The Horse Circus: 2.7.14

The Horse Circus

We pretend to go to the horse show but everyone really knows it’s a circus!

Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!

Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows currently under way.

Jumping International de Bordeaux poster

Jumping International de Bordeaux 2014

It’s called Jumping International de Bordeaux, but this world class, not to mention World Cup, event that kicked off last night in France and runs through Sunday, February 9, brings much more than just enormous fences.  On top of the FEI Longines World Cup qualifier in show jumping, there are two World Cup finals in driving and vaulting, an opening presentation by the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, and the premiere of an indoor cross-derby with the elite in eventing from around the world.

Of course, the jumping at Bordeaux is no small matter.  As one of the founding fathers of the World Cup circuit, winning at this historical location is an important prize for any top equestrians, not to mention a step toward qualifying for the 2014 FEI World Cup Finals in Lyon, France this April.  Plus, there is an interesting distinction to this Grand Prix.  It is the only one that has never been won by a female rider.  So let’s pull for the ladies this year!

The World Cup Driving final brings together six four-in-hand drivers from four nations that earned their spots over nine qualifiers held from October 2013 to January 2014.  Each contestant has already walked away with at least one win in the qualifiers, so the competition promises to be a spectacle.  Just look at this tricky turn!

© Rinaldo de Craen

© Rinaldo de Craen

Meanwhile, the World Cup Vaulting final is set to see the premiere of pas de duex competition along side individual male and female events.  Competitors in the new event will include the United States’ sisters Kimberly and Cassidy Palmer, who are looking strong after earning top finishes during the World Cup qualifying season.  Check out the amazing feats you can expect from the Palmers and the individual participants.

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 12.12.24 AM


Vaulting at Bordeaux

Last, but certainly not least, is the introduction of an Indoor Derby at Bordeaux.  Riders in this event will face a cross-country style course, featuring many of the solid fences familiar to the discipline, set up between the main arena and the warm-up area.  Time and faults rule the day, much like traditional show jumping.  Plus, rumor has it the event is customarily accompanied by some rock music and a rowdy crowd.  Sounds like fun!

If that is too much excitement for you, don’t worry.  Bordeaux organizers promise that the Jumping L’Expo will be in full effect again this year, with all the boutiques and cafés a French equestrian fan can handle.  And if you can’t be there in person, head over to FEITV.  They are featuring live coverage of events each day.


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