat Lamaze with Powerplay.“
France have started well in the Nations Cup and have 100 points ahead of Belgium on 90 and Switzerland on 50 which makes them the team to beat at the moment:
“The team is doing really well, with a second place in Lummen and victory in La Baule, confirming that it was done a good job so far!
Then, you know that Germany, the Netherlands and Britain have really strong teams as ever, it is only the beginning and the road to Barcelona is a long one … “
Let’s go back a little bit now to Lyon, where last month we held the Fei World Cup finals, which this year was intense until the end also because of a very unfortunate turn of events.
Patrice Delaveau was among the favorites to win in the provisional standings but just before the final round of the competition he had to withdraw immediately due to an injury to Lacrimoso, which he also gave us some Equestrian World on his return:
“It was really a bad time, it was terrible to have to withdraw from the event when you are on top form and one of the favorites in the final of the World Cup, but this is also the sport and it was very dangerous for the health of Lacrimoso to continue the event.
Lacrimoso suffered a major injury but not serious one … An injury to the suspensory ligament but it can return in September.“
Lacrimoso and Orient Express HDC were called up to the World Equestrian Games but the former will not make the trip to Normandy – “Lacrimoso was on the list for World Equestrian Games with Orient Express, but will only be back in September so well have Orient Express, who I rode at the Euros in Herning last year.”
He then explained the difference between Orient Express, Lacrimoso and Carinjo who are completely different:
“Carinjo is really a top horse, we bought him after the London Olympics, he is now 13 and very experienced. He is an intelligent stallion, very on the mark but he has one problem he is in the same stables as star performers Orient Express and Lacrimoso! Despite this, on several occasions (see La Baule) he has proven very valuable to have him in the team … I’m lucky!
The characters of all three are very different from each other: Carinjo is the real stud of the house, in the stable he is restless and does get touchy, gets stressed very easily, you must know how to treat him and have a lot of respect.
Lacrimoso is “a very funny horse“! He always wants to play and you have to sometimes be a bit hard on him … He behaves with me as you would a friend.
It has a lot of blood and needs a lot of work.
Orient Express is completely different from the first two: always sleeps at home all day. But when he is jumping he wakes up, and totally changes, it becomes a lion!
I have no preference, I like all three, it seems trivial, but it’s the truth.
They have all different qualities, we can also talk about my terrible Ornella! It’s like an Italian mamma: particular but special with many qualities … “ Asked where he had any young horses in waiting, he replied: “No young jumpers for me… I have only old horses!“
Looking ahead to the next World Equestrian Games. France are reigning champions and they are at home.“Of course, France will be up there for the WEG, the pressure is so great for us this year, but we also know that there are several teams that have champions that can make a difference … We are talking about Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands and the United States. Not to mention what may be the surprise of the tournament, such as Qatar …
Really, it will be hard … “

During the Christmas break his colleague and teammate Roger-Yves Bost had anticipated that for the World Equestrian Games the element that would make a difference would be the management of horses during the previous months, we asked Patrice Delaveau if it would be the same:
“Of course, the management of the horses will definitely be important, but we know that between now and September it can run smoothly or there can be surprises of all kinds … We will try to manage the program of all the horses of the French team, which is not equal for all and we are confident in the skills and preparation of a professional and what a good coach Philippe Guerdat is.“
The last question was whether he had any free time from his commitments as a rider:
“I took a holiday with my wife and my daughter this winter, this summer will be rather hard with the WEG and five star events.
When I’m on holiday I like to do absolutely nothing! I’m at the beach, swimming, sleep … I like that!
My ideal holiday destination (expanding the imagination), it would be in New Caledonia.“
We asked him to choose one item for each of the following categories:
– A sport: Formula One
– A movie: “Intineraire d’un enfant gate“ by Claude Lelouch
– An artist (musician): Barry White
– A book: biographies about stars
– A garment: jacket and trousers
– A food / specialty: pasta
Finally … What is Patrice Delaveau’s dream?
“I do not have dreams, I do my job with passion and at the highest level and I have a wonderful family, then what else?“
Thank you again Patrice Delaveau who will be representing the France team at the Nations Cup in Rome.
(Marzia Cucchetti)

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