Valma de Fougnard is a 9-year-old brown bay pony Français de Selle by Kantje’s Ronaldo and Qure de la Rive. Valma was born at the Fougnard breeding farm based in La Chapelle Themer in the Vendee region. She started jumping aged 4 under the saddle of Anaïs Tournade with whom she won the title of France Vice Champion of 4yo ponies. In 2015 Valma then moved to Aurore Loison stables with whom she competed until the age of 7 on both the young pony tour as well as the amateur tour. Since 2016 the pony has been the propriety of the Desmaizières family and has been shining under the saddle of Louise. These days they travel together across France to conquer the most prestigious Ponies Grand Prix.
This month, TACANTE dives into the ponies universe with Valma de Fougnard and Louise Desmaizières a young pair determined to reach the highest international level!
Where does your name come from?
I have no idea. You should ask my breeder who would know for sure, well I hope he would! Anyhow I think I am lucky to have been named Valma. I really like my name and I thank my breeder for it. I know others who haven’t been so lucky with their names!
Where do you live? Can you describe your stables?
I currently live at the Ecuries de Sévennes
in Plaisance-du-Touch 20 mn South-West of Toulouse. There are four boarding stables housing horses and ponies in addition to the pony club. I am rather lucky as I live in the greatest barn where the box stalls are the biggest! I can therefore lie down and roll on the floor as much as I like! Although we are in barns the added benefit is that I can look out to see what is going on and be up-to-date with all the stables’ gossips thanks to the big opened windows. I lead a 5* life without a doubt !
How do you get on with your stable mates?
I am rather sociable, so I get on well with Telma who is in the stall next door on the left. When the weather is nice we even go grazing together in the paddock. Then you will find my mum Qure de la Rive on the other side, I love her. I always give her a kiss whenever I leave my stall! And then you have my best friend Sweety Vertefeuille with whom I always travel to competitions who stays in the stall diagonally opposite mine.
What do you like most about your rider?
Her sweets of course! Louise always gives me a sweet when we finish a session or after a competition tour when she is still on my back. I love eating so obviously I love Louise! At the beginning of our partnership I was fearful but now I stick to her like glue. I can’t be blamed as Louise gives the best hugs and cuddles of the club. I have been addicted since day one!
What are your best attributes?
My rider says that I am very strong and very conscientious. I am always careful how I position my legs as I hate touching the obstacle poles.
What is your worst flaw?
I am as good as gold. I am not very mischievous. On the other hand, Louise says that I can easily lose my impulsion. She even says that my galop is so comfortable that it nearly puts her to sleep!
What is your guilty pleasure?
I am extremely fond of fruit purée drinks and scratches but only in specific areas. My favourite spots are behind the ears slightly above the neck and on my withers.
What is your favourite colour?
Without hesitation I would say navy blue
and silver. I heard that at Tacante they have a silver badge named after me!
Which dream would you like to come true in your life?
I’d love to participate in the European Championships this year with my rider Louise Desmaizières. Actually, it’s more than a dream. It’s our goal and we will give ourselves fully to achieve it.
What is your favourite activity?
My favourite activity? I would say training on series of jumps because I love jumping and outdoor trot as well.
What makes you feel the happiest?
Well, horse forage that I could eat all day long… and for dessert fruit purée drinks! Eating is obviously my favourite hobby.
What do you dislike most in the world?
I can’t stand it when Louise gets tensed on my back. I can feel everything she feels so when Louise stresses I also do stress and I don’t like being stressed! And another thing which I am not a fan of: curry-combs. They sting!
What has been your best memory?
I have two best memories actually! The 2017 Salon du Cheval de Paris Grand Prix which I won with Louise in front of the Parisian public and the Wierden CSIOP where I finished on a clear round.
Which frame of mind are you in at the moment?
I guess you’ve heard that my competition friend Sweety got injured. Louise is awfully sad about it and I’d like to put a smile back on her face. I am therefore determined to take over Sweety and to do the best I can to give Louise what Sweety had in mind for Louise’s last year competing in the ponies championships!
Do you have a life motto you would like to share with us?
Whatever the circumstances if my rider is present and motivated I would go to the world’s end for her.
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