‘The more I walk it, the stronger it seems’: take a look at this year’s CCI4* Pau cross-country track

  • Later today (27 October), the cross-country phase gets underway at Les étoiles de Pau CCI***. Designed by Pierre Michelet, this year’s course features 45 jumping efforts over a distance of 6,320m, making the optimum time 11min 6sec.

    Ros Canter, who currently sits in second aboard Zenshera said: “It’s a proper four-star test, with questions from start to finish. The first water comes up very quickly, particularly as you approach the first element around a blind bend — horses then need to look ahead in order to take on the step out to angled brush. Horses and riders need to be on it the whole way round.”

    New Zealand rider Tim Price said: “I think the track is less intense than it was here last year, but the questions still come thick and fast, with the first two waters coming up early on the course and this section is also particularly twisty. You need a nice rhythm here to make the time.”

    Phillip Dutton, agreed saying: “You need your horse to be thinking forward and listening for this course.”

    Ireland’s Joseph Murphy explained: “The more I walk it, the stronger it seems. The first water will be influential and the twists and turns cause trouble here. The horse really needs to be taking you and as riders we will have to work with the feeling they give us. The fact that this course is mostly flat, I think is tougher on the horses — there is nowhere to let them have a breather running downhill. I think the time will be difficult to get and I hope it rides better than it walks.”

    First-time Pau competitor Will Furlong pointed out that there are “lots of angles and corners horses could run past.”

    “There’s not one particular fence that I think will catch people out — it’s very cleverly built with questions spread throughout the course. The organisers have done a fantastic job on the ground, watering and aerovating it. I think the first water will prove influential given how early it comes up.”

    Let’s take a look around what riders will be facing from 1.30pm this afternoon (12.30pm BST)…

    Fence 1

    Fence 2

    Fence 3

    Fence 4

    Fence 5AB

    Fence 6

    Fence 7AB and 8

    Fence 9

    Fence 10

    Fence 11

    Fence 12

    Fence 13

    Fence 14

    Fence 15

    Fence 16AB

    Fence 17

    Fence 18

    Fence 19

    Fence 20

    Fence 21

    Fence 22

    Fence 23

    Fence 24AB and 25

    Fence 26

    Fence 27


    Fence 28

    Fence 29

    Fence 30

    Fence 31AB

    Fence 32

    Fence 33

    Fence 34AB and 35

    Fence 36

    Fence 37AB

    Fence 38

    Keep up-to-date with all the latest news and reports from Pau via horseandhound.co.uk, and don’t miss the full report in next week’s magazine (1 November)

    You may like...