The top five remain unchanged following an exciting cross-country phase at Pau horse trials today (24 October).
Michael Jung proved once again why he is ranked number one in the world after producing two text book clears to hold on to first and second places. However, less than four faults separate the top four meaning Michael cannot afford a showjump down tomorrow in order to claim his third CCI4* title this season.
Halunke FBW (pictured above) stopped the clock 0.25 of a second adrift of the 11 minutes 36 seconds optimum time to pick up 0.4 of a time-fault and remain in first place.
“I was a little too slow at the beginning because it’s his first four-star,” said Michael. “He’s a big, strong horse and I have to prepare him for the distances more than my other horse.”
Fischerrocana FST came home penalty-free to lie second.
“At both of her last two events she has had problems at water, so for the first three minutes today I gave her more time to make sure she was feeling confident,” said Michael of his Kentucky CCI4* winner, who was retired at Luhmuhlen in June when she stumbled in water and then fell in water at Burghley last month.
Emily King rode with skill and bravery beyond her 19 years to bring Brookleigh (pictured above) home clear inside the time and hold on to third place.
“He’s never done this distance before but he found a good rhythm and I went for all the forward, attacking distances. He responded well,” said Emily, who is making her debut at this level.
France’s Astier Nicolas fell off his first horse, Quickly Du Buguet, when the mare pecked on landing from the narrow grapes fence (La grappe de raisins, 21).
However, the Frenchman fared better on his second ride, Piaf De B’Neville, who was faultless to stay fourth overnight.
“He’s very genuine,” said Astier. “It felt like I was playing a game to start with but then he got tired. He gave me a good ride.”
Tim Price and Wesko recorded the fastest round of the day when they stopped the clock with 26 seconds to spare. They lie fifth.
It wasn’t plain-sailing for all of the 47 starters, however. Seven combinations were eliminated, two retired and 10 finished with jumping penalties to add.
America’s Jennie Brannigan, lying ninth after the dressage, came to grief when Cambalda crumpled on landing after a hedge (La haie de lauriers) at 15. It was not a good day for the USA, who had four riders competing and only one — Katie Ruppel on Houdini — finished, albeit with 40 jumping and 67.6 time-faults to add.
Sarah Bullimore pulled off a sensational pathfinding round about Valentino V to move up to 12th overnight.
“He’s an old pro; I did get it wrong a couple of times but he said ‘no mum’ and sorted it out,” said Sarah, who was eliminated on Lilly Corinne when the mare was deemed not to have passed through the flags at the grapes.
Sarah also picked up 20 faults aboard Reve Du Rouet when he glanced off the corner two from home (Les pointes de haies, 27ab). Several riders opted for the long route here, including Mark Todd (NZB Campino, 11th overnight) and Astier Nicolas on Piaf De B’Neville.
As predicted on Friday, the three water complexes proved influential.
Among the victims of the third, Le gue des poissons (24), was Lucy Wiegersma when Mr Chunky drifted left after negotiating the table in and went on to jump the perimeter fence, where he was unbalanced by deep water. Both emerged unhurt.
Julie Tew fell from Simply Sox after negotiating a corner out of the second water (Le gue des pistes, 19/20), but was later back on her feet.
- Tomorrow’s showjumping starts at 2.30pm French time (1.30pm GST). Don’t miss our report on the final day on HorseandHound.co.uk tomorrow evening.
Pau horse trials: top 10 after cross-country:
1 Halunke FBW (Michael Jung, GER) 34.9
2 Fischerrocana FST (Michael Jung, GER) 35.4
3 Brookleigh (Emily King, GBR) 38.3
4 Piaf De B’neville (Astier Nicolas, FRA) 38.5
5 Wesko (Tim Price, NZL) 40
6 Concrex Bayro (Tim Lips, NED) 40.9
7 Indian Mill (Paul Tapner, AUS) 42.3
8 Entebbe De Hus (Karim Florent Laghoua, FRA) 42.6
9 Shannondale Titan (Bill Levett, AUS) 42.9
10 FRH Butts Avedon (Andreas Dibowski, GER) 42.9
View the results in full here.
Don’t miss the full Pau report in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine, on sale 29 October.