Friday, April 30, 2004

France: Pierre Cazes - The Heart of French Endurance

Pamela Burton

Born in 1950, married with 2 children -
A veterinarian, Pierre Cazes has been in charge of the Selection process for the French National Endurance team since 1991. He was named National trainer in 1994 and continues in that position to this day.

Under his leadership, French riders have accumulated 26 medals for European and World Championships, 9 of which were Gold medals. These medals include:

1992, Barcelona, Team Gold, Silver Individual

1994, The Hague, Team Gold / Silver & Bronze Individual

5 horses in the first 6 places

1997 Rome, Championship of Europe ? 5 top placces and Team Gold

2000 Compiegne, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Individual

2002 Jerez, Team Gold, Bronze Individual

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2004 La Baule CEIO*** Coverage

In a training course in 1998, these were some of his points of recommendation, in translation, of course, for choosing the endurance horse.

“For the endurance horse, one is not necessarily looking for the traditional gates as in more structured disciplines. You do not need a trot with action or a rounded and collected gallop, which use too much energy. The good paces of endurance are horizontal, relaxed and slow. We can see these paces develop the more the horse is worked. However, if it is the horses’ natural inclination to be collected in it’s gates, it will be difficult to dissuade the horse from his natural inclination. As far as cardiac, a powerful horse has a good recovery. Certain horses have this naturally but it is primarily a question of work and one cannot give measurable criterion on a horse that is not in condition. There will be some indices of the cardiac quality of recovery only after the first months of work. The heart rate at rest is not a good index. As far as the mental aspect of the horse, champions are relaxed and educated and work well with their riders, but they may not be horses that may be ridden by everyone. They all have a great force of character and each one has its characteristic of behavior, its small touch of madness.

Much can be found out by observing the arrivals from a race. No horse is perfect, and even the best have their weak points. The significant thing is to know your horse and to be able to manage the weak points as well as possible. When one buys a horse for endurance, the surest solution is obviously to look at its record in endurance. It should be known that the best horses were bought by chance before they were ever run for reasons as simple as color or looks, or because nobody wanted it, or the stockbreeder sold it in a batch. Finally let us not forget the genetic references: certain lines prove to be stable in their quality for the endurance.”

A la prochaine fois, Pamela

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