All it took was a summer camp at the age of 13, far from his Cloud Tower and the city, for Djibril Sako to find his calling. "When I saw my first horse, I immediately understood that I had to spend a lot of time with it," says this native of the Pablo Picasso district in Nanterre, the same one that went up in flames on June 27, 2023 following the death of young Nahel, killed at point-blank range by a police officer. To achieve his dream of becoming a rider, Djibril first endured "mockery" from his friends, as well as his father's refusal to let him ride horses. A "sport for the rich" reserved for "wealthy families".
With a lot of nerve, a few phone calls and "voluntary dung collection", he managed to take lessons on horseback at the pony club in Rueil-Malmaison. 15 years of riding and several podiums later, Djibril became a teacher and co-owner of a 4-year-old mare. "A feat", according to those close to him, which finally allows him to "make a living from his passion". "Now no one is bothering me," he says. "For us, horseback riding, we just did it in green class, but we all loved it," says his childhood friend Bilel. "It was unattainable, Djibril managed to break the codes."
Thanks to his job, the 28-year-old from Nantes has given lessons in Senegal, started show jumping in stables in South Korea and even dreams of the Olympic Games. "You can't put up barriers, nothing is unattainable," says Djibril, a fan of speed and crossings. "As long as I'm with my horses, I'm happy anyway."