Dirk Schrade was the surprise winner of the CCI**** at Pau after Oliver Townend and Carousel Quest, leaders since the dressage, knocked seven show jumps down.
Dirk, a member of the German squad at the recent European Championships in Fontainebleau, rose from fifth after dressage to second before the show jumping.
A clear round on the dark bay King Artus meant that Oliver could only afford one fence down, and when the first fell, it started a skittles-like demolition of the track.
“I was a little disappointed after the dressage because I know he can do a really good test, but I had a good ride across country and although he’s a long-striding horse he listened to me well,” said Dirk.
Dirk finished on a score of 48.5, 0.1pen ahead of his compatriot Andreas Dibowski on Euroridings Butts Leon, who also show jumped clear.
Frenchman Pascal Leroy hit three fences but still finished third on Minos De Petra.
Lucy Wiegersma achieved Britain’s best placing in fourth with Granntevka Prince. The pair had two fences down, but still rose a place from fifth after cross-country.
France’s Jean Teulere was fifth, one place ahead of Rodolphe Scherer, who retired 19-year-old Fairfax from competition after his show jumping round.
Oliver Townend finished eighth, behind French four-star debutante Gwendolen Fer.
Don’t miss H&H’s full report from Pau, on sale Thursday 29 October, ’09