New developments at Officiel de France !

Mark your calendars, the mythical Officiel de France de La Baule will be held from th th 17 to 20 May 2018, and will bring, like every year, its share of strong emotions. While waiting for the return of the World Elite of show-jumping, on a brand new grass arena, the organizing committee already announces a few innovations…

A new nomination in the organizing team

For the 2018 edition, Rémi Cléro, President of the Officiel de France de La Baule, following the disappearance of Patrick Michaud, wished to entrust the position of sport director to Frédéric Cottier. He will carry out this new mission together with course designing.

Frédéric Cottier : « I thought this proposal through, and started a month ago. My mission consists in devising the sports program, and maintaining the relations with the FFE and the FEI. I went recently to Barcelona to attend the meeting of CSIO5* organizers. Regarding this new mission, which takes place mainly before the show, Yann Thomas agreed to be my referent all year round regarding the preparation of the grounds, jumping material, and relations with the technical services of the City of La Baule in charge of preparing the show grounds. He is from La Baule and knows perfectly the equestrian facilities of the site. During the event, I will assume a role of coordinator that will by no means interfere with my job of course designer. »

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A brand new grass arena! 

A totally renovated grass arena waits for the competitors of the Officiel de France de La Baule.  The works, achieved under the contracting authority of the City of La Baule, consisted in renovating the infrastructure and the surface of the ground over its existing subsoil. The substrate (in Lavaterr®) has been partly preserved to be used as a base for a permanent drainage layer, and a new work layer in soil-sand substrate (under the same principle as Dublin and Hickstead show grounds). The ground has been raised by twenty centimeters compare to the previous one. The drainage system has been reinforced with a new network of drains, a drainage layer and two superficial drainage networks. The watering system has been renovated and maximized.  In October, the ground will be turfed with a mixture of ray-grass and pâturin.

Frédéric Cottier : « The sand arenas, and especially the grass arenas must be renovated over time. The decomposition is linked to their lifespan. The show ground belongs to the City of La Baule, and these renovation works were already planned two years ago. The drainage problems had been partly solved, but were not the circuit and all the improvements that have been implemented were included in a normal transition, a plus that was necessary. The fact that the ground has been raised for 2018 will allow us to improve the comfort of the horses, especially for the Derby. In case of heavy rains, the grass arenas may suffer more, which is why it is necessary to renovate them regularly. »

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