The British set the example, the rankings turned upside down

British riders confirmed their supremacy at Pau, taking the first seven places in the provisional ranking, but yesterday’s top three are no longer in the same position. Rosalind Canter (GBR) took the lead in front of her compatriot Tom McEwen, riding a brilliant round save the 3.2 penalty points for overshooting the allocated time. After taking a fall with her first horse – thankfully no harm done – British rider Kirsty Chabert also rode a near-perfect round in 11’08 (allocated time 11’06) and takes third place on the provisional podium.

Oliver Townend and Tregilder picked up 7.2 time on an otherwise clear cross country round to sit on 34.4 in fourth place, while Piggy March and Coolparks Sarco added 8.4 time penalties to their 28.1 dressage for 36.5 points and fifth place. Pippa Funnel and MCS Maverick also finished clear but with time – they added 13.2 time for a score of 39.6 and sixth place, while in seventh place sits Kylie Roddy and SRS Kan Do who added 8 time penalties to their 31.7 dressage for a score of 39.7.

The cross-country track designed by Pierre Michelet made life difficult for many of the riders. Only 20 out of the 55 horse-rider pairs on the starting list managed to complete the course without a hitch. French rider Maxime Livio, riding Carouzo Bois Marotin made a brilliant comeback after the cross-country, clearing all the fences and finishing 31 seconds over the allocated time. Today’s efforts won him tenth place in the provisional ranking this evening. Florian Ganneval, participating for the third time in the 5 Etoiles de Pau with his horse Blue Bird de Beaufour – and Camille Lejeune with Dame Decoeur Tardonne, competing for the very first time in a CCI5*-L, also completed the course, clearing all the fences without any problems. Gaspard Maksud, the best ranked French rider after the dressage test, unfortunately fell at the last water jump with his leading mare, Zaragoza, but showed that he’s in great shape right now, with his second horse Kan-Do 2, just nine years old.Rosalind Canter’s impressions after the cross-country
“Of course, it’s hard to say when you ride the course with different horses, but I thought that this year, it walked a little more technical maybe than last year in terms of the twisting and turning. I thought that the water on the racecourse when I first walked it was going to be the trickiest fence I’d ridden all year, so it definitely needed a lot of respect. My two horses were both fantastic today, I think sometimes they help me out and sometimes I had to help them out too. My mare [Pencos Crown Jewel] wouldn’t find this sort of course quite so easy, and I didn’t quite get my line right with her at the water and her steering isn’t quite so good as the other horse [Izilot DHI], but the other horse was absolutely fantastic, he’s really matured and grown up this year, so I was really delighted with him.”

Tom McEwen’s (pictured above) impressions after cross-country
“To be honest, it was very good: Haras was very different – I felt very sorry for the organisers with all the rain. The ground there was completely different, and hard work. Here, even after the rain, the ground was perfect, and also, dead flat. So yeah, very different. It was very positive today. To be honest, I thought it showed exactly what I thought it was – very intense, and it caused problems all the way around.”

Kirsty Chabert’s (pictured above) impressions after cross-country
“I tend to agree with Ros, I walked it, and the first 10 fences felt like a short-format 4* to be honest. You were constantly twisting and turning and with lots of combinations, and then out on the gallop you could open them up. My mare doesn’t have a particularly big stride, so I’m never going to gain time out on the gallop, but I can go as fast around a corner as I can on the strait, so for me the twists and the turns are very much in my favour. It benefits me that the big, rangy horses have to slow down going round the corners – but it wasn’t the best place to be held, right in front of the fence I’d just fallen off at! It was quite a good thing to let my adrenaline come down and then pick it back up, and the crowd were behind me, so it was great fun actually!”

Pierre Michelet’s analysis (cross country designer)
“The course was pretty much the same as last year. I thought it was a little more difficult. But I didn’t think we’d have so many twists and surprises. A few things were a bit different, namely that the beginning of the course turned quite a bit. I think the horses didn’t get into the course as well as they had on other occasions, when the first part was more fluid. The ground was a bit sticky and this combination of factors led to more incidents. On this very flat terrain with a galloping track, if you’re not a little strict on the route, you’ll have twenty horses coming in within the allowed time.”


Sunday 29 October

  • 10h-11h20 4 Nations Horse-ball Tournament
  • 11h45-12h45 Horse inspection
  • 13h-14h Amicable sale of sport horses
  • 14h30-16h30 Show jumping test
  • 16h45 Prize giving ceremony

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