We have talked with Lambert Leclezio, World Champion 2016, about his training routine, his upcoming plans and his training equipments. Let yourself get inspired by what he told us and train like the World Champion!

About Lambert

Age: 19

Nationality: French*

Horse: Quiece d’Aunis

Lunger: Sandra Tronchet

Achievements in Vaulting: World Champion 2016

Started vaulting at the age of: 11

I couldn’t live without: Vaulting, haha! When I cannot train I always do something about vaulting such as watching a video or doing some prep. I am studying a lot since October and it is kind of hard for me if I have to stay forever behind a desk.

Motto: Well, I don’t have a specific motto but I can definitely say that I’m very harsh with myself at training. I work a lot on my own, Sometimes, I can stay till 10:00pm on the barrel training my routines. Coaching me is pretty difficult sometimes because I am a perfectionist: if you criticize me too much I cannot handle it but on the other side, I don’t like when people always tell me “this is good” because there is always something to improve in my opinion; it is never perfect.

*Lambert is born in Mauritius but asked for the French nationality to facilitate his vaulting career.

1. How are you doing at the moment with your trainings?

I am willing to become a physiotherapist so I’m studying medicine this year in Le Mans, France. I have to study very hard for my exams so I don’t train as much as I would like to, till the last exam I need to take the 27th of April. This year, I won’t compete for European championships so I basically train for the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) 2018 already.

At the moment, I train when I’m able to with Sandra and Quiece. Jacques Ferrari helps me when he’s around here too (because he also has exams this year…) and I do prep at home everyday to keep fit and not to struggle when I start training hard again.

When I’m done with the exams I’ll go to Saumur more often to train with the pôle France.

2. What are your goals for this season?

My goal is mainly to take my time to prepare well for next year. I am World Champion but the WEG have more impact: competitors are better prepared, it is a bigger event where the discipline is more mediatized and it is in the USA! To me it is the equivalent to the Olympic Games so it is a step forward compared to the World Championships.

3. What is ALWAYS in your training bag?

I always have some stuff to protect my ankles, just in case and a very old pair of vaulting shoes. Water, of course, some food and clothes, so nothing special actually.

4. Are you a vaulting fashionista? How is your weirdest training pants?

Not at all! I have the simplest lycra pants from Decathlon, but in all its versions: short and long (laugh). I really don’t care about that, I have lots of oldish and holed pants that I still use. I just don’t dare to wear them for the big competitions.

5. What model of shoes do you prefer and why?

When I started, I used to have some gymnastics shoes that my father got me from South Africa with two soles. The truth is that these shoes are not made to walk in the stables and shower your horse so I destroyed them very fast. When I came to France, Jacques felt sorry for me and gave me his white Bleyer training shoes. As Bleyer is a sponsor of Team Noroc, they got shoes for me, too. Right now, I have then a white pair, a black one and the blue pair from their freestyle in case I would have needed to substitute someone.

I also tried once the vaulting boots from Bleyer that I borrowed from Clément Taillez, I think they are pretty cool, too, but I have no interest in changing right now because I am happy with Bleyer, if the sole is not too smooth then I’m ok with it.

6. Some vaulters use different surcingles for compulsories and freestyle, do you? If yes, why?

Yes. I started with CWD for my compulsories, and with the S surcingle for my freestyle (CWD base with S handles because Quiece is a bit massive). The thing is, it’s quite annoying to change your surcingle every time during the trainings, so I decided to use only one surcingle after Saumur. I changed my grips, but I was not too disturbed, I got used to it pretty fast.

Honestly, if you change from a L shape surcingle to an S shape, it’s not a big deal. If you change from a Mickey surcingle then yes, it is a big change.

I used to have a T shape surcingle in Mauritius, but it was very narrow.

7. Do you have sponsors? What is your relationship with them?

I just became French, so I have to organize my research.

As a Mauritian, I used to have sponsors thanks to a national system supporting athletes: every six months, local companies need to pay taxes to support humanitarian agencies, culture or sport. Those companies can choose who they want to support. I presented a budget every year for my season and some companies helped me to cover my expenses (transportation mainly).

I already use the material from CWD, thanks to the sponsorship contract with Noroc, but I would like to have a contract on my own because it is true that we are sharing the material between the team, Charlotte (Lhommeau) and myself and this is quite annoying during the competitions.

8. Can you list the main products you compete with?

– Main surcingle: CWD

– Pad: CWD

– Shoes: Bleyer shoes

9. If you had to invent a new product for the vaulting community, what would you create?

Well, I think I would like to have a grip pad to kind of stick to the horse. I remember that I often slipped over the pad at the beginning while doing a bridge. If we could have an integrated grip on the pad, it could change many things such as giving stability to experimented vaulters who are willing to try new movements, and helping beginners to have a better grip on the other hand.

Another idea would be to have a pad with integrated gel on the surface to protect the horse back better.

Well, if you had a mix between a carbon pad, gel underneath and a grip on the top, that would be a revolutionary pad!

10. Any surprise/announcement for us?

I am changing the way people are used to see me vaulting. I don’t want to repeat what I’ve already done at world championships, I want to win in a different way, I don’t want to remain in what I master already so I try to change my style. Otherwise, it is not interesting for people, nor for me. I dislike keeping the same freestyle two years in a row. Romain, the choreographer for the French team is helping me to work on it.

But unfortunately this year I will not show all the new themes and moves because they are not ready yet… You will have to wait for 2018 to see what I am preparing …

So yes, I will have a new face for 2018 and I will break my own rules!

11. And what about your horse? Are you staying with Quiece and Sandra?

I have never had a permanent horse before Quiece (I had Timothy from the Netherlands to compete for 4 years. But since he died in 2015, I had no steady horse until Quiece). I have a good connection with him, so I don’t want to risk losing that. I also train on the horses in Saumur and other horses of Sandra in case something goes wrong with Quiece. Sam, for instance was a good training horse last year.

In 2015, my horse Timo died just before the championships so the situation got difficult for me. I changed my horse one week and a half before the World Championships for Juniors. Those things happen, so better be prepared! But hopefully, my final product will be on Quiece.