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Looking forward to the Palace of Versailles

Looking forward to the Palace of Versailles
Dressage riders Christian Schumach, Victoria Max-Theurer, Florian Lehfellner (APA)
Image: APA/BARBARA GINDL

SALZBURG. Equestrian sport kick-off for Paris 2024 in Salzburg: Austria’s equestrian elite met 172 days before the Olympic opening and 205 days before the Paralympics opening ceremony for a two-day Paris workshop in the Hotel Elixhauser Wirt. The show jumping, dressage, paradressage teams and the individual eventing competitor, Lea Sigl, are ready for the adventure under the sign of the five rings.

“The Olympic flame burns even brighter for me now. The anticipation has come to life here,” said 38-year-old dressage rider Victoria Max-Theurer, who is about to take part in her sixth Olympics. She was particularly impressed by the setting. “Great, it will certainly be unique to be able to ride in front of this historical backdrop of the Palace of Versailles.”

A final obstacle for Lea Sigl

Lea Sigl secured her ticket to Paris through the Olympic rankings, but there is still one hurdle for the 25-year-old from Hargelsberg to overcome. “I still need a qualification criterion with a long test. That has to happen in mid-April,” reported Sigl, who is also challenged with her horses: “One (Van Helsing, note) is already qualified, my favorite (Fighting Line, note. ) not yet,” she said.

By the way, the special guest at this event was karateka Bettina Plank, who lives in Linz and won bronze in Tokyo in 2021. “What she said about her mindset, of simply trusting herself to do seemingly impossible things, of how you can find your sporting focus again after setbacks – that was very authentic and exciting,” said Austria’s top show jumper Max Kühner.

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