One horse held at first trot-up at Pau, 2020’s only five-star horse trials *H&H Plus*

  • Find out what happened at the first trot-up at Pau Horse Trials this afternoon, as 48 horses were presented to the ground jury

    One horse was held at the Pau Horse Trials first trot-up this afternoon (21 October) as the only five-star event of 2020 got underway.

    Ringwood Sky Boy, one of three rides for New Zealand’s Tim Price, was sent to the holding box after his first appearance in front of the ground jury, but the 2018 Burghley winner passed on re-inspection.

    Forty-eight horses representing 10 different nations were presented to the ground jury, consisting of New Zealand’s Andrew Bennie, Britain’s Nikki Herbert and France’s Xavier Le Sauce.

    Barrichello, ridden by Ireland’s Cathal Daniels, was on the start list for the inspection, but was not presented.

    There was a brief heart-stopping moment for Britain’s Izzy Taylor when Artful Trinity spooked at something on the left-hand side of the trot-up strip on the return leg and jumped to the right, but he continued without further incident and was passed by the ground jury without having to trot up again.

    Pau Horse Trials first trot-up fashion

    There are 23 British horses in the competition and their riders pulled out the stops in the fashion stakes.

    Sarah Bullimore sported a red hat and boots to present Conpierre and the experienced Pau specialist Reve Du Rouet, while Piggy French wore a bright pink coat over a white top to bring forward last year’s Blenheim Horse Trials CCI4*-L winner Brookfield Inocent.

    Yasmin Ingham’s grey checked jacket and black trousers also caught the eye as she showed the ground jury five-star first-timer Rehy DJ, as did Nicola Wilson’s turquoise jacket as she led up Bulana, the 2017 European individual bronze medallist.

    Laura Collett put on a skirt with two rows of buttons and boots to trot up London 52 – judged the favourite by data analytics company EquiRatings, with a 14% chance of winning – and Mr Bass.

    Five-star debutant Richard Coney, who presented Kananaskis and Mermus R Diamonds, kept the boys in the mix for the fashion prizes with his light three-piece suit, while Hector Payne also wore a three-piece suit. He rides Dynasty.

    Some riders matched their compulsory mask to their ensemble, with another five-star debutant, Rosa Onslow, notable in her floaty pale green suit and green mask as she trotted up Diamond Sundance and RLE Limbo Kaiser. Oliver Townend paired his mask with a flat cap as he presented MHS King Joules.

    A number of the British riders sported Union flag masks supplied by Chalkdown Riding for the Disabled Association in Staplehurst, Kent.

    Pau Horse Trials dressage times

    Two-thirds of the riders will perform their dressage tests tomorrow, with four blocks of horses running from 1.30pm French time (12.30pm British time). There are then two final sessions on Friday morning, beginning at 9am French time (8am British time).

    The dressage times have been released and Tim Price kicks off the action tomorrow morning on the pathfinder Xavier Faer. He is also the last rider in the arena with Wesko. Ringwood Sky Boy – the horse who caught the ground jury’s attention today – starts at 4.24pm French time (3.24pm British time) on Thursday.

    The first British rider to come under the ground jury’s scrutiny will be Alex Bragg on King Of The Mill, who follows Xavier Faer into the arena tomorrow morning. Alex also rides the more experienced Zagreb on Friday.

    Pre-event favourite London 52 is in the final judging block, performing at 10.18am French time (9.18am British time) on Friday.

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