‘Michael Jung Still Has a Bum Leg But Don’t Worry, It’s Cool’ and Other Pre-Pau Cross-Country Notes

Pau CCI4* cross-country is slated for a 2 p.m. local time, 8 a.m. EST, start. Ah, the suspense! EN superhero Leslie Threlkeld will be bring you live blog updates throughout, and I’ll be out on the course watching the action live so I can bring you a full report later today.

In the meantime, here are a few notes:

Yes, Michael Jung is still a bit lame but don’t worry, he’s been cleared by the engineers who built him for take-off.

After spotting Michael, who claims the top two spots on the leaderboard heading into cross-country today, tooling around the grounds on a Segway…

Posted by buschreiter.de on Facebook.

Posted by buschreiter.de on Facebook.

… I couldn’t help put bring it up during yesterday’s press conference. To review, Michael recently won not only Burghley with La Biosthetique Sam FBW but the FEI European Championships with fischerTakinou on back-to-back weekends — with a broken leg.

Michael replied that it’s on the mend, though, and his doctors are aiming to get the bandage off in a week.

“It’s a strong bandage,” Michael said. “Very safe but very strong so the joint is fixed. So I can’t move — just kick.”

A bandage that allows for no movement except riding your horse forward? EN dubbed Michael “Zee Terminator” a while back, and you’ve got to admit — that’s pretty Terminator-ly. If you end up winning this weekend, Michael, perhaps you should consider putting a patent on that thing.

Best EN reader Facebook comment so far, in response to my dressage wrap-up “The Only Man Who Can Beat Michael Jung Is Michael Jung“…



Everyone keeps talking about what a “French” event Pau is, and they’re not just talking about grape-shaped skinnies…


…random fois gras nestled in amid the cheese pies


and grand, boozy parties every night. (I stopped by the “welcome cocktail” but sadly did not make it to the “very friendly evening followed by dancing party). #liferegrets



When it comes to eventing, the French are very passionate (see my “4 Examples of French Eventing Insanity” the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy) and let’s just say they have their own way of doing things — including cross-country course design. Random jumps here and there, plenty of switchbacks, and a foray onto the adjacent Hippodrome steeplechase track — I literally could not find fences 11 through 21 the first time I walked the course. (p.s. I did finally find them — you can check out my course preview here.)

In this FEI TV interview Paul Tapner, who is currently in 8th place with Indian Mill, explains with a bit of a chuckle:

Here, one rider is literally scratching her chin while having a look at the first water complex, the “Pau Pyrenees Le Gue Route de Bordeaux” at fence 8, (which Mary King does a great job demystifying in this FEI TV video).

Here one rider is literally scratching her chin while having a look at the first water complex.

The weather couldn’t be lovelier. After layering on all the clothes I’d packed at Boekelo a couple weeks back, I’m particular appreciative of autumn in the south of France. Our weekend forecast:


Don’t forget that you can watch the live stream free!  Jenni even embedded it for us here.

Alternately, you can watch the FEI TV live stream, featuring commentary from the event world’s most brilliant hot air balloon John Kyle — well worth the price of a subscription, in my opinion!

Cross-country begins tomorrow at 2 p.m. local time — that’s 8 a.m. EST, which means you don’t even have to get up too early! Thank you, Pau.

Team Canamerica/Americanada ride times:

Rebecca Howard and Riddle Master: 2:28 p.m. local time (8:28 a.m. EST)

Lillian Heard and Share Option: 2:32 p.m. local time (8:32 a.m. EST)

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda: 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. EST)

Katie Ruppel and Houdini: 4:20 p.m. local time (10:20 a.m. EST)

Barb Crabo and Eveready: 4:40 p.m. local time (10:40 a.m. EST)

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda, currently in 9th heading into cross-country. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda, currently in 9th heading into cross-country. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Bonne chance to all of today’s competitors! Go Eventing.

Pau Links: Website, Entry List, Schedule, Cross Country Order of Go, Live Scores, Live Stream, FEI TV, Facebook@eventingnation, EN’s Instagram