Roger-Yves Bost’s many styles

 

The  

 

importance

 

of being

 

different

 

As a member of the national, French équipe for over 20 years, Roger-Yves Bost – better known as Bosty – is one of the most popular characters of the show jumping caravan. 

 

By Camilla Alfthan

 

The 48-year old grew up at Haras du Bruly in Barbizon, near the Fontainebleau Forest, where his family has run an equestrian centre for decades. In August, Bosty achieved his most important victory ever when he won gold at the European Championships.

 

“I learned from my parents at our home where I spent a lot of time looking after the horses, preparing them and doing everything as well as possibly; we developed a bond.  My father mostly rode thoroughbreds and with a lot of feeling,” tells Roger-Yves Bost during a break at the Gucci Masters.

 

What singles you out is that you have a style apart..

 

“That’s what’s good; I’m different from the others and that’s good.

We all ask the same thing of the horse when we ride, and I acquired a style when I was a child competing on poneys. I had to win and I rode all sorts of poneys, so I tried hard to win. And before that I tried to emulate many different riders. That means that I have a style that is mixed.”

 

When we see you it looks different, too..

 

“It depends on the horses. I try to have a large assortment of different techniques. I can change if I need to. The horses are very important, they are the ones who have to jump, so I must not annoy them, I must do my best so the result is the best.”

 

You are always very concentrated on the course..

 

“Yes, I walk the piste for quite a while. I’m concentrated on the objective and each obstacle, one by one, and that makes all the difference. I’m very focused and concentrated and that’s very important in the ring, to concentrate on each obstacle and not touch the bar. To ride well so the horse will give more.

I have a lot of technique. It’s like a pianist who is all alone and who has a lot of experience. My repertoire comes all by itself when it is needed and I can concentrate on the ride and the strides.”

 

How important is the horse compared to the rider?

 

“That is difficult to say. There are highs and lows to an extent that is different from any other sport.

If you have a good horse it is easier, perhaps you can say the horse is 70 per cent of the performance and on a bad day it is fifty-fifty.”

 

Who influenced you the most ?

 

“I had many different trainers, Robert Breul who taught me the basics and Jean d’Orgeix who had a lot of technique and who taught me a lot about the turns, Nick Skelton I watched a lot. My favorite is Nick Skelton with the mind of Ludger Beerbaum. There’s Rodrigo who is also exceptional. There are so many now. It changes every two to three months and level goes up all the time.

You really have to be motivated as it changes very quickly and the young riders at 25-30 are very strong, they have a physical shape that makes it easier for them. We who are older have the experience but we have to continue to work to stay on the top.”

 

“It’s like a pianist who is all alone and who has a lot of experience. My repertoire comes all by itself when it’s needed and I can concentrate on the ride and the strides.”

 

What is the reason for this change ?

 

“There’s more more money in the sport and everything goes faster. People arrive with horses that are better and everything is prepared in a better way.”

 

So the horses are better now ?

 

“Yes, there are more good horses. Their training is better, so generally, everything has gone up. On the other hand, if you were good ten-fifteen years ago you can still be a good rider, age is not a problem.”

 

Who is your favorite ?

 

“Myrtille is my favorite horse, she gave me gold (at the European Championships). I didn’t think she was able to do anything like that but she was incredible. She has a strong character. Every weekend she was with me. We are really the perfect couple and there she was really strong.

 

 

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