Category Archives: *Featured/Spotlights

Special features, spotlights, headlines

Champion Hurdle Challengers to Epatante Have Questions to Answer

The Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival remains the richest prize over the smaller obstacles in National Hunt horse racing, but there is a feeling in recent years that it is not so competitive as it once was. Epatante, who won the race in 2020, was one of the few in the division to have made real progress throughout last season and ran out a worthy winner.

Just as she was fancied for the Champion Hurdle by tipsters then, she will be again barring injury because her rivals all have question marks hanging over them. Epatante heads the betting at 7/2 as a result, and we will know more about what shape she is in for a defence of her crown following likely runs in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.

While trainer Nicky Henderson sticks to that tried and tested path for preparing his horses for the Champion Hurdle, two of the leading Irish contenders have both suffered early season defeats. Abacadabras was denied by Epatante’s very game stable companion Shishkin in the Supreme at Cheltenham in March and was again just bested on his return in the WKD Hurdle by Aspire Tower.

However, Gordon Elliott’s charge made up for those defeats when just hanging on in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown. In just prevailing there, Abacadabras was again weak at the finish but still somehow able to beat the promising Saint Roi, who like Epatante is owned by J. P. McManus.

Saint Roi is top Irish trainer Willie Mullins’ best Champion Hurdle chance, according to the betting, following a very taking success at Cheltenham in the County Hurdle during the Festival. Although winning a Grade 3 on his return to action, the young pretender went down fighting in the Morgiana.

It is easy to criticise jockeys when a horse doesn’t win, but Mark Walsh may not have given Saint Roi the best tactical ride at Punchestown, opting for the narrow inner path after jumping the last rather than taking a clear run down the outside. There is little between this horse and Abacadabras, then.

As for other British-trained Champion Hurdle contenders, Gary Moore’s Goshen is on a mission for compensation after unseating his rider when well clear at the final flight in the Triumph Hurdle. Four-year-olds can often struggle in their first campaign in open company, however.

Buveur D’Air is a two-time Champion Hurdle winner, but on the comeback trail for Henderson and McManus following a gruesome and career-threatening injury during the 2019-20 season. Those same connections will hope nothing so unfortunate befalls Epatante in the Fighting Fifth as part of a hurdle puncturing a hoof as happened to her stable companion last year.

Now another year older, Buveur D’Air may be vulnerable to younger horses with more scope for progress. It will be interesting to see how he gets on when making his return to action, and there will be lots of goodwill coming the way of this old favourite.

All the while, Epatante has done nothing wrong. She doesn’t have these questions against her name and there may still be even more to come en route to the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, so watch this space.

The Cloud Foundation Refuses to Give Up

The Cloud Foundation operates on a very small budget — but while we are small, we are mighty. This year we stepped out in faith because we knew we MUST ACT to stop yet another wipeout of wild horses on public lands.

Right now, we are the only thing standing between the 2,000 wild mustangs of Caliente and the BLM’s plan to eliminate them from one million acres of public lands in Nevada. They will all lose their homes, families, and freedom if we do not succeed.

This is a David and Goliath fight against a government agency. And the lawsuit is coming in at twice what our lawyers projected. That means we need to raise twice as much funding – nearly $50,000.

TCF relies heavily on the generous donations made at this time of year. We work hard to stretch every dollar as far as possible and we’re grateful for the trust you place in us when you donate. It’s especially difficult to ask for donations this year knowing many folks are hitting hard times due to the COVID pandemic.

If you can, we are asking you to donate now for Giving Tuesday. Please understand we have to ask not for ourselves, but for the animals we fight to protect.

The next 24 hours and the following few weeks of the holiday giving season are critical. They will dictate what we can accomplish to keep America’s wild horses and burros safe, wild, and free on our public lands.

Thank you for all that you do — and never ever give up!

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Will Crowds Be Returning to Horse Racing in 2021?

Photo by Carine06 from UK – Champion Hurdle, CC BY-SA 2.0.

2020 has been a rather strange year for many of us due to the global pandemic caused by Covid-19; many industries have been affected because of this, and none more than live sporting events. When it comes to horse racing, they were one of the last events to have a live crowd at Cheltenham, but since then, there have been zero fans at events at all. With the virus finally starting to slow down, we might start to see fans back in 2021 and below we investigate further.

