Maxime Livio is celebrating his first CCI4* victory after winning at Pau, France, today (16 October).
Riding the 12-year-old Qalao Des Mers (above), who was runner up at Luhmuhlen CCI4* in June, the Frenchman showjumped clear to pip Michael Jung, who was lying in first place overnight but had fences down on both his rides.
“I’ve finished second at this level before, so to finally win is very special,” said Maxime. “I’ve had a marvellous time at Pau; the ground was well prepared, the courses were great and my horse performed well.”
The final top two places mirror last year’s result, when Michael cantered into the main arena in the lead on FischerRocana FST and rolled a showjump, passing the win to France’s Astier Nicolas.
This time the 11-year-old mare dislodged two fences to drop to third, while Michael’s 2015 European champion FischerTakinou, who kicked out one coloured pole, moved up the order from fifth overnight to fill the runner-up spot.
“It is always disappointing to have a fence down but I am happy with both my horses,” said Michael.
Nicola Wilson finished best of the British in fourth place aboard One Two Many (below), who hit two showjumps.
Nicola’s first ride, Annie Clover, jumped a lovely clear to finish eighth, despite the mare losing a shoe across country yesterday.
“They are both such different horses and they’ve tried hard for me this week,” said Nicola.
Part-time farrier Alexander Bragg and Zagreb slotted into fifth ahead of Ireland’s Camilla Speirs on Portersize Just A Jiff.
Alex, who is based in Bridgwater, Somerset, said: “I came here to get a good result in the hope that we’ll go to Badminton next year.”
New Zealand’s Jock Paget piloted Clifton Signature into seventh.
Billy The Red is the fourth British horse to finish inside the top 10, winding up in ninth under Tina Cook at the nine-year-old’s first CCI4*.
“It’s one of the biggest showjumping tracks we’ve seen all year and it was a big ask after such a tough course yesterday,” said Tina. “I’m pleased with how Billy The Red has performed in all three phases.”
France’s Karim Florent Laghouag riding Punch De L’Esques completes the top 10.
There were only eight clear showjumping rounds from 35 starters.
Two from Saturday evening’s top 10 were missing from the line up when Cracker Jack, the ride of America’s Boyd Martin lying sixth, was spun at the final horse inspection this morning, while Aussie Sonja Johnson did not present Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison, who was lying 10th.
For the full results click here.
Don’t miss the full Pau report in next week’s Horse & Hound, on sale 20 October.