The first horse inspection got underway this morning at Les 5 Etoiles de Pau, mercifully not in the dark for the first time in recent memory. This is partly because of our friends and neighbours the combined drivers – their competition this week serves as the test event for next year’s World Championship, and so the structure of the week has changed to accommodate their additional needs. This doesn’t have much bearing on the CCI5*, but that the trot-up has shifted forward and Friday brings us a full day of dressage, rather than a shortened day as we’re used to.
Today’s horse inspection took place before the assembled ground jury of Katrin Eichinger-Kniely (AUT), Tim Downes (GBR), and Nathalie Carriere, and 42 combinations came forward to begin their competition. You can read all about each and every single one of them in our bumper form guide.
Just one horse was held through the course of the morning: British debutante Charlotte East was sent to the holding box with King Albert, bred and formerly produced by Mary King. The pair were subsequently accepted upon representation.
Dressage begins at 14.00 local time/13.00 BST/8.00 a.m. Eastern time, and we’ll see the first 14 combinations of the 42-strong field deliver their tests in the sandbox today. It’s an afternoon of sport well worth following: this afternoon’s competitors include Luhmühlen winners Tim Price and Ascona M (14.51 local time), runners-up Tom McEwen and Figaro van het Broekxhof (14.44), five-star fan favourites Alex Bragg and Zagreb (16.02), and Australia’s Shane Rose and Virgil, on a hot winning streak (16.16). You can find this afternoon’s full timetable here.
Want to watch along? You’ll find a live-stream with English commentary at Horse&Country TV. The dressage and jumping phases are free to watch, while Saturday’s cross-country requires a subscription.
Unfortunately, some technical malfunctions prevented us from capturing the full gamut of this morning’s combinations, but enjoy a teeny-weeny gallery for now and keep it locked onto EN, where we’ll be bringing you plenty more Pau content throughout the day.