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Nicolas Touzaint: “Absolut was very keen and so was I”

This weekend, the CCIO4*LS test event at Pratoni del Vivaro in Italy welcomed a large field of riders, all eager to experience the terrain of the World Championships in September. As a team, Switzerland won with 94.9 points, just ahead of France with 99.1 points. Sweden completes the podium with 113.6 points. Individually, the victory went to the Swiss Robin Godel, associated with Grandeur de Lully CH. They are followed by German Ingrid Klimke with EQUISTROs Siena just do it. In third place, we find our Tricolore rider Nicolas Touzaint, who thanks to a cross penalized by only 0.8 points and a faultless equestrian sign a good resumption of competition for Absolut Golg*HDC.

Can you tell us about your weekend at Pratoni, the first outing of the season for Absolut Gold*HDC?

I’m very happy, the horse hadn’t been out since the Games for various reasons. We had decided to save it and not to race from the beginning of March in Saumur in the Grand National. We wanted to start him at Pompadour but they canceled because of the snow, so it had been a long time since he had done a competition again, he really wanted to and so did I! But at the same time I didn’t really know where I was in the preparation so I was impatient to know. The balance sheet is only positive. We put a work protocol on the flat in place with Amélie Billard (also assistant dressage for the Young Eventing Riders) who comes to my house every week to help me with my horses and especially with Absolut. We realized that it paid off because it’s the best recovery the horse has done, you really feel an evolution. Cross country has always been his thing, he was very comfortable, on very hilly terrain which still posed a lot of problems. He is faultless and I felt a lot of ease in the gallop. At the horse show he jumped wonderfully the next day, very fresh, not at all tested by the cross country. He jumped in a very reassuring way for the future. At the finish, he is third, running the three tests very well. There he returned last night this morning he is in great shape, it is very reassuring that allows me to take stock. There are two events left on his program, Vittel at the end of June and the Grand Complet du Haras du Pin in August to gradually increase the pressure to be on top in September.

What did you focus on working on the flat with Absolut?

There is a real evolution still to be done, to improve the technique and to improve everything that is functioning, softening so that it is more flexible and more harmonious to look at.

The CCIO4*S in Pratoni del Vivaro was a test event for the World Championships, what did you think of the terrain?

I already knew the terrain because I had already been there a few years ago. It’s one of the most beautiful cross-country grounds we have, it’s very beautiful and very hilly. In my opinion, in September it will really be a cross country event, you will need horses that can really gallop. They have put a lot of work in place, but we can see that in 3/4 months it will be magnificent. The quality of the ground is great, it will be a really good championship, there has already been a world championship and a European championship, and it has always been great events.

The second place of the French team, it is rather a good omen for the future?

A second place in the Nations Cup is always encouraging, especially on this ground, it means that the French team is preparing. It’s not a goal, we don’t know the composition of the team in three months, but it’s always encouraging.

France finished second, behind Switzerland and ahead of Sweden ©FEI/Richard Juilliart

What will be the different objectives of your season?

Each horse has a goal, for Absolut it is the World Championships. I am lucky to have Diabolo Menthe who reaches this level, who is third in the CCI4*L of Saumur and also finds himself qualified for the big deadlines to come. He will come, I hope to support Absolut afterwards. His end-of-year goal will be to race a 4*L like Bokelo again to continue gaining experience. I have another horse, 10-year-old Calipsso de l’Illon, who is starting the Grand Nationals this weekend at the Lion d’Angers, he is also a horse I am counting on a lot but who still has a few steps to climb. . Then I have other younger horses who are all in preparation for what’s next.

Full results HERE.

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