Flore Giraud is clearing ever more hurdles on her way to the pinnacle of show-jumping success. In a sport which is currently regaining popularity throughout the globe, Flore is jumping leaps and bounds on her way to peak performance.
“I was riding even before I was born” says the 24-year-old, acknowledging that her passion for all things equestrian comes from her mother. “When I was a little girl, you couldn’t get me out of the stables. I was riding, grooming, mucking in - I’d have slept there too if they’d let me! I had my first Shetland Poney when I was just 4 and started competing at 8.” The world has since become her chosen arena with world-beating success both at national and international Grand Prix such as Knokke, Equita Lyon, Wellington US and the 2019 Longines Masters in Paris.
“To nurture a relationship with horses requires sensitivity. They give you so much, you really have to build an instinctive relationship and that takes years of dedication. Of course, they sense how important it is when the Big Day comes. They are away from their home, they feel the crowd. Above all they sense your adrenaline. After all, you are demanding incredible achievements from them. You don’t get that without putting in the effort.”
Flore works at the estate Haras de Lécaude, located near Deauville in Normandy (France). The facilities are state of the art, equipped with an all-season riding arena, galop apparatus and spa. Horses, “the true athletes” as Flore insists, deserve only the best, with massages to ease their much in demand muscles. “It’s exactly the same as Formula 1. Edward Levy and I are the two riders at the Haras but all the staff around us make up the team, just like the technicians you find in the pits.” Mental attitude is 90% of the sport and Flore has her own mental coach. “It quickly becomes a virtuous circle of winning, positive attitude and how to cope with any down phases.”
Things “clicked” instantly when Flore met Amanda Mille. Both share a vision about the role of women in international competition. “It’s almost unique to have a sport where we compete on equal terms with men. On top of this I was struck by the brand’s commitment to detail. Our performance lasts a minute, but many years of preparation go into that minute. Every part of every second counts. I love the minutiae of perfection.”
Not to forget the other important feature which endears Flore to the RM 07-01 in Carbon TPT® and Titanium - its supreme lightness. “That’s exactly what I’m striving for when I approach each and every hurdle.”
FLORE GIRAUD's Watch