CWD, the official supplier for the French vaulting team.
The French vaulting team trains on a daily basis in the idyllic surroundings of the École nationale d’équitation (National Riding School) in Saumur, a leafy setting dedicated to two- and four-legged athletes.
Davy Delaire, the trainer, works with a team of diverse individuals. As he likes to put it, “It’s a big team with its fair share of fun and bickering”. Aged between 12 and 25 years old, his recruits are at very different stages of their lives. Take, for example, Manon, a physical education student, who at the age of 21 has already spent seven years at the elite training facility. Or Anthony, who is 25 and combines high-level performance with his career as a photographer and film-maker. And of course, the ‘flyers’ as they are known – three 12-year-old schoolgirls ... they are all striving to find a balance between a ‘normal’ life and that of a high-level athlete.
Davy instils this drive for performance in them every day during his training sessions. The sessions are divided into two. The first takes place at the ENE medical center, which is actually a gym, with the exception of a mechanical horse which has ended up there. The vaulters spend their time warming up, practising their balance and rehearsing their program, while keeping an attentive eye on their trainer. The second part of the session takes place on horseback, in one of the many rings at the ENE. They help one another in a constant spirit of teamwork, with jokes
flying between the team members ... “Right girls, are we going to get in shape or are we going jet skiing ?”
Pad, surcingle, lunge line... the vaulters use CWD equipment both during training and in competitions. Davy Delaire explains: “It all began with a meeting with Laurent Duray. We chatted about the team’s needs in terms of equipment, to ensure the horses are as comfortable as possible.
This meeting took place at the very early stages of the 2Gs saddles, when CWD was starting to explore the potential of composite materials. Our two teams then embarked upon research to develop equipment which would ensure maximum comfort for the horses. And we succeeded, because we significantly reduced the number of injuries our horses suffered. A real victory !”
See you at the Games !