Q&A with Top Show Jumper Peter Leone

Get the inside scoop on the upcoming Quebec-based NAL Bromont from Olympian Peter Leone. This event kicks off the 2017-2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League.

Peter Leone competing with Capito Z at Live Oak. Nancy Jaffer

Now a regular competitor at the International Bromont Horse Show, Peter Leone was a teenager when he made his first visit to the Quebec venue with his brothers, Armand and Mark, for the 1976 Olympic individual jumping competition. (The team event was held in the Games’ main stadium in Montreal, and he also attended that).

Peter, whose base is Lionshare at Sunnyfield Farm in New York, is returning to Canada once again this week with 13 horses. He’ll be competing on the Zangersheide gelding Capito Z (Capitos x Burggraaf) in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Bromont, the finale of the 2017 CSI3*-W show on August 6th. The 1996 Olympic team silver medalist is hoping to qualify for his seventh Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final next year, and is looking for a good start in the first Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League qualifier of the 2017-2018 season.

Q: What keeps you coming back to Bromont?

A: I love it up there. It was one of the last places where the sport was staged before the modern era. In 1976, it was still the relative genre and flavor of Munich (the 1972 Olympics) and Mexico City (the 1968 Olympics); that kind of massive who-can-jump-this challenge. What a childhood–wow! It was epic. That kind of says it all. It was just such a big part of show-jumping history. The Olympics that took place there is indelibly connected whenever I think of Bromont.

Q: What else do you like about showing at Bromont?

A: The championship-size arena nestled into the hills on both sides. And the town is very enthusiastic, supportive and educated about the jumping at Bromont. It’s been going on there for decades. My students love it, too. At Bromont, not only is show management so appreciative that you came and that your clients came, the Canadian riders are so friendly. There’s camaraderie and a sportsmanlike feeling.

Q: What do you do besides ride when you go up to Bromont for the show?

A: I always celebrate my August 1st birthday at La Perouse, a French restaurant on the main street of the charming French-Canadian town. There’s also a spa a few miles from the showgrounds, a peaceful spot with a lake where I go to relax.

Q: What are your plans for qualifying for the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Paris?

A: I’m a very goal-oriented rider. In order to take this goal seriously, I’m going to be at Bromont, ready to play. And then Capito and my number-two horse are going to ship out to the West Coast and I’m going to do the World Cup qualifiers there.

Q: Does the fact that the next Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final will be in Paris increase your motivation to qualify?

A: From a show jumping perspective, Paris is one of the great cities to do the sport. I’ve never jumped indoors there. Paris would be perfect: It adds an extra dose of motivation.

Q: What’s Capito Z like?

He’s been coming on. He’s very, very careful. I think he’s quite special. He seems like a combination of two horses I rode in the past, Legato and Costelloe. He’s nine years old but a young nine. I think Capito will be at his best when he’s 11 or 12 and beyond. I’m very grateful to the Capito Group, the syndicate that owns this horse. 

Bromont NAL: What You Need to Know

Be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook and NAL page for all the latest news on the series, as well as latest results, photo galleries, video interviews and live streaming links. 

When: August 2-6, 2017

Where to Watch: Check out the livestreaming links on our NAL page for the FEI classes during the week, and tune in to the subscription-based  www.FEITV.org for the grand finale Bromont NAL class on August 6th at 2:30PM ET. 

Show Website: http://internationalbromont.org/en/

About the NAL: Now in its third year, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League consists of seven East and seven West Coast venues in three countries – the United States, Mexico and Canada. Each venue will host qualifiers to determine the North American riders who will compete in the Longines World Cup™ Jumping Final Paris (FRA), April 10-15, 2018

A minimum of $2.4 million in prize money is up for grabs across the North American League series. Follow the action before, during and after each qualifier with #FEIWorldCupNAL.

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