One Combination Spun at Pau Final Horse Inspection

Overnight leaders Laura Collett and London 52. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

There’s been some drama at this afternoon’s final horse inspection at Les 5 Etoiles de Pau, for which 35 horse-and-rider combinations presented after five overnight withdrawals.

Among those absent from proceedings was best-placed French rider Jean Lou Bigot, who was in eighth place after cross-country with Utrillo du Halage, as well as his fellow countryman Karim Florent Laghouag, who was in 36th place after picking up 36.4 penalties yesterday with Triton Fontaine. Great Britain’s Sarah Bullimore also opted to withdraw Conpierre after a tricky round yesterday, as did Yasmin Ingham, whose Rehy DJ was making his five-star debut this week. Sweden’s Anna Freskgard, who sat 24th after a steady clear with 9.2 time penalties, also withdrew before today’s competition.

Oliver Townend and MHS King Joules. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

And so the ranks diminished, though the short and sweet inspection to ground jury Xavier L Sauce, Andrew Bennie, and Nikki Herbert didn’t go exactly to plan for two competitors.

Oliver Townend and MHS King Joules, in provisional ninth place after the withdrawal of Jean Lou Bigot, were sent to the holding box, swiftly followed by Ireland’s Austin O’Connor and Colorado Blue, provisionally tenth. Though MHS King Joules would go on to be accepted, Colorado Blue was spun upon re-presentation.

Austin O’Connor and Colorado Blue. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

This leaves us with a mere 34 competitors to tackle this afternoon’s showjumping challenge, set to begin at 15.15 local/14.15 UK/10.15 a.m. Eastern. You can take a look at Yann Royant’s typically tough track here.

Here’s another look at our top five heading into showjumping:

The top five after cross-country at Pau.

As always, you can watch along on H&C+ — click here for all the information you need. Allons-y, readers!

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