Hippisme: Marie Velon wins her first quinté and equals a record

“I don’t see any difference between Marie (Velon) and the men when she is wrestling”, confided Jules Susini, speaking of the only woman who completes his team of six jockeys. It was shortly before the launch of the meeting on Tuesday in Saint-Cloud. And the agent, with ten years of experience in the business, got it right. He has much to be proud of his protege.

After her pass of two, Monday at Lyon La Soie, Marie Velon won, this November 17, after a great battle on a very heavy track, the first quint of her career in the saddle on home Sweet Home in the coveted Prix de l’Élevage. In full rise, the 21-year-old woman jockey has equaled, with this 72nd success of the year, the record of victories held by a woman, namely Mickaëlle Michel, since 2018.

“Even without discharge, I would have taken her in my team”

“It’s nice because in addition to being at the point of breaking the record, I think that Marie is on very good way to be the first woman to be classified in the Top 10 of the best jockeys”, rejoices her agent. “And yet, basically, I’m not a girls’ agent! », Admits the one who has a very clear opinion on the question and in particular on the discharge granted to women jockeys. A measure which had the consequence of seeing a surge of the fairer sex in the French pelotons. “This favor is a hecatomb for the boys”, notes the specialist. He is however at the origin of the flight of his jockey who triumphed during the event of the day, but without weight advantage, as required by the race regulations for this occasion. “I am technically very demanding and I like Marie’s profile. Even without its weight advantage (1.5 kg), I would have taken it in my team, explains Jules Susini and to add, you know among the ten best jockeys, some do not make me dream. “

“My agent does not let any great opportunity slip away”

Currently seventh in the rankings behind the tenors of the profession, Marie Velon can also count on the support of her boss, Jean-Pierre Gauvin. “It is with Marie that I have had the most success throughout my career. In two years in my service, she has signed 50 victories, ”confided the developer installed in Saint-Cyr-les-Vignes (Loire), in April 2019. He did not think so well.

In a very good position to get her first Golden Cravache, the young lady recognizes that without her two pillars, her future would probably not have been so successful. “My agent doesn’t let any great opportunity slip by. And Jean-Pierre Gauvin has never ceased to trust me during these three years, even after my passage as a professional at the end of 2019, involving the loss of my apprentice discharge (2.5 kg) ”, appreciates she does. To conclude this year 2020, Marie Velon has her recipe, “each victory is magnificent and for each of them I must remain focused, without making this trophy an obsession. My goal is to continue to make my small winners and stay consistent in my results. “

“I didn’t calculate the kilometers I traveled, but that would be fun”

Reaching this level is not without sacrifice. The sportswoman has spent a lot of time on the roads and in the air to cross France from North to South and from East to West. From Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône) to Lyon (Rhône) via Paris but also Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle), Toulouse (Haute-Garonne) or Le Mans (Sarthe), the list is very very long. Marie Velon has been seen on all the tricolor flat racetracks. She has so far totaled 542 races to her credit since the start of the year. Borrowing all means of transport, train, car or plane to get around, “it was not always easy given the health constraints. I haven’t calculated the kilometers I’ve driven, but it would be fun to know, ”she concludes with pride.

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