March 2, 2016 — Lausanne (SUI) — France’s Olympic athlete Simon Delestre has jumped to the top of the Longines Rankings, the world Jumping rankings, breaking the 11-month run of Great Britain’s Scott Brash, now world number two.

Delestre, who competed at his first Olympic Games at London 2012 with Napoli Du Ry, scored individual bronze at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER) and team silver at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014.

Simon’s Early Career

Simon Delestre has been immersed in equestrian sport since his childhood, when he watched his father Marcel compete.

His father, a national pony Jumping coach, and his close relationship with the pony Panama Cassou, owned by the French National Stud, were key to Delestre’s early career success. He won the national pony Jumping championships twice in a row in 1994 and 1995.

In 1999, he scored individual gold at the French Junior Championships and team bronze at the FEI European Junior Jumping Championships. The following year, he won team gold at the FEI European Jumping Championships for Young Riders and in 2009 he finished top of the individual podium at the Mediterranean Games.

Gothenburg calling

The 34-year-old from Metz (FRA), who finished second in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League standings, has earned his spot at the prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg (SWE) on 23-28 March, which starts on the day marking 135 days to go to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

He has made it to two FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals, in 2014 in Lyon and 2011 in Leipzig, and is now in pole position for this year’s Final.

Delestre, who has a 23-point lead over Brash, is now top of a leaderboard featuring world number three Kent Farrington (USA), who recently won the inaugural Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League on the East Coast, and new world number four and three-time Olympian McClain Ward (USA).

View full Longines Rankings here.