Spectators will return at outdoor events from December 2, with up to 4,000 fans able to return to the racing.

With the UK coming out of lockdown 2.0 on the 2nd of December, the government has now released a plan in terms of the gradual return of supporters back into live events from this date. However, this is all dependent on which tier that specific region is in to see if you are able to return to the live event – these are documented below.

Tier 1, which is notified as a medium risk by the government for the spread of the coronavirus and will allow up to 4,000 socially distanced fans back to live sports from the 2nd of December.

Tier 2, which is notified as high risk by the government will be allowed to have up to 2,000 spectators back at live sporting fans as long as they are socially distanced: half the amount of a Tier 1 region.

However, if you find yourself in a Tier 3 location, unfortunately you will have to wait slightly longer to return to a live sporting event as these areas are highlighted as very high risk and therefore no fans will be allowed back yet.

Of course, this is exciting times for horse racing fans who have certainly missed the buzz of watching and punting on their favourite horses coming down the home stretch. Although the numbers are limited as of now, we expect these numbers to be increased as times go on and specifically when the vaccine have been passed by all the governing bodies.

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Tell Senators to Uphold the PAST Act

American Horse Council learned in late October that one animal welfare group and a handful of people from the walking horse industry have been meeting and circulating a proposed Senate “compromise” bill which would substantially alter the PAST Act (S. 1007).  The current version of the PAST Act lays out a common-sense solution to prevent the continued practice of soring and is limited in scope to Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses.  Unlike the streamlined, 12-page bill that passed the House by an overwhelming majority in 2019, the so-called “compromise” bill is more than triple the size and includes detailed inspection procedures, among other provisions not vetted by the horse industry.  Furthermore, the “compromise” includes language that could open other horse breeds to regulation, therefore undermining the laser-like focus of the PAST Act, as written.

As lawmakers wrap up their end of year business, contact your senators today and tell them to oppose any “compromise” bill that would alter the provisions of the PAST Act (S. 1007), as written and introduced in the Senate.

American Horse Council
www.horsecouncil.org

Cindy Screnci Wins US Para Grade 5 Dressage National Championship

Cindy Screnci Riccione (Lindsay Y. McCall photo credit)

Wellington, Florida (November 12, 2020) – Reigning USEF Grade V Para Equestrian of the Year, Cindy Screnci of Wellington, Florida, has been promoted to the Para Dressage Pathway Development Athletes roster following multiple victories on Eragon VF and Riccione at the Adequan®/USEF Para Dressage National Championships at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in October.

After being named to the US Team last month, Screnci secured the US Para Grade V National Championship on her 11-year-old KWPN gelding, Eragon VF,(aka ‘Danny’), and won the Grade V Freestyle in front of judges Adrienne Pot, Elke Ebert, and Carlos Lopes. She also earned Reserve Champion honors with her KWPN mare, Riccione, posting the top two scores in both her Team and Individual classes. The fairytale week just kept getting better for Screnci, after making the US Team and winning the US National Championship, she was also unanimously nominated by her peers to receive the Lloyd Landkamer Memorial Sportsmanship Award in recognition of high standards and virtues of integrity, honor, team spirit, good temper, and unselfishness. Screnci was overcome by with the award.

Just don’t say “Break a leg” if you want to wish her luck. Because her road to Tryon and (she hopes) to Tokyo for the Paralympic Games began 26 surgeries and a couple of riding lifetimes ago.

As a girl, barrel racing and pole bending left her unscathed from injury, but years later, when her own daughter showed interest in horses, she joined her in the hunter/jumper ring, only to suffer a freak accident in a jumper class at Wellington that shattered her ankle and ultimately changed the direction of her life.

It was a pool not a horse that redirected her to the para equestrian world. “In my zeal to return to the ring after breaking my ankle I decided, on my own, to start physical therapy ahead of the suggested schedule and use my pool at home. I didn’t know I shouldn’t have gone into water so soon.”

She contracted an aggressive bacterial infection in the pool water, leading to a 26-surgery battle against osteomyelitis, an infection and inflammation of bone and bone marrow caused by bacteria or fungi entering bone tissue through an open or unhealed wound.

“I am so grateful, to this day, for the amazing support I received from the surgeons and staff at Paley Orthopedic & Spine Institute in Royal Palm Beach. They put my ankle, and me, back together.”

Repaired and ready to ride, she bought Sally L, a former jumper of Murray Kessler’s. “My friend, Nataly Liebowitz told me that Robert Dover said that Sally L should be in the ‘para program’ because she had extensive dressage training.  I said, para what?”

Shortly after, she attended a para dressage clinic at Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center in Loxahatchee and “was so impressed by the community that I truly fell in love.”

“I don’t miss jumping at all. Dressage is so cognitive! Every step means something,” she said. “This is my full-time world now, and I do believe my husband, Stephen, will be sainted someday for bearing with me.”

She praises Sharon Decker, the Chief Operating Officer at TIEC and the TIEC team who helped make Tryon’s indoor arena available to all the para equestrian athletes to train in. “The support Sharon and her team at TIEC showed the Para Dressage Program is truly remarkable. We are all so thankful for everything they have done for us and continue to do.  The new indoor facility at Tryon is incredible and they stopped everything and got it ready for our National Championships in a matter of days!”

The pair had never performed the freestyle, produced by Tom Hunt to the music of Les Miserables, in an arena or in front of judges, when their choreographed performance was given a winning score in the 70s.

“The Tryon CPEDI received great results,” said Michel Assouline, USEF Head of Coach Development and Para Dressage Technical Advisor. “We are very proud of the continued progress of our Para Dressage athletes and horses.”

The new Virtual Coaching Program is working, the chef d’equipe said, as proven by riders, like Screnci, earning higher scores and breaking the “magic 70% benchmark” at levels like this CPEDI3*. “This is all due to a hard-working campaign of daily training with coach support, as well as live-stream remote sessions and video analysis.”

Screnci is the only para dressage rider among eight Developing Athletes on the Para Dressage Pathway list to do so with two horses, Eragon VF and Riccione. The Para Dressage Pathway’s three levels (emerging, developing, and elite) identify and assist athletes on track to becoming medal contenders at the Paralympic and World Championship level.

“Breaking my leg turned out to be a blessing. It made me settle down and develop a deeper relationship with my family, and it has given me this opportunity – at my age – to have a goal of competing in Tokyo.”

The 2020 Summer Paralympic Games have been rescheduled for August 24 – September 5, 2021 in Tokyo. Follow Cindy Screnci and her horses on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/cscrenci.

The Horse: Commodity or Partner?

The EQUUS Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of its new educational platform, the Equine Experiential Learning Initiative, designed to cultivate advocacy on behalf of horses, stimulate volunteerism and inspire a lifelong commitment to horse welfare.

The first module is The Horse: Commodity or Partner? — a free online learning experience to give readers a deeper understanding of the positive impact of the horse-human bond in the past and present — and facts to become an effective advocate to protect America’s horses now and in the future.

The human-equine relationship is threaded throughout the fabric of our history. Humanity has been able to spread far and wide on the backs of horses — but the carnage of horses at the hands of humans is also well documented. Sadly, horses are still faced with the same challenges, continuing to put their future welfare in jeopardy.

Also, public access and involvement with horses, especially among young people, is declining. The expense and time required for competition is becoming unrealistic for most people. Equine Assisted Services (EAS), based on different collaborative relationships between horses and humans, may offer a more realistic way for people, unable to experience the magic of horses through the traditional means of ownership and competition, to benefit from horses.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to our author, Dr. Terri Champney, who helps us better understand how we can be most successful in addressing the issues impacting America’s horses by learning about the past,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. There is a lot of truth in the saying, “Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” Dr. Terri Champney spearheaded the establishment of the Equine Experiential Learning Initiative along with the Leonard I. Gilman Horses & Humans Grant. Five $1,000 grants will be awarded in 2021.

The Leonard I. Gilman Horses & Humans Grant will recognize an EQUUS Foundation Guardian charity offering Equine Assisted Services (EAS) that demonstrates its commitment to cultivating advocacy on behalf of horses, stimulating volunteerism, and inspiring a lifelong commitment to horse welfare through an internship program involving virtual learning and hands-on interactions with horses.

For horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, we need to embrace a fundamental shift in our attitude towards horses — from the horse as a commodity to the horse as an athlete, companion, teacher, and healer.

The EQUUS Foundation welcomes all horse lovers to sign up for The Horse: Commodity or Partner? — no matter your prior horse experience!

Take the next step to gain an even greater awareness and appreciation for these gifted and amazing animals — and a vision to ensure a sustainable environment for horses now and in the future.

Learn more about the Equine Experiential Learning Initiative here.

Sign up for The Horse: Commodity or Partner? here.

Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

Devin Ryan and Eddie Blue Jump to Blue in $213,300 National Horse Show Grand Prix CSI4*

Devin Ryan with Eddie Blue.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 31, 2020 – Show jumping reached its pinnacle Halloween evening at the 137th National Horse Show when it hosted the highly-anticipated $213,300 National Horse Show Grand Prix CSI4* within the Alltech Arena. Tested over a masterful pattern from world-renowned course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA), entries from the seven nations of the United States, Great Britain, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Israel, and Brazil battled head-to-head for a shot at substantial prize money. Leading the jump-off from start to finish, Devin Ryan (USA) and LL Show Jumpers LLC’s Eddie Blue turned in a performance that was unparalleled, galloping to an early lead that could not be caught to clinch the lead spot in the victory gallop and the lion’s share of the purse. Earlier in the day, Raleigh Hiler jockeyed Kurt Hiler’s Cassina 64 to the top spot in the $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix as the lone double-clear partnership.

For the CSI4* class, Jorge fabricated a course fit for the occasion that included 17 jumping efforts up to the 1.60m height spread strategically across the ring. With so much exceptional talent in the field, including Thursday’s Phelps Media Group $72,900 International Welcome Stake CSI4* winner Kent Farrington (USA), McLain Ward (USA), Beezie Madden (USA), Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA), Paul O’Shea (IRL), Daniel Bluman (ISR), Shane Sweetnam (IRL), and Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA), it was anyone’s game headed into the onset of the contest.

As the third pair in the original start list, Ryan and Eddie Blue served as the pathfinders with the first clear trip, and seven entries later Mario Deslauriers (CAN) ensured there would be a jump-off with his fault-free effort on Uris De La Roque. Continuing on through the order-of-go, Spencer Smith (USA) riding Quibelle, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) aboard Bull Run’s Risen, and Goldstein-Engle on Dicas added more American representation to the tie-breaker round, while O’Shea with Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu and David Blake (IRL) on Keoki qualified on behalf of the Irish. Lillie Keenan (USA) and Fasther also left all the rails in their cups, but incurred one heartbreaking time fault.

Seven combinations bearing the flags for three nations earned eligibility for the second portion of the competition, which showcased another expert pattern from Jorge, this time composed of eight obstacles. Once again leading the way, Ryan piloted Eddie Blue to the pace-setting round in 35.13 seconds with all the fences still upright. Smith directed Quibelle to the second, and ultimately final, foot-perfect trip just one-tenth of a second behind the leaders’ time in 35.26 seconds. Though the rest of the pack chased down Ryan and Eddie Blue, the partner he won a team gold medal with at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, each duo fell victim to an unlucky rail to incur faults and keep them out of contention.

Smith and Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s Quibelle captured the reserve honors, followed by O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu, owned by Machu Picchu Partners LLC, in third place. The Irish team managed to be the quickest of the night in 33.71 seconds, but dropped a single fence. For his victory, Ryan was also pushed to the top of the leaderboard for the Leading Rider Award, presented by Audi of Lexington and Samuel A. B. Boone, for which he earned a $5,000 cash prize as the rider with the most points in the International Jumper section throughout the week. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) was honored as the Leading Lady Jumper Rider.

Immediately preceding the night’s grand finale, the $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix highlighted the efforts of 24 entries over a technical course of 1.40m to 1.45m fences. The 15-fence initial course, also designed by Jorge, saw six contenders successfully complete the track without any jumping or time faults to move into the jump-off phase of the competition. As the jump-off progressed, all five of the first duos to go knocked a rail somewhere along the course, leaving the door open for the final challengers, Hiler and Cassina 64. Now with just eight obstacles standing between them and victory, the final pair to tackle the track laid down a conservative round that kept all the fences intact, securing the win for Hiler and Cassina 64. The result added to a list of top finishes for Hiler and Cassina 64 at the National Horse Show over the past few days, having already earned fourth place in the $5,000 Amateur Jumpers and second place in the $10,000 class. As the owner of the winning horse, Kurt Hiler was honored with the Jean MacColl Hart Perpetual Memorial Trophy.

To learn more about the 2020 National Horse Show, click here.

Return of the Masters in Chantilly with Rolex Alongside

Photo by Jessica Rodrigues.

In the midst of the Covid crisis and the subsequent cancellation of the Masters Series, Christophe Ameeuw, President and Founder of EEM, called on the equestrian world to reinvent itself and imagine the world of tomorrow. No sooner said than done! EEM has announced the first stage of its revival with the Masters of Chantilly, from 8th to 11th of July 2021. New event, new partner, new venue!

With Rolex alongside as the Official Sponsor, Official Timepiece, and Title Sponsor of the Grand Prix, the Masters will arrive in the capital of the horse world, bringing together the world’s best riders and riding fans for four days of great sport, celebration, and outdoor show against a backdrop that is unique in the world: the Château de Chantilly and its Great Stables.

«We are supporting the backbone of the Masters, its spirit, its quality, its great events, but in a radically new backdrop for our sport and horses, in an environment in harmony with nature and the exceptional setting of Chantilly.»

EEM will be able to count on the support of the Chantilly Jumping association composed of passionate volunteers who over the past ten years have taken Chantilly Jumping to the highest level of competition.

Daniel Koroloff – E-mail: daniel@blizko-communication.com

CDI World Cup Winners and Para-Dressage National Champions Command Centerline

Abraham Pugh and Elfenperfekt ©Sharon Packer Photography.

 Mill Spring, NC – October 27, 2020 – Abraham Pugh (USA) and Elfenperfekt grabbed their first career CDI wins together at Tryon Fall Dressage 3 at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC), claiming the FEI Grand Prix on a score of 68.109% and topping the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 74.010%. Julio Mendoza Loor (ECU) and Rosali, Aileen Daly’s 2005 Danish Warmblood mare (Blue Horse Romanov x Mosegardens Ratina), claimed second in both the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle and the FEI Grand Prix, scoring 73.990%, and 67.022%, respectively. Jessica Jo Tate (USA) and Kynynmont Gunsmoke’s Gideon, the 2008 Connemara Cross gelding (Gun Smoke x Kynynmont Tara x Greystone McErrill) owned by Pam Liddell, claimed third in both CDI competitions, scoring 66.261% in the FEI Grand Prix and earning 71.150% in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle.

Pugh and the 2006 Trakehner stallion (Peron x Elfentruam x Zauberklang) owned by Alice Drayer have been together for seven years now, he said, and they keep “getting better and better” as they go. “My weekend went really well. This is our first time winning an international competition like that, so it’s pretty special. He just keeps getting better, and I keep getting better, so it’s really exciting. He really is a great partner,” Pugh shared of his mount. “He really will try his heart out for me day, in and day out; he doesn’t tell me no. He comes to work the same horse, whether we are at a show, whether we are in a big environment or a small environment.”

Rebecca Hart Is the 2020 Adequan®/USEF Para-Dressage National Champion

Rebecca Hart and El Corona Texel ©Leslie Potter/US Equestrian

The Adequan®/USEF Para-Dressage National Championship named Rebecca Hart (Wellington, FL) and Rowan O’Riley’s El Corona Texel at the 2020 Champions, earning a total composite score of 77.029%, with the Reserve Championship awarded to Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, MI) scored a personal best in her freestyle with Going for Gold LLC’s All In One in the Grade I division with a 78.711%, which gave her a composite score of 76.147%.

“I’m so blessed to have him,” said Hart, who led all weekend and produced consistent personal bests with the 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Wynton x Urieta Texel x Goodtimes). “He’s such a fun ride. He’s very dynamic and powerful. He was just awesome all week for me. I couldn’t have asked for more. He gave me the best birthday present ever! All three days were his top scores. Each test was the best it’s ever been for that test.”

With the 2020 season drastically impacted by COVID-19, Hart relayed that she focused on “getting back to basics,” so that their debut performance this weekend would be a strong one. “It was a crazy year! We went back to basics. We [sometimes] get so set on this date and that date with all of the shows, so we took the break as a silver lining. We caught our breath and really focused on the training and keeping our horses happy and healthy,” she emphasized. “We’ve done a lot of training at home working on certain things while in lockdown. This is our first time back out, so to have him be so happy and strong was fabulous.”

Sydney Collier and “Alle,” the 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Abanos x Dauphin), produced personal best after personal best to finish in reserve, and shared that she was searching for words other than “incredible” to describe her experience:

“It has been just so fun, and I wish I had better words to describe how good it feels to be back in the show ring, and to see all of our hard work during quarantine pay off. To step in there and be better than we ever have been is something that is really beyond words, and it invigorates me for going home and continuing on the same path and polishing up on some things before heading to Florida.”

For more competition information, visit www.Tryon.com/dressage.

After Cross-Country, British Women Take the Lead and France Moves Back Up

Laura Collett ©S. Bailly/Centaure Production.

Once again this year, the cross-country event at the 5 Étoiles de Pau staged a magnificent show for its spectators. Thirty-one combinations and forty-five efforts to be negotiated along the 6.3-km course, and all in just 11.08 minutes. That was the challenge that French course designer Pierre Michelet set the forty-five competitors on the start list for the only 5*-L cross-country event this year.

Ten horse-rider pairs completed a flawless round, riding home without a single obstacle penalty and within the time limit imposed. Among them was British rider Laura Collett with London 52, who stays in pole position. Her fellow countrywoman Piggy March, riding Brookfield Inocent, took advantage of the few difficulties encountered by Christopher Burton to take second place on the provisional podium. New Zealand rider Tim Price also climbed up one place after the cross-country event, despite being just a second over the time limit, riding home in third place on Wesko. The French riders ended the day with three flawless rides. Jean-Lou Bigot climbs up to eighth place with Utrillo du Halage. Alexis Goury and Trompe l’Oeil d’Emery got into the Top 10, while Maxime Livio and Vitorio du Montet, thirty-first after the dressage test, now lie in twelfth place before the final show-jumping test. Another wonderful day for equestrian sport, and some splendid French performances as two of these three horses were competing for the first time at five-star level.

Laura Collett: “It really picks you up to hear the encouragements from spectators along the course! The public here in Pau is really amazing. So, a big thank you to them all and to the organisation team to have made it possible to run the cross-country course in these conditions. After his first round with Mr Bass, I knew I had to be very careful with London 52 on the combinations. He’s a very careful horse and always jumps a bit bigger too. So, I stayed very concentrated and he was just perfect. It’s the first time he’s ridden an eleven-minute cross-country course, so I’ll see how things go tomorrow in the show-jumping event, but whatever happens, I’m just really proud of him this evening!”

Piggy March: “We’re really lucky to be here in Pau. For me it was a golden opportunity to prepare Brookfield Inocent for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year. I’ve never been to Pau before, but I more or less expected the kind of course that we rode today: a course that encouraged forward, brave, attacking riding but with the odd sneaky thing put in. I’m really proud of my horse who was competing in his first 5* cross-country event today. I think he’s one of the best horses I’ve ever had.”

Tim Price: “2020 has been a strange year for everyone. If there was only to be one 5* competition this year, the Pau five star is a pretty good representation. So, a big thank you to the organisation team and course designer Pierre Michelet for the quality of the course today. It was a course that encouraged bravery but also demanded us as riders to be on our toes, take the brilliance of some of the big jumps and do something with it. For me, that’s exactly how a cross-country course should be at this level.”

Jean-Lou Bigot: “When I walked the course, I loved it already even before riding it! Pierre Michelet gave use a wonderfully balanced and technical course to work with. Congratulations and a big thank you to him! All the same, I can’t say that it was an easy ride for me. Since the European Championships, Utrillo du Halage has made a lot of progress and I’m really pleased with his performance in both the dressage test and the cross-country event today, but I’ve still got a lot of work to do to compete at the same level as Tim Price (laughs)!”

Find the results here.
You can follow the live stream here.

The starting lists, results, maps, practical information, and ticket office are available on the mobile App “Les 5 Étoiles de Pau” or on the website for the event:  www.event-pau.fr.

Juliette Feytout – E-mail: juliette@blizko-communication.com