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The Next Generation: Edward Levy

Thursday, 26 October 2017
The Next Generation

Photo (c) Alice Bjerke Edward Levy is one of France's up and coming riders, making his mark on the international showjumping circuit. Photo (c) Alice Bjerke.

Drop out of school at the age of sixteen? Make the French team for the Longines FEI Nations Cup Finals in Barcelona six years later? Check and check, for Edward Levy. World of Showjumping met up with the 22-year-old, and discovered that fortune truly does favour the brave – you just need a little luck with the timing.

“I think I have been lucky to meet the right people at the right moment, and to have good horses,” Levy tells. “Making the team for the Final in Barcelona, it has been my dream. But I did not believe it would happen this year. It has been one of my objectives to be here – one day.”

Living near Deauville in Normandy, France, Levy first started to ride at a local pony club. “I was trained by people in my area and after the young rider time I decided that I wanted to be a professional rider. I think the system with the Europeans for the young riders is super; we get a lot of experience that way, we learn how to win, how to control pressure in the team and we have to build our professionalism. After doing the junior and young rider Europeans three times I wanted to make sure I was able to build something for myself, to make a career out of riding,” he tells. “I did my final exam in school when I was 16-years-old and I did one day at the university. I got back home after that one day and told my parents that I would have to choose either horses or studying. Doing both well would have been too hard, and I did not want to do both badly. I was very young, but my parents said that if I really was passionate about trying to make living with riding, I should do that for one year and then see,” he continues. “At that time, I met Patrice Delaveau and got a place as an intern in his stable.” 

Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping "I believe that when you work hard, follow your dreams and have the good horses at the right moment, then you have a chance to make it," Edward Levy says. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

In order to learn more, Levy also spent some time at Ludger Beerbaum Stables in Germany. “It was a great experience to see how a professional stable works,” Levy says. “Then I met Brianne Goutal in the US and I worked there for the winter, and during that time I met a group of people, who were all super motivated to create something new. So, we built up an association called Showjumping International together. Now I work for them full time,” Levy tells about how one thing led to another. “Showjumping International owns my good horses and I have a few other owners for some of my younger horses. I have 17 horses to ride at the moment.”

“I ride full time, every day. I have young horses showing in the beginning of the week and then international shows during the weekend. I have a super team behind me; a show groom is always with me during the weekends and two grooms are at home, plus one rider. I think it is a good system we have going,” Levy tells about his daily life. “We start at seven in the morning. I come to the stables around 7.20, I check the horses with the grooms and we talk, go through the plans and so on. Then I start riding, normally before eight o’clock, and I ride eight to nine horses per day. When the season is on, from Monday to Wednesday we have shows for the young horses and from Thursday to Sunday we have shows for the older, international horses. I have a few students that I train, also.” 

 you work hard, follow your dreams and have the good horses at the right moment, then you have a chance to make it," Edward Levy says. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping Edward Levy with his team mate Penelope Leprevost in Barcelona. “I dream about learning a lot," Levy says about his approach to the sport. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

“I still have a really close relationship with Patrice – he does not come at home to train me, but when we are at the same show we talk a lot. I train with Bertrand de Bellabre, he is very technical, and he gives me a lot advice on serenity and calmness,” Levy tells about his mentors. “I really admire Scott Brash. But I don’t have only one idol – I try to take something from everyone. When I think I have to improve my position I look at Brash, Marcus Ehning – when about connection with the horse, I look at Harrie Smolders, for example. It all depends on what I want to improve and then I look at the riders who are excellent at those particular areas.”

“I dream about championships, World Cup finals – the biggest events of showjumping,” Levy tells about his future goals.

But there is one goal bigger than any single title. “I dream about learning a lot and having knowledge about horses. I wish to build a nice system – it would be pretentious to say I want to build what Ludger has managed to do, but I have been there and have seen the biggest system in showjumping – if one day I can be a little bit like that, it would be great,” he says. “For sure it is not easy with so many good riders and horses in the world. But I believe that when you work hard, follow your dreams and have the good horses at the right moment, then you have a chance to make it.”


Text © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen // Pictures © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen and Alice Bjerke

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