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Competing as the sole U.S. competitor, Boyd Martin is partnering with Ron & Densey Juvonen’s Remington XXV at this weekend’s Pau CCI4* in France. They’ve arrived safe and sound, passed the first horse inspection, and are gearing up for tomorrow’s dressage. Check out more adventures on Boyd’s blog.
I was lucky enough to do a course walk with Captain Mark Phillips this morning around the Pau CCI**** course. Silva and Caitlin tagged along and took a few snaps with the iPhone. Here are a few of the interesting fences that I can predict will keep me awake in a cold sweat tomorrow night before cross-country...
|Fence 4 is a very square corner off a very sharp turn.... This is the first tough question about 35 seconds into the course.|
|The first of the three waters. A big drop in, then a turn in the lake to a big step out, one stride to a angled brush. I think this is the first real test for Remi.|
|Walking in seriously cold water....|
|A few fences later is a double of narrows on top of two mounds four strides apart. Should be sweet....|
|A duck at the top of another man made mound. I have found a bit of a shortcut inside a few trees after this fence which should save some time.|
|A huge angled rail over a very wide ditch. Mark told me to hit this one at pace over the third flower pot to the left.|
|This is the second water at about 6:30 into the course. Before these angle one stride hedges in the water is a big hedge drop in, with a ditch brush before it. This is a fence that requires bold accurate ridding. This is a bit of a concern for me.|
|This is the ditch rails to a direct three strides angling over the narrow. The key at this one is to hit it a pace, jumping the middle of part A at an angle, and keep pushing to get three.|
|This is my biggest worry on the course. It's a freaking huge jump in over the corner of the boat, then an curving line in five strides, to a big step out, then one stride angling out over the apex of the second boat. This fence is late in the course and tests everything of a star horse... Boldness, accuracy, athleticism and courage.|
|The third last fence is this corner, which follows a four stride hedge oxer line