The German superstar will be looking to make amends for his early Burghley fall with FischerRocana FST (pictured, right), the mare who won Kentucky as well as last year’s world silver. He also rides Halunke FBW, the 2013 European champion.
New Zealand’s Tim Price brings forward his 2014 Luhmühlen winner, Wesko, whose primary aim now is Rio. He has had a relatively light summer campaign since taking second at Kentucky, the highlight being fourth at Aachen.
Tim has another ride in Lord Of The Owls, who he has only competed once. The horse was 10th at Blenheim CCI3* last year with Julie Tew, but hasn’t shown much form this term, so it’ll be interesting to see how he goes for Tim.
Other competitive New Zealand entries include Tim’s wife Jonelle on the Luhmühlen runner-up Faerie Dianimo and Mark Todd on his London 2012 team bronze medallist NZB Campino.
Fifty-four pairs from 11 nations make up the Pau field. Britain has 13 horses, including three for Sarah Bullimore. Chief among these is her Europeans ride, Lilly Corinne, who was seriously competitive in the dressage at Blair before one mistake across country.
H&H blogger Simon Grieve heads to Pau for the third time with his popular Cornacrew, while Emily King makes her four-star debut at the event where her mother Mary finished second on Pau’s inaugural running at the level in 2007. Emily rides Brookleigh, with whom she was fifth in the under-25 CCI3* at Bramham this year.
Among the Brits, also look out for Lucy Wiegersma with Mr Chunky. The horse ran at Burghley — finishing 28th — so this is a second autumn four-star for him, but he only started his season at Barbury in July as Lucy had her first baby, Tomas, in the spring.
The home side effort is spearheaded by two rides apiece for Astier Nicolas and Karim Florent Laghouag. Britain-based Astier was selected for the Europeans with Piaf De B’Neville, but missed out through horse injury, while Karim is also looking to make amends after falling over the Haggis at Blair with Entebbe De Hus. Astier’s second horse, Quickly Du Buguet is also worth watching as she lives up to her name in the speed stakes.
Australia has just two entries, but both are goodies: Bill Levett on Shannondale Titan and Paul Tapner on Indian Mill. And Canada’s Rebecca Howards should be competitive on Riddle Master.
Another Canadian, Rachel McDonough on Irish Rhythm, crosses the Atlantic for the competition, as do four US riders. Watch out for Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda, who have stonking three-star form but have never quite cracked the four-star level.
Finally, Ireland has four entries, with two for Joseph Murphy including the seasoned campaigner Electric Cruise, who was second after cross-country here last year before being spun at the final trot-up.
Don’t miss updates from Pau on H&H online this week, plus full report in the magazine next week (Thursday, 29 October).