Five-Star Winner Held in Pau First Horse Inspection

Mollie Summerland and Charly van ter Heiden. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

If there’s one thing that floats Pau’s boat more than anything else, it’s embracing #SpookySeason and holding the trot-up basically as close to midnight as the FEI will let them.

Okay, okay, we’re exaggerating a bit, but the 8.30 a.m. Thursday trot-ups of old were replaced today by a sunset sashay up the strip that left us all in some doubt by the end which horses we were even looking at. All’s well that ends well, though: despite some shenanigans from the audience — including one small child hell-bent on playing dominoes with the strip’s bordering panels, which nearly took poor Izzy Taylor out before her week had begun — all 48 horses presented were eventually accepted.

Tim Price and Ringwood Sky Boy are held but eventually accepted. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

The evening wasn’t without its dramas, though: New Zealand’s Tim Price couldn’t take a breather after sprinting back and forth with three horses (in a mask, no less) because his 2018 Burghley winner Ringwood Sky Boy defected to the hold box. Upon re-presentation to the ground jury of Andrew Bennie (NZL), Nikki Herbert (GBR), and Xavier Le Sauce (FRA — of course), ‘Ozzie’ — one of the crowd favourite horses this week — was accepted into the competition.

And so we look onwards to dressage, which begins rather sociably after lunchtime tomorrow. You can find the newly-posted times here. We’ll be taking a closer look at the tests you need to ensure you catch tomorrow morning and in the meantime, you can catch us under the palm trees. La vie en rose — or en rosé.

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