1. This 22-year-old five-star debutant
A British 22-year-old CCI5* first-timer produced a phenomenal debut to share the overnight lead with William Fox-Pitt on the first day of Pau Horse Trials dressage yesterday (28 October). Ailsa Wates and the beautiful grey Woodlands Persuasion, owned by Pip Wates and Equine Aqua Training, were last to go on Thursday afternoon. They scored 27.4 to share the overnight lead with William – even though Ailsa appeared to momentarily forget her way in the canterwork. What canterwork! So uphill. A joy to watch. It is only Ailsa’s first year in seniors. William was riding the first of his two rides, Oratorio. The Oratorio Syndicate’s 12-year-old gelding is by Oslo, with whom William won Pau in 2011.
2. Ones to watch at Pau today
The 14 British riders competing on the second day of dressage include three former Pau winners – defending champion Laura Collett – 2pm local time (1pm British time) – 2019 victor Tom McEwen – 2.14pm local time (1.14pm British time) – plus 2011 and 2013 winner William Fox-Pitt on his second ride, Little Fire – 4.26pm local time (3.26pm British time).
3. The Horse & Hound Awards
Yes, they are back, after a year of virtual awards, the Horse & Hound Awards in partnership with NAF make a welcome return to Cheltenham Racecourse this year – but who will take home the honours? With Olympic gold medallist to choose from, and equally hotly contested awards in all categories, from vet to farrier to young rider to volunteer to amateur to horse, each is relying on your votes…
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