The RDS is delighted to announce that the mystifying Frenchman, Jean-François Pignon and his free roaming Camargue ponies are set to take centre stage at the 2012 Dublin Horse Show, with demonstrations twice daily.
Jean-Francois Pignon has become something of a phenomenon, having developed and refined his skills of natural horsemanship to an unimaginable level. He will demonstrate the true trust and understanding that can exist between man and horse through a series of daredevil acts and acrobatics in the RDS Main Arena & Simmonscourt during this year’s Show which takes place from the 15th to the 19th of August inclusive.
It is almost 30 years since Jean-François Pignon took part in his first performance. Born in 1968, in Chalones sur Loire, in Western France. As a young boy Jean-François was mainly interested in sports; running and soccer, that is until the day his father André, arrived home with a yearling filly which they subsequently named Gazelle. There was an immediate and extraordinary link between Jean-François and the filly from the day she arrived. They would play for hours and even go to school together! It was obvious to all that Jean-François had a very natural way with horses.
After a period of time working in the family’s trail riding business, Jean-François and his brother Frederic decided to form their own company, where they put on circus-like acrobatic demonstrations with horses. These shows proved very popular and as a result the brothers got roles in the riding scenes for the "Wilhelm Tell" TV series. They were now also working with the offspring of Gazelle, a filly named Salsa.
In 1991 Jean-François and Frederic presented a show they called ‘Cheval Passion’ (Horse Passion) in Avignon, and this was the first time they worked with their horses without any tack. It was a great success. It provided opportunities to perform in Verona and Paris followed by many other big shows all over the world.
The brothers now work separately, with Jean-François choosing to continue to perform with his horses at ‘liberty’. His performances take place with up to eight horses with Jean-François demonstrating time again, how he has achieved the maximum trust that there can be, between man and horse.
Jean-François now also runs training programmes which are attended by people from all over the world where he imparts his unique method of training and working with horses.
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