Pau Horse Trials

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action from Pau Horse TrialsPau Horse Trials, more correctly known as Les Etoiles de Pau CCI5*, is the only five-star event held in France. It marks the end of the European eventing season at five-star level and it is a popular choice for British event riders.

Pau is a beautiful town on the northern edge of the Pyrenees in the south of France, complete with a castle. There are many good restaurants in the old town. The competition takes place on a racehorse training facility close to the town. Riders competing at the event have set times when they are allowed to exercise in certain areas in order not to intefere with the racehorses.

The area is quite flat and Olympic course-designer Pierre Michelet makes the most of man-made mounds to make the cross-country course more interesting and challenging for horse and rider. The event has been running at five-star (formerly four-star) level since 2007. The venue hosted the European Championships in 2001, when the individual title was won by Pippa Funnell riding Supreme Rock.

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