Zazie Gardeau: The next golden generation

In her last year competing as a young rider, Zazie Gardeau won the individual gold medal at the European Championships in Hartpury, England, riding César de Commarin LA. After a season of impressive achievements, now’s the time to take a short, well-earned break. But before that, our Antarès rider answered a few questions.

How are you feeling 48 hours after the championships?
“I’m still on cloud 9. I can’t believe it. I’m hugely pleased. It’s a great way to cap my time as a young rider. It really makes up for when Udine got injured at the European Championships for young riders and juniors last year. I felt like giving up but I’m proud that I persevered. The work paid off!”

What was César’s programme to prepare for the championships?
“César and I spent 3 weeks in Italy at the start of the season to get back into it. We competed in a full 1* international event at Montelibretti where we came 4th. We then took part in the 3* event where we came 6th! That meant we qualified for the European Championships. After a 6-week break, we finished 3rd in the CCI 3* Short at Saumur, out of more than 120 competitors. We made some final adjustments at the Pro 1 competition at Le Lion d’Angers then we came 4th in the Pro 2 event at the French Championships in Vittel.”

What was your programme?
“I have a sports coach who monitors me and I run and exercise in the gym when I have time. With 3 horses to ride, I’ve got a busy agenda. I also work with Carine Camboulives for the mental training.”

How does César recover after an event like that?
After each major competition, I use Clémence Gallé at the Sanboméa spa and fitness centre in Agen. César spent 15 days there. The rest of his programme depends on his mood. We’ve got plans for a 4* event at the end of the year or we’ll take a break if he needs it.”

Do you have a favourite object or item that you always have with you when competing? If so, what is it?
Yes, I always wear one of my grandmother’s bracelets.

And for César, is he more apples or carrots?

What about you? Given the current heat waves, do you reach for an Italian ice cream or a Magnum?
(after a slight hesitation) “Italian ice cream”.

We’d like to congratulate Zazie and César and wish them happy holidays. We can’t wait to catch up with you next season.