European Champion Nicolas Touzaint (pictured) has taken the lead in the four-star at Pau, France, after going clear inside the time across country.
Nicolas’s penalty-free round with Hildago De L’Ile moved him from third after dressage into pole position.
“I knew the horse had it in him to do a four-star, but he is big striding and has been a little on the forehand, which has caused problems coming into combinations,” said Nicolas. “We’ve solved that with bitting and getting him listening to me more.”
Britain’s Pippa Funnell added just eight time-penalties during a determined round on Ensign, but they were enough to drop the dressage leader to third place going into tomorrow’s show jumping.
Pippa had to take one long route — at fences 14 and 15, a double of angled trakehners to a corner, where she thought she wouldn’t be able to make the turn to the corner, so went to the alternative third element.
Matt Ryan, second after dressage with Bonza Puzzle, was one of a number of riders to miss the fish in the first water, which followed a tight turn from the log in.
Andrew Nicholson was one of the best through here with the mare Ginger May Killinghurst, and his clear round inside the time was rewarded with second place overnight.
Don’t miss Horse & Hound next Thursday (1 November) for a full report from Pau.
RESULTS AFTER CROSS-COUNTRY
1. Hildago De L’Ile (Nicolas Touzaint, FRA) 42.4
2. Ginger May Killinghurst (Andrew Nicholson, NZL) 46.6
3. Ensign (Pippa Funnell, GBR) 49.6
4. Imperial Cavalier (Mary King, GBR) 51
5. Lorgaine (Niall Griffin, IRL) 59.4
6. Inonothing (Paul Tapner, AUS) 61.2