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Upsilon the bilingual “superstar” as his rider Tom calls him, took a few minutes from his busy schedule to answer a few questions for Tacante.

© Hélène Chancerelle

Upsilon is a 9-year-old grey stallion performing under the saddle of Thomas Carlile. A son of the famous Canturo and O’Vive, Upsilon is a Holsteiner and Anglo-Arab cross born in the Gers area in the South-West of France at Patrick and Marie-Pierre Sisqueille breeding farm. When he was a yearling he was spotted by Thomas who found him very promising. He thus decided to sell his two horses to purchase Upsilon in his 3rd year. The couple has just been selected to compete in the OG/WEG group for France.

The bilingual “superstar” as his rider Tom calls him, took a few minutes from his busy schedule to answer a few questions for Tacante.

Where does your name come from?

You would need to ask Marie-Pierre Sisqueille as I don’t really know. My brothers and sisters tend to be given names with O’ taking after our mother O’Vive. My half-brother was named Trouble-Fête because he was born while our breeders were having a party! As for Upsilon it is the 20 th letter in the Greek alphabet and it represents the number 400 – the same as my IQ  – is all I can say!

Do you prefer to work with a male or female rider? Why?

Well! I have a soft spot for female riders as they are easier, lighter and softer with me! But I would make an exception for one male rider: Thomas. We get on so well! With him business is business!

Where do you live?

I live at the Lion d’Angers in the old yard. My stable is at the end of the row so I don’t get bothered by horses on both sides – one neighbour is more than enough for me! To tell the truth I am not sociable I like to be on my own and I get agitated around other horses. My stable is rather grand – 6m x 5m – with a door at the front and one at the back so I can look outside and inside the yard!

What do you like most about your stable mates?

When they leave me alone unlike Sirocco who loves to be the centre of attention. He is Mr Popular! I appreciate company but to a certain degree. I don’t like too much pestering and nagging! But Sirocco can’t help it! You will find that he occasionally bears bite marks on his neck. This means he has gone too far once more!

What is your guilty pleasure?

Cuddles and work! Tom says that I am a hard-working horse generous with work. When we go hacking and we reach the top of a hill I give a shake of the head for the good work I’ve just done!

What is your favourite colour?

Navy blue and maroon suit me quite well. I find navy blue quite posh, it brings out the blues and greys in my coat. I like green too, the colour of grass and apples!

Which dream would you like to come true in your life?

First, I would like to have a successful and injury-free career. Then, I would love to be recognised and remembered as the great horse that I am. And finally, it would be great to produce a handful of champions!

What is your favourite discipline?

I adore both show jumping and cross-country as I love speed. Tom would also say that I have a good ability for dressage. I have really understood the benefits of the dressage movements as they help me improve in the other disciplines. I am working on piaffer at the moment. You should see me when I achieve a good step, I am happy with myself and I shake my head.

What makes you feel the happiest?

I love a good roll after work. When I am off the lorry after a competition my carers have barely got time to take my protections off that I rush to have a good roll. And I am going to tell you a little secret: I enjoy going round the paddock and sniff every dropping. My little tour ends with a canter and I am happy!

What do you dislike most in the world?

I cannot stand being brushed under the belly or being girthed. I even have trouble containing myself. And as I get very agitated when around other horses I kick when I have to travel with another horse. Tom has to strap a mattress behind me to protect my hind limbs and to stop the noise. And there will always be an empty space between me and another horse in the lorry!

Which natural gift would you like to have?

Fly as I spend so much time in the air.

What has been your best memory?

Winning the Event Rider Masters in Blenheim in 2016 for lots of reasons:
– The ERM is a great professional circuit promoting the eventing sport.
– Blenheim is such a special location in England: the birthplace and ancestral home of Winston Churchill.
– Tom grand-parents and parents came to see us compete.
– I was the youngest horse in the competition.
– Expectations were high as I had already made a name for myself in France.
– And I won!
It was a great achievement to win in the UK where I had started to be heard of!

Which frame of mind are you in at the moment?

I am very confident this year, I have matured. Last year even if I showed very good performances I was still in the new. I never refused to do anything but I would seek reassurance from my rider. Whereas this season I am more comfortable, I am faster in X-country and I have strengthened. I have reached a higher level.

Do you have a life motto you would like to share with us?

“FIGJAM” as they would say in Australia  ! Tom admits that I am a bit of a show-off as I know I am good! I am a superstar!

How can we keep up to date with your news?

On Thomas Carlile Facebook page (though he is definitely not the best at keeping it updated!) and Genetiqu’anglo website.

Additional reading: Meet Qalao des Mers

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