New Saulieu International in France Sets Example of Community Involvement

Many stateside horse trials have recognized the value of involving the whole community. After all, having horses in our life is a gift, and it’s beneficial to everyone when we are able to share that gift. The Event at Rebecca Farm in Montana and Red Hills Horse Trials in Florida are two shining examples of events that are getting community involvement right.

It’s worthwhile to look around the globe for examples of events that are committing not just to serving the equestrian community, but to involving the community at large. A new event taking place this week in France, Saulieu International Horse Trials, is doing just that, offering the general public the opportunity to be involved in a high-level and friendly sporting competition.

The Société de Concours Hippique de Saulieu, chaired by Didier Loison, a sheep breeder, went on to organize the event after France Complet certified the site as a “Best Regional Hope” in 2018. Located on 30-hectares in the heart of Burgundy and the Morvan Regional
Natural Park, it is this week hosting its first international one- and two-star competition.

Many activities parallel to the event are planned: an exhibitors’ village, catering by local producers (and — just to reiterate — this is in Burgundy!), a pop rock concert, herding dog demonstrations, handling maneuverability exhibitions, etc. And admission is free.

Eighty competitors will represent six nations: France, Tunisia, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain and Italy. A few big French names suit are making the trip to Saulieu, including Maxime Livio, ambassador of the competition and Team Bronze Medalist at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon in 2018, as well as Thibaut Fournier, winner of the CCI5 * in Pau in 2018. Maxime is currently first and second after Friday dressage in the two-star with his horses Waitangi Amazon and Enjoy de Keroue.

Two Swiss riders are fresh back from the Tokyo Olympics, Eveline Bodenmüller and Mélodye Johner, who finished 17th individually. Mélodye leads the one-star dressage with Qador d’Aubrie Z.

The owner of the winning horse in each class will be rewarded by one of the partners of the event, very emblematic of the region and Saulieu, with a meal for two at the high gastronomic French restaurant Relais Bernard Loiseau. The best three French amateur riders in each class will be given a prize by the saddler Devoucoux.

We wish this event the best of luck in its inaugural running. Live results will be available here. View more information at the website here.