William Fox-Pitt made it count as the last rider to go on day two of dressage at Les Etoiles de Pau, scoring 39.3 with Parklane Hawk to sit in equal first with Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob, the only combinations to crack the 30s on the leaderboard at the conclusion of this first phase.
Horseware Hale Bob, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding, did his first CCI4* at Luhmühlen in June, picking up 40 jumping penalties on cross country to finish 28th. Ingrid told FEI TV the horse has proven himself across a 12-minute course, and she’s looking forward to cross country on Saturday:
Though Parklane Hawk has won in Kentucky and enjoyed top-five finishes at Badminton and Burghley, he’s never been to Pau. “It will be interesting to see how Parklane Hawk would cope with a track like this,” William told FEI TV. “It’s a very, very different event from the four-stars back home — Badminton and Burghley — which is what I’ve done with him, so this will be a new challenge for us.”
William is also sitting in fifth place with last year’s winner Seacookie TSF on a score of 41.8, so he has two very good chances to repeat his victory from last year. You can watch his fill interview with FEI TV in this video:
Kathryn Robinson and Let It Bee round out the top 15 for Canada on a score of 50.5 with a workmanlike test. The score was trending above 70 percent for the first half, and they lost some marks in the canter work. Still, that’s a big improvement on their score of 60.2 at this event from last year.
As we reported earlier this morning, Clark Montgomery and Universe, who were set to go in the final group of the day, ultimately withdrew after super groom Karen Hughes noticed a slight change in one of Buzz’s legs after their morning prep ride.
“They were able to ultrasound it immediately and found mild tendonitis. Although it’s terrible timing to have something like this come up, we are thankful to have caught it before he ran,” Clark said on Facebook.
It’s a bummer of a way to end the season, as Buzz bounced around Pierre Michelet’s course last year for a double clear round to ultimately finish in 10th place on a final score of 60. We’re relieved to hear the horse will be just fine after time off.
Lauren Kieffer and Veronica and Sharon White and Wundermaske held on to spots in the top 15, scoring 44.2 and 48.7, respectively, yesterday with two solid tests to sit in seventh and 13th places. Erin Sylvester and No Boundaries are further down the leaderboard on 59.3.
Cross country will stream live starting at 7:50 a.m. EST tomorrow on FEI TV, as well as a via free live stream available at this link. FEI TV has been posting interviews with our Americans on YouTube, so be sure to check those out at this link.
Update: Cross country ride times have now been posted. Times for our North Americans are as follows:
Sharon White and Wundermaske: 8:28 a.m. EST
Lauren Kieffer and Veronica: 8:36 a.m. EST
Erin Sylvester and No Boundaries: 9:12 a.m. EST
Kathryn Robinson and Let It Bee: 9:44 a.m. EST