‘You can ride him like a pure dressage horse’: British combination take the lead at Pau five-star

  • Tom McEwen and JL Dublin head the leaderboard at the halfway point on the second day (27 October) of the Pau Horse Trials dressage.

    Tom and the 12-year-old rode a beautiful test to score 23.1, shooting ahead of overnight leaders Tim Price and Viscount Viktor, who posted 28. JL Dublin, owned by the Lamberts and Deirdre Johnston, lit up in the arena and looked particularly expressive through his trot work, earning two nines for the first medium trot, and further nines for the extended.

    Tom said it was “probably one of the best tests” the pair had done together.

    “For me personally, I was quite disappointed with the mark, I thought it was going to be a lot lower. His quality was outshining most others,” he said.

    Tom and JL Dublin’s flatwork has continued to progress over time.

    “You can really ride him like a pure dressage horse in there,” said Tom.

    “You can ride him with balance, he’s got the cadence, you can really show the expression between the movements. For me today, he showed the difference between a medium trot which was excellent, to an extended trot that was incredible – and that’s what they’re looking for, but they weren’t really marking that today.

    “I’m delighted with him, and this is now history. It puts us in a great spot, of course there’s still great horses to come, but now we go and focus on tomorrow.”

    Oliver Townend and Tregilder are currently second on 27.2, and Tim and Viscount Viktor are third.

    Oliver said the 13-year-old 18hh gelding, owned by the Hazeldines & Mitchell Fox Group, does not find dressage the easiest.

    “He’s a big weak blood horse and he’s always found it very difficult. He also finds it quite stressful, he worries and does silly things a lot of the time, but he’s done very well today,” he said.

    “Flying changes took us about three years to master, and I don’t think we’ve still mastered them, but he got very good clean changes today. I’m just happy with his progression and hopefully now we can go onto the bit he finds a bit easier.”

    The Pau Horse Trials dressage continues this afternoon, with combinations including Harry Meade and Red Kite, Tim Price and Happy Boy, and Pippa Funnell and MCS Maverick still to go. Check out the dressage times.

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