Saumur, France – As anticipated, Pierre Michelet’s technical cross country track proved extremely influential on Saturday at the Saumur CCI3* as the leaderboard saw a great shake-up. Of the 69 competitors to start the second phase of competition, 45 completed, including Land Rover Competition Grant recipients Doug Payne and Crown Talisman, who maintained their top 10 position heading into the show jumping.
Payne (Apex, N.C.) and his own and Larry and Amelia Ross’ 11-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred gelding cruised around the 29-obstacle track without jumping penalties to finish 17 seconds over the optimum and add 6.8 time faults to their fourth place dressage score. The winners of the 2014 Jersey Fresh CIC3* stand on a two-day total of 50.2 in seventh place.
“Tali was again exceptional on a very challenging course. (He) warmed up great and headed out on course strong as ever and improved as the course progressed and finished up very strong. During the last few minutes on course he still had energy to spare,” said Payne of his horse’s performance on Saturday. “I can’t express how proud I am with Tali and how thankful I am to have the support of Larry and Amelia Ross, the entire Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team, and of course my family and wife Jessica. I wouldn’t be here without all of their help.”
Payne will be the lone U.S. representative in Sunday’s show jumping after Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (East Sussex, United Kingdom) incurred trouble at fence five with Deborah Halliday’s Fernhill by Night electing to retire and save the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse for another day.
France’s Luc Chateau held his dressage lead with Propriano de l’Ebat to stand on a two-day total of 39.2, and is followed by compatriot Maxime Livio with Qalao des Mers two points behind in second on 41.2. Australia’s Christopher Burton climbed three places on the strength of a faultless round to lie third after the cross country with Graf Liberty on 46.
By Helen Murray
To learn more about the Saumur CCI3*, visit http://www.saumur.org/cci/accueil-gb.html.
Follow the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.