(Viéville-sous-les-Côtes) “Look at all the people in the world who ride animals like ostriches, camels, elephants…”.
At the foot of the vineyards in the village of Meuse, in eastern France, Sabine Rouas was taking an early morning stroll on her peacefully striding bull Aston.
At the wheel of his truck, a man stops, surprised, mobile phone in hand, to immortalize the scene.
On every outing, Aston elicits the same reactions and Sabine Rouas loves to laugh: “Honestly, I didn’t invent anything!”.
Once it snaps its nose, this unique bull attracts attention in the area and beyond. On social networks, Sabine’s husband, Yannick Kirchoffer, is responsible for giving as much echo as possible to her exploits: 62,000 subscribers on TikTok, 90,000 on YouTube and almost the same number on Facebook.
Sabine and Aston’s story begins with a tale of bereavement, the story of a competition horse for honorary jockey. “Every rider in his life has a special relationship with a horse. When he died, I no longer wanted to know about the horses.”
At the time, Sabine was living in Luxembourg in a building next to a farm. As the days go by, she watches the cattle ballet and gets the idea to contact the farmer to “find contact with the big animals.”
“I still had a problem with the horses, I missed contact with them. So I went down to the farm and saw this cow who was most interested. I started brushing him. I saw that she was smart, and that she was learning to give her paw, to say hello, to respond to her name “.
For Sabine, this is a revelation. When a cow gives birth to a male calf, she buys both animals.
For me, this is the beginning of hell. In a hurry, Sabine has to find a place to put the cattle. “I was told I was completely insane and it’s true I didn’t know about it.”
It weighs 1.4 tons and has its own character! »
The hard-character former commercial executive sticks to her point: Like the cats she trains, she believes in the special relationship that exists between humans and every animal. He thinks coaching Aston might not be a bad idea. Sabine is holding on to that bond and… to her reins: She falls 38 times in 3 months while trying to get the bull out.
But she soon spotted encouraging signs. “When it saw me riding horses, Aston wanted to do the same,” she says excitedly. “By observing them, he learned a lot from their behaviour, so we played on imitation.”
The result ? Aston, now nine years old, jumps small obstacles, performs lateral movements, and jumps.
“When people see it, they tell me Aston thinks he’s a horse and that’s right: he loves to imitate them. After that, I can just make him do what he wants to do: he weighs 1.4 tons and he has his own personality! If he jumps off obstacles it’s because he loves it!”.
“I often say that, in terms of education, they are very much like a cat. They are similar in character.
The success of the Aston Sabine prompted him to be introduced at equestrian shows to develop the “Aston, the Bull” label.
“Today people called me to find out how to raise their own cattle, I advise them. Aston plays in the movies… I still can’t believe it. Aston is known even in Japan!
“Evil thinker. Music scholar. Hipster-friendly communicator. Bacon geek. Amateur internet enthusiast. Introvert.”