Ros and the 10-year-old gelding, who she co-owns with Alex Moody, jumped clear acround Pierre Michelet’s intense track, on Izilot DHI’s five-star debut.
Despite Izilot DHI (Isaac) putting in a confident performance, the combination’s round was not without drama – which resulted in an appeal being lodged with the ground jury over the number of time-penalties Ros received.
Ros said as she was galloping towards the final combination (28abcd) three fences from home, a string was still up at a crossing point and she had to shout to the stewards and slow Isaac down on approach, resulting in them losing time.
“I shouted at them, but they only put the string on the floor – they never moved it to the side so I had to canter over it,” she said.
When Ros and Isaac crossed the finish line they were on 6.8 time-penalties, which put them on a score of 31.1. This placed them on the same score as Tom McEwen and JL Dublin, who also jumped clear and added 8 time-penalties to their 23.1 dressage.
An appeal was submitted to the ground jury owing to the time lost when Ros was forced to slow Isaac down, and following a review, their time penalties were reduced to 3.2. This means the pair completed the Pau Horse Trials cross-country phase on 27.5.
This was not the only issue Ros and Isaac faced on course. The pair had been having a smooth and forward round throughout the first three quarters of the course when they were pulled up by the stewards at fence 18abc, owing to Tom Rowland and MGH Maybe A Mission having a horse fall ahead of them at fence 24b.
Ros said she was flagged down by stewards as she was jumping – and not at an official stopping point.
“I don’t know whether it was a bit of a panic stop,” she said. “I definitely wasn’t stopped at a stopping point. They were shouting at me as I was jumping and I didn’t really know what was going on. I jumped through the arrowhead ditch, then they were waving a flag at the side of me shouting, and I didn’t know why I’d been stopped,” she said.
“It wasn’t ideal, but they did the best they could I think. I don’t know what the situation was, so I guess they did what they had to do.”
Despite a challenging cross-country round, Ros was thrilled with how Isaac jumped.
“He was amazing,” she said. “He’s just come on leaps and bounds this year. I am extremely proud of everything that he’s done. He’s had to overcome a very spooky streak; he’s got quite a big flight instinct and it’s absolutely amazing how he’s learned his job. He’s such an honest and genuine horse.
“I think he’s always a bit shocked by what is going on. He’s a very polite horse to ride – as long as he’s not being flighty, he’s actually very easy. I was waiting at that hold for quite a long time and thinking, ‘I’ve got the triple bar and water coming up. What do I do? What do I do?’. Then I rode him really badly at the triple bar and I thought ‘Come on, get yourself together girl!’.”
Earlier in the day Ros was third to go with 14-year-old mare Pencos Crown Jewel, owned by Kate James and Annie Makin. The pair collected 20 jumping penalties when they had a run out at a skinny, fence 20b, the second part of the third water combination. The pair also had 20.4 time-penalties, to finish on 70.7.
Ros said the Pau Horse Trials cross-country course was “relentless in terms of questions, questions, questions.”
“There wasn’t anything that’s really huge or really scary for the horses, but everything’s on a turn, everything’s either open or a bit holding, it’s quite hard to really pick a good rhythm,” she said.
“Jasmine (Pencos Crown Jewel) can struggle a bit with her balance, and in hindsight I should have gone long with her [at the third water] but I just didn’t quite have the power steering. But that’s unfortunately the downside of going near the beginning, you go for it because you think that’s what everyone else is going to do and the reality is I should have played it safe with her. But other than that, they’ve both been fantastic.”
A spokesman for Pau Horse Trials said the issue around Ros and Izilot DHI’s time-penalties “has been solved and after review of the footage the ground jury modified the time”.
The spokesman added that Tom Rowland’s horse MGH Maybe A Mission was transported to the vet clinic and came back to the show’s stables, and that Tom was not injured.
More to follow on Pau Horse Trials…
You might also be interested in:
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.