Tim Price takes early top spot at Les Etoiles de Pau | An Eventful Life

Tim Price takes early top spot at Les Etoiles de Pau

      Tim Price and Ascona M lead the field at Pau



Tim Price and his first ride at Les Etoiles de Pau, the feisty grey mare Ascona M who was a little more subdued than normal, hold the lead after the first 14 of the 42 combinations competing at the French CCI5* have completed their dressage

New Zealand’s top ranking rider, currently number three in the world, Tim is no stranger to this late season event, having competed here seven times but Andrew Nicholson remains the only Kiwi to have won at Pau, with his victory aboard Nereo in 2012

The eleven-year-old grey mare Ascona M, who was started by Tim’s wife Jonelle then taken over by Tim in mid-2017, had a win in the 5* at Luhmuhlen this year as well as heading home the field in the CCI4*-S at Tattersalls, currently leads the field on a score of 28.1 but his second ride on his ‘old mate’ the 16 year old Wesko may better that tomorrow


       Alex Bragg and Zagreb (above) and Tom McEwen with Figaro Van Het Broexhof (below)


Britain takes the next three spots with Alex Bragg and the rangy but elegant Zagreb in second place (28.8), Tom McEwen and his 14-year-old Belton CCI4* winner Figaro Van Het Broexhof are in third (31.9) and Gemma Tattersall on the 5* debutant Chilli Knight are fourth on 32.7.

“I’m so, so proud of Alfie today at Les Etoiles de Pau, his very first 5* at only nine years old and he’s just four marks off the lead overnight” says Gemma on her Facebook page “Alfie isn’t a flashy mover but he always tries his best. He just made one big mistake in the walk but the rest he did to the best of his ability. He performed beautifully for where he is right now in his training and strength and he will learn to be more uphill and expressive with time and experience”

Gemma is trying to find an owner for the well-bred chestnut gelding, by Chilli Morning out of King’s Gem, so that she can keep the ride. The past ride of Mary King and Gemma Tattersall, King’s Gem is now owned by the man behind the Event Rider Masters Series, Chris Stone, and she is also the dam of another horse in the field, the 17 year old King Albert ridden by Charlotte East, who will be the second combination in the arena tomorrow


       Shane Rose and Virgil - who gets the traditional 'Shane Rose pretty happy post dressage ear pull' .......


 Australia’s Shane Rose has opted to tackle the 5* at Pau instead of the Australian International 3 Day Event as part of his Tokyo campaign with his ‘old mate’ Virgil. In fact Virgil, owned by Shane and Michelle Hasibar, is only 14 years old but he seems to have been around forever, having won pretty much everything in Australia at different stages of his career, including the CCI2* at The Australian International 3 Day Event and second place in the 5* (then 4*) there in 2015.

Shane is obviously keeping the win in Adelaide for this horse on his bucket list for a non-Championship year, which several combinations in Australia who are competing in Adelaide this year might be pleased about

Shane and Virgil, by the well-known Australian show jumper Vivant, are currently in fifth place on 33 while Arnaud Boiteau riding Quoriano ENE HN are the only combination from the home country in the top six with a score of 33.2

We’re expecting the leader board to change quite a bit tomorrow with the World Champion Ros Canter riding Zenshera on the hunt for Olympic qualification and a result to impress the selectors

Keep an eye out too for Sarah Bullimore and Tom McEwen’s gold medal winning Toledo De Kerser who hasn’t had much luck this year, pinging a frangible at Badminton after a very good dressage start  

Three Australians take the arena tomorrow with Chris Burton and Quality Purdey, a horse that seems to like French events having her first 5* start, Kevin McNab on top form with Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam and Bella English riding the evergreen Feldale Mouse, who just puts a smile on your face whatever he does …..


       Isabel English and Feldale Mouse