Ready for the Rendezvous: Pau CCI5* Expresses Intent to Run in 2020

Hallie Coon and Celien at Pau in 2018. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

For those in need of a glimmer of hope in these funny old times, look no further – we come bearing the happy news that Les 5 Etoiles de Pau, France’s autumn CCI5*, is still set to run in 2020, with all preparations for the fixture going ahead as usual.

“We are currently receiving many questions about the organisation of this year’s event,” said press officer Juliette Feytout in a statement today (June 2). “We are continuing to work on the 2020 vintage of the 5 Etoiles de Pau — a major celebration that will mark the 30th edition of this event, which is on the calendar of all the best riders in the world.”

In a season that’s been ravaged by the effects of COVID-19, this will come as welcome news — though it’s prudent to remember that much still hangs in the balance, and a second wave throughout Europe, or the continued closure of borders, could yet put a stop to the Pau dream. But should it run, we could be looking at a very exciting October indeed — Pau is set to run from October 21–25, with the inaugural Maryland CCI5* at Fair Hill and the World Championships for Young Horses at Le Lion d’Anger both scheduled for the week prior, October 15–18.

Us right now: Gwendolen Fer celebrates her win with Romantic Love. Photo by Libby Law.

When it comes to the expectant legion of fans, supporters, and riders alike holding out hope for a bustling end to the Season That Wasn’t, Pau acknowledges its own impact: “For our 40,000 visitors who eagerly await the event each year and the million people who follow it via streaming; for the 150 private partners and suppliers who rely on us; for our 100 exhibitors who are preparing their stands; for the territory in which we are anchored and that the 5 Etoiles de Pau helps to bring to life and promote each year; for the riders and drivers who await this exceptional sporting event, our team will give everything and do everything to ensure that Pau takes place this year, of course respecting the health regulations that may be necessary.”

“We would like to thank the partners who have already renewed their confidence in us despite their own difficulties, as well as the public who continue to buy their tickets, the exhibitors who attend, the Pau event volunteers who have registered – we need your support to continue. You will contribute to making this 30th edition an event even more extraordinary than usual, which will have a very special flavour.”

Mais oui.

With the cancellation of Adelaide’s CCI5*, Pau — if it’s able to run — will close out the 2020 five-star season, as well as the European season. You’ll be able to catch not just top-level eventing, but also world-class combined driving throughout the week — plus flash mob prize-giving madness, oysters for breakfast, and one of the best mountain views you’ll ever lay eyes on. The flavour of Pau is already pretty spicy, so we are truly beside ourselves with excitement over how this year could look.

You can nab your tickets to the 2020 renewal here, and stay tuned — we’ll be pulling together a travel guide to help you make the most of your first trip to the Pyrenees.

Go Eventing, and Go Pau!