Best To Star At Horse Of The Year Show
Grandstand Media announced today that Jean Francois Pignon is to
be the headline display at this year's Horse of the Year Show (The
NEC Arena, Birmingham 9-13 October).
Described by Horse & Hound as 'the best equestrian display ever
to visit this country', the incredible bond between Jean Francois
and his horses produces a stunning performance that totally enchanted
Horse of the Year Show visitors when he last appeared in the UK
in 2000. "We are delighted that Jean Francois will be making
his only British appearance this year at Horse of the Year Show',
commented Grandstand Media director Mark Wein. "We consider
him to be the best equestrian entertainment in the world and in
his previous two appearances at Horse of the Year Show, his stunning
performance has totally captivated the audience. Now, with
Horse of the Year Show moving to The NEC Arena in Birmingham, we
anticipate a new audience in addition to our frequent visitors and
felt that Jean Francois was the perfect highlight in this exciting
This year, Jean Francois Pignon will be performing a new display
that has never been seen before in this country. His act will take
place every evening and during the afternoon performances on Friday,
Saturday and Sunday and will be supported by two further displays
which will be announced shortly.
Pignon, from near Montelimar in France, is delighted to be returning
to Horse of the Year Show: "The crowd at this show is very
appreciative - they are amongst the best in Europe and last time
they gave me standing ovations which was amazing. It will be an
honour to return to such a friendly show and hopefully many more
people will be able to come and enjoy seeing me at Horse of the
Pignon's breathtaking display is the result of years of hard work
and dedication which have developed the unique trust between him
and his horses. Former show jumper and leading jockey, Johnny Francome
commented "If you see it advertised anywhere, you must see
this mesmerising display of trust and skill...one can only marvel
at the months and years that have gone into it. It is a performance
really worth going to watch...a really wonderful show."
Horse of the Year Show is Britain's biggest indoor equestrian event
and features over 120 hours of top competition and entertainment
over five days. The timetable includes world-class displays together
with a full international show jumping programme, national championship
showing and all of the major domestic show jumping finals. In addition
there is high speed scurry driving, the exciting Pony Club Mounted
Games and a dedicated shopping Pavilion with over 150 stands.
The Horse of the Year Show box office is now open. (Tel 0870 0101052).
Tickets range from £16 - £45 with concessions for senior
citizens and children under 15. For Ringside Hospitality and Group
Discounts (12+) call 020 8900 9282.
Further show information and latest news can be found at http://www.hoys.co.uk
Jean-Francois Pignon was nine years old when his father bought a
yearling filly to save her from the butcher. This was little Jean-Francois'
Christmas present, which, because of her thin legs, he named her
Gazelle. She was never ridden and the youngster spent all his free
time playing with her. In this way he discovered a unique relationship
with horses which was destined to become his career.
grace of Gazelle, the pretty, white mare has already adorned performances
in a dozen countries meeting with success on every occasion. In
recent years Gazelle has been joined by her daughter Salza, a fifteen
year old Iberian mare in an exquisite display of liberty.
communication and supreme level of confidence is the essence of
this remarkable performance. Everything is based purely upon the
natural relationship with the horses and their flowing, playful
instincts. Jean Francois plays with his horses like one would play
with a child to nurture it - a totally new way of working with horses.
There are no spurs, whips of other instruments to make the horses
perform - simply a loving way of playing with them. By understanding
their behaviour, Jean Francois is able to gain their absolute trust
to such an extent that they play with him as if he were another