Each Olympic year, the 5 stars show jumping competitions are the subject of some attention, but the CSIO5* have a much more particular flavor. An “O” for Official but it could ring also as “Olympic” as the only competition format similar to the Olympic Games one.
A total of 19 CSIO5* will be organised in 2016, dispatched in the 6 world regions of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup series, among them 9 for Europe Division 1 and one unique meeting in France, in La Baule, from May 12th to 15th, the only 5 stars competition of the weekend.
Many riders competing in La Baule this year will be dreaming of adding an Olympic gold medal to their record. And there could be a real probability to admire the successor of the current Olympic champion, the Swiss rider Steve Guerdat; of the Olympic champion 2008, the Canadian Eric Lamaze; of the Olympic champion 2004, the Brazilian rider Rodrigo Pessoa, loyal riders in La Baule.
Looking to create their team for Rio, the chefs d’équipe will aim to test their best elements on an Olympic model competition, the Longines International Jumping of La Baule that will consist in: a qualifying event for the Grand Prix on Thursday 12th (speed class in Rio), then the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup on Friday 13th (same class in Rio), and end with the Longines Grand Prix of La Baule on Sunday 15th (individual final in two rounds in Rio).
Steve Guerdat (SWI), Olympic champion 2012
“It is difficult to talk about the CSIO5* of La Baule as it is still too early in the season. Therefore the Jumping of La Baule is a competition I love. It’s a magnificent event which has to be one of my favourite of the season. The Officiel de France has an extraordinary atmosphere, it is a traditional competition where big names of the discipline have triumphed but also plenty more things it offers that I adore. Some horses will come to jump in La Baule to qualify or prepare for the 2016 Olympics depending on each other’s programme. I can’t say that this competition is a test to be passed for Rio but it will definitely have a certain impact on some riders. The CSIO5* of La Baule is for me a legendary competition I like to participate as well as its Derby. I hope to be there again in 2016.”