“I wouldn’t want to be on any other horse than him at this level, jumping this kind of stuff,” said Kylie Roddy after jumping clear around Pau Horse Trials cross-country with SRS Kan Do.
Kylie and the Fox family’s 13-year-old Irish gelding jumped superbly round Pierre Michelet’s five-star track yesterday (28 October), posting only the second jumping clear of the first 11 horses. The pair opted for the longer route at the troublesome water at fences 20 and 21, and came home with a very respectable 8 time-penalties, with only four combinations from the 55-strong field going quicker. Kylie and “George” sit seventh ahead of the showjumping this afternoon (29 October).
The competition is George’s only five-star of the year, with the gelding having a quiet 12-months as he recovered from bruising sustained when he pulled both front shoes off at Arville, Belgium, last August.
“He’s only had an intermediate and two three-star runs this year due to the bruising in his front feet having to grow out, so he came here lacking fitness miles,” said Kylie.
“It took a good 12 months to get that out, and it took us until July to decide whether he’d come and do an autumn three-day.”
The Pau Horse Trials cross-country was troublesome for many, but Kylie and George put in a confident and established round – despite losing a shoe on track.
“I came here with him fit enough to be super good, but you never know what Pierre Michelet is going to build you, it deserves the respect that he obviously laid down to everybody – some came out good, and some didn’t,” she said.
“I don’t know where we lost the shoe, but I was slipping everywhere. It’s one of those courses where we’ve got parkland that goes to the racecourse, and several places where they’ve put grit and stone down where they’ve tried to help the ground with all the wet. At the last two minutes as we re-entered the parkland I backed off the pace as that’s where it was the slippiest, and I looked after him to get him home.”
Kylie said George was “sensational”.
“The love I have for him when I ride him across country, he just makes the magic happen. That’s what he does,” she said.
“I would want to be on any other horse than him at this level jumping this kind of stuff. To be here is an honour and to ride him round it, makes my Christmases.”
The final horse inspection will take place at 11.45am local time (10.45 British time) ahead of the showjumping at 2.30pm local time (1.30pm British time).
You might also be interested in:
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.