Wimke is a 1.65m 14-year old dark bay Hanoverian mare. Camille Jaguelin an 18-year old parasports rider has been riding her since November 2016. The pair have been members of the para-equestrian dressage French team since January 2017. Last year they took part in the Deauville, Roosendaal (NED), Somma Lombardo (ITA) and Überherrn (GER) CPEDI 3*, as well as the Göteborg (SWE) European Championships.
This month TACANTE discovers the para-equestrian dressage world thanks to a very promising young couple who has decided to turn disability into a strength and aim for the highest international level!
Where does your name come from?
I haven’t got the slightest idea, I wasn’t even consulted! It must be my previous owner or my breeder who chose it. For those of you who hesitate it is pronounced as “Vimkeu” but Camille prefers the American way of saying it: “Waïmk”. Personally, I like both!
Where do you live? Can you describe your stables?
Since October I have been living in the Saumur ENE (Ecole Nationale d’Equitation) while Camille is studying at the Ifce for his DEJEPS diploma in dressage. It was out of the question to be separated and the grass is greener (and softer) than at Six-Four-les-Plages where we come from!
How do you get on with your stable mates?
I found my initial days in Saumur a little difficult. It was all very new for me and the other horses kept eyeing me with suspicion. I have to say that I am very sensitive and shy so there were good days as well as bad days. After an adaptation period I befriended everyone which is typical of me wherever I go. I grow attached to my fellow neighbours quite fast. I stand by the door of my stall and I neigh when they leave or as a sign of welcome when they come back. I love having other horses or people surrounding me which is why I must have a stall with bars, so I can see everything!
What do you like most about your rider?
Since we started working together Camille and I have had our ups and downs! We have only known each other for a short while but we have been through so much together already that we have really bonded! Camille was used to his previous horse, so he had to adapt to ride me it never was the other way round. Our first trial went smashingly well despite my lack of experience in para-equestrian dressage. I must admit that it wasn’t that easy to start with and my first reaction was to throw Camille off my back. But then it clicked, and I became better tuned to Camille’s handicap and the efforts he had to make. He says that I am a darling! I am a very clever mare, I don’t use Camille’s loss of balance to jostle him. Though in Göteborg when we were familiarising ourselves with the course, I got a sudden urge to express myself, probably too strongly though!
What are your best attributes?
Camille is very impressed by my intelligence! He says that I’m very knowledgeable thanks to my age and my experience! Since he is still very young it is a good balance! For example, on a shoulder-in to the right I know that he can’t put a lot of strength in his natural aides, yet I get it straight away. However, I can be rather cheeky on a shoulder-in to the left and I have to be persuaded to do it. But overall, I am quite reasonable as I know there is a time for everything. I keep a cool head when we compete. Camille fully trusts me which allows him to remain focused on the routine.
What is your worst flaw?
I am moody, I am a mare after all! As I was telling you earlier I am quite shy when I am not familiar with my surroundings and I can be quite reserved. But I can also be highly-strung especially in winters with the cold as I don’t like the cold at all! I am a complex mare, but I give it all when it is required.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I demand a lot of time and care from Camille. It is quite simple I adore to be looked after!
What is your favourite colour?
I am undoubtedly a princess, but Camille can be such a tasteless lad! What do I mean? Well, he has no issue matching a red
numnah with purple bandages for example! Fortunately, in competitions everything has to be white
… I am also rather fond of the classic navy blue
Which dream would you like to come true in your life?
Our dream, to Camille and I is to take part in the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020!
What makes you feel the happiest?
As there is no paddock at the ENE Camille finds other ways to satisfy my royal demands! He rides a lot of other horses at the moment but as soon as he’s got some free time he comes to see me with a bucket filled with carrots and apples! From time to time he also takes me to graze the yummy fresh grass of Saumur!
What do you dislike most in the world?
I can be wilful. I don’t like to be left on my own as I feel abandoned and I turn into a real pest!
What has been your best memory?
Without a doubt it was Göteborg where we finished 10th in the individual test! I find 3* competitions quite impressive so you can imagine what a step forward the European Championships represented for us! It all went so fast but what an amazing experience! I am so looking forward to the next European Championships!
Which frame of mind are you in at the moment?
I want for Camille and I to get to know each other better so we can progress technically and develop our skills further! The World Championships are taking place this year and we are very much looking forward to them if we get qualified! We have to thank our trusting partners, family and friends who believe in us.
Do you have a life motto you would like to share with us?
The same as Camille’s: “To turn my disability into a strength for my future!”.
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