Chantilly is not the capital of horses for nothing and is in fact home to nearly 4,000 steeds (of which 2,800 are race horses), along with equestrian centers, a horse museum, Henson horses offering all comers an opportunity to go for a ride in the magnificent forest and the Polo Club where up to 800 horses can take up residence at any one time!
The riders of the Longines Global Champions Tour enjoyed the benefit of this location where an introduction to this other equestrian sport, given by French No. 1 rider, Brieux Rigaux, was offered on the Saturday morning before the Global trials.
Three riders took part: Philippe Rozier (who had already tried his hand last year and showed himself to be extremely at ease this year, to the point where he even attempted a near-side shot); Swedish Henrik van Eckermann, visibly the most talented, who was very rapidly able to direct the ball around the field at full gallop; and poor Constant Van Paesschen who struggled to hit the ball at a walk, forcing him to admit “It’s not my sport”. That didn’t prevent him from brilliantly winning the Masters Airbus the following day.
Brieuc Rigaux’ conclusion: “Polo gives you wings!”