Thibault Fournier became the youngest ever winner of Les étoiles de Pau CCI*** this afternoon (28 October), holding his nerve in the final showjumping phase aboard Siniani De Lathus (pictured top).
The 23-year-old Frenchman had a fence in hand going into the final phase, which he used this up early in the course. But, finishing inside the time, it was enough to clinch victory in both his and his horse’s first four-star attempt.
“I’m speechless, this is so unexpected,” said Thibault. “We came here to see if the horse and I could compete at this level and he has been amazing all week.”
Gemma Tattersall and Pamero 4 (pictured below) couldn’t have performed much better, finishing on their 29.9 dressage and the only person to complete on their first phase score, which was good enough for second.
“Pamero 4 has been absolutely brilliant,” said Gemma. “He was so fresh and wild this morning but he jumped very well and he’s so exciting for the future.”
Another four-star first-timer finished third in the shape of 26-year-old French rider, Clara Loiseau. She had one fence down around a course which saw 11 of 35 starters jump clear aboard the 14-year-old gelding Wont Wait.
“Wont Wait is fresh every day and he gives me everything, “ said Clara, who rode the round of her life on the cross-country, finishing 22 seconds inside the optimum time, but never looking rushed.
Denmark’s Peter Flarup rose from sixth to eventual fourth riding Frankie, despite also have a fence down.
“This result isn’t what we expected — it’s so much more, but he’s always been very good and everything came together this week,” said Peter.
Britain’s Ros Canter slipped from third to fifth when Zenshera had two fences down plus one time-fault.
“This is his weakest phase, but he dug deep for me yesterday so I couldn’t ask for much more from him,” said Ros.
Fellow Brit Tom Crisp enjoyed an almighty climb up the leaderboard thanks to a double jumping clear, adding just 3.6 time-faults to his first phase score. He found himself in eventual sixth having sat in 54th after the dressage riding the 11-year-old mare, Liberty And Glory.
“I held my breath for a lot of our showjumping round,” admitted Tom. “This mare is usually a very good jumper, but it’s not often we find ourselves in the top 10 after the cross-country at an international event. She’s performed her socks off.”
Find out how the final horse inspection unfolded
Find out what riders think of this year’s
The next best placed Brits were David Britnell, (10th on Continuity), Izzy Taylor (11th on Call Me Maggie May), Nicky Roncoroni (12th on Watts Burn) and Tom Jackson (13th on Carpa Du Buisson Z).
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)