One Horse Spun, Two Withdrawn, Shenanigans Ensue at Pau Final Horse Inspection

In classic Pau style, the final horse inspection began with…whatever this is. 

“It’s not lame, actually, and you can shove your veterinary degree where the sun don’t shine” — this guy, probably.

34 horses and riders will go ahead to the showjumping finale at Les 5 Etoiles de Pau, the final five-star of the 2023 season, after a handful of overnight withdrawals and a final horse inspection elimination.

Muzi Pottinger and Just Kidding. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

That elimination was the unfortunate fate of New Zealand’s Muzi Pottinger and her Thoroughbred gelding, Just Kidding, who sat 13th overnight after a clear cross-country round yesterday. Three further horses were held through the course of the inspection, which took place under the watchful eye of ground jury President Nikki Herbert and members Emmanuelle Olier and Helen Christie. Those were Britain’s Libby Seed and Heartbreaker Star Quality, 13th overnight, debutant India Wishart and Diamond Sundance, 28th overnight, and Ireland’s Ian Cassells and Master Point, 33rd overnight. All were accepted upon representation.

Libby Seed and Heartbreaker Star Quality. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Two horses were withdrawn ahead of the final horse inspection: Great Britain’s Selina Milnes opted not to present Gelmer, who was 36th after cross-country, and US Olympian Phillip Dutton withdrew Z, who had sat 22nd.

Allie Knowles and Morswood. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Cosby Green and Copper Beach. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Three US riders remain in the hunt: Boyd Martin and Fedarman B sit ninth, while Allie Knowles and Morswood and Cosby Green and Copper Beach move up to 13th and 14th, respectively, following Muzi and Just Kidding’s departure from the competition.

Ros Canter and Izilot DHI. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Ros Canter and Izilot DHI, our overnight leaders, will go into today’s final phase with a 3.6 penalty margin ahead of second-placed Tom McEwen and JL Dublin — less than a rail in hand. In fact, none of the members of the top ten as it stands after cross-country has a rail in hand if they want to retain their spot, and Pau is famous for having arguably the toughest showjumping phase of all the five-stars – so if you’ve only just recovered from the emotional tumble dryer that was yesterday’s cross-country, prepare yourself, because we’re heading straight back in for a spin cycle, folks.

Best-placed US pair Boyd Martin and Fedarman B will go into showjumping in ninth place. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Showjumping has been moved back by half an hour, and will now begin at 3.00 p.m. local time/2.00 p.m. British time/10.00 a.m. EST. As always, you can catch all the action on Horse&Country TV, and tune back in to EN for live updates and full reports from all the day’s activities. For now, let’s take a look at how that top ten is shaping up:

The top ten after a topsy-turvy day of cross-country at Pau.

Les 5 Etoiles de Pau: [Website] [Entries] [Schedule] [Live Stream] [Live Scores] [EN’s Coverage]

EN’s coverage of Les 5 Etoiles de Pau is brought to you by Kentucky Performance Products.

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