Tom McEwen’s ride Toledo De Kerser, who is in the lead at the final CCI5* of the European eventing season at Pau in the south of France, was asked to re-present at the final horse inspection this morning (Sunday, 27 October).
Tom looked surprised as the ground jury asked him to trot up the 12-year-old bay, a son of Diamant De Semilly owned by Fred and Penny Barker, Jane Inns and Ali McEwen, for a second time.
The ground jury at Les 5 Etoiles de Pau comprises Britain’s Tim Downes, Katrin Eichinger-Kniely from Austria and France’s Nathalie Carriere.
Toledo De Kerser, part of Britain’s gold medal-winning team at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, bounced down the trot-up strip on his re-presentation and was passed. The pair only added 0.8 of a cross-country time-fault to their leading dressage mark of 24.9 yesterday, and has 3.1 penalties in hand over second-placed Alexander Bragg and Zagreb, owned by Philip and Sally Ellicott, going into the final showjumping phase.
All the 27 horses presented for the veterinary inspection this morning — from an initial field of 42 — passed. Despite temperatures reaching 27 degrees during yesterday’s cross-country and a twisting, demanding 11 minutes 15 seconds track from course-designer Pierre Michelet, all looked fit and fresh.
The only withdrawals overnight are both of Gemma Tattersall’s rides, Jalapeño and Chilli Knight. Jalapeño, a 12-year-old chestnut mare, was in 13th place after incurring 20 penalties across country, and nine-year-old Chilli Knight was in 20th. Pau was a first CCI5* for both horses.
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The showjumping starts at 3pm French time. Britain has three horses in the top five; as well as Tom and Alex, both of whom are aiming for a first CCI5* victory, the reigning world champion Ros Canter is in fourth on Zenshera behind Australia’s Chris Burton (Quality Purdey).
The best-placed French rider is Matheiu Lemoine, ninth on Tzinga D’Auzay.
Check back later for a final update from Pau, plus full report in next week’s magazine (dated 31 October).