From 5th to 8th May will be held the International Jumping of La Baule in the François André stadium. Organized in a green bower, this 61st edition promises to be thrilling with its legendary CSIO5* of France, support to the only French Nations Cup for the world elite of showjumping and to the first Rolex Grand Prix City of La Baule. If the La Baule show guarantees, in 2022, its share of strong emotions to its faithful public of enthusiasts, it is a new breath that also awaits the best riders and horses in the world. Because behind the scenes, the show organisation strengthens its team in order to offer a exceptional jumping.
Frédéric Cottier takes over the reins of sports management
Former rider member of the French team, bronze medalist at the Seoul Olympics (1988), Frédéric Cottier is also known as international course designer. Labellised « Level 4 » by the FEI, which earns him the right to design the courses for major world competitions, among which the 2014 World Championships (Caen), Frédéric Cottier has been designing the courses of the CSIO5* of France in La Baule for the past fifteen years. In 2022, his expertise of the international high level leads him to take the reins of the sports management of the International Jumping of la Baule, at the request of its president, Pierre de Brissac. A mark of recognition from the La Baule show which rewards his commitment and loyalty during all these years.
« The president of the Jumping asked me to take over the sports management of the show, and quite naturally I accepted. The Officiel de France is a unique event which is part of the competitions I enjoyed riding when I was a rider. Then I designed the courses at the request of the president René Pasquier. Obviously I feel a particular attachement for La Baule » says Frédéric Cottier. « From now on, in collaboration with the organizing committee, my mission will be to ensure the smooth running of the sport. In particular, it is my responsability to produce the preliminary program of the show, to work closely with the show officials, to handle the invitations of the teams and the individual foreign riders in the CSIO5* of France… So many missions that could resemble those of a technical delegate in a major championship. » continues the sport director. « By accepting this new challenge, it was then necessary to choose a new course designer to replace me since it was impossible for me to combine the two functions. I therefore suggested to Pierre de Brissac to nominate Grégory Bodo, who has been my first assistant in La Baule for six years. To me, he has all the required qualities. We are at the moment the two only course designers labellised Level 4. Grégory (Bodo) knows very well the specificities of the arena, and I am convinced he will be able to benefit from the experience he has acquired. What is important to me is that we both work with the same objective: build courses in the respect of the horse. » concludes Frédéric Cottier.
Grégory Bodo, the new course designer of the Officiel de France
Grégory Bodo, 43 years old, is the man chosen by the new sports director, in consultation with the president of the event, to stage the world elite during the 2022 edition of the La Baule show. Reknown for being one of the best course designers in the world, and also one the favorites to officiate at the 2024 Paris Olympics, Grégory Bodo already signed the courses at reknown 5 star competitions: CSI5* Saut Hermès, Eiffel Jumping (Global Champion Tour), CSI5* Masters of Chantilly, CSI5* of St Tropez, CSI5* Grimaud, CSI5*-W of Lyon, CSI5* of Knokke (BEL), CSI5* of Lausanne (SUI)… and collaborated on major world events as an assistant : World Championships 2014, World Cup Final 2018, European Young riders championships 2018, European championship 2019, Tokyo Olympics 2020, European championship 2021…
If the quality of his courses always makes unanimity among professionnal and amateur riders, the international Level 4 course designer, also teaching in marketing and management in a business school, remains modest in spite of his collaboration to 35 shows per year in France and abroad. Grégory Bodo stays also, and mainly faithful to his values and convictions.
« This nomination is an honor and I thank Frédéric Cottier, the president of the Jumping and his team for their trust. Designing the courses of the only CSIO5* of France is a dream for any course designer » confides Grégory Bodo. « I know the grass arena of La Baule very well since I have been working as a course designer assistant for Frédéric (Cottier). I know how it can react, just like the horses. La Baule is one of the first outdoor shows and it is always very intriguing for the horses to evolve on this site after the indoor season. Most of the time, the riders enter two horses, their top horse and a second one that must gain experience. My target is not to revolutionize everything, which is not possible due to the topography of the arena, but to offer beautiful and good sport with horses evolving in total security, and respect their welfare, which is my priority. Fluidity, forward movement, difficulties posed to the riders and not to the horses, no oversized fence, a sustained rhythm… are the rules for my courses in La Baule. On the scenography side, I will play with the colors of the poles, the fences profiles and the floral decoration. It is at this level that my signature will perhaps be recognized » the course designer explains before concluding « I will be in La Baule a few days before the show with already some course outlines and movements. Then I will gauge their feasibility in the arena. There might be some modifications, but I will have built 80% of my classes. »
In his new mission, Grégory Bodo will count on a team of assistants composed of Yann Thomas, Quentin Perney, Eddy Castellon and Xavier Trouilhet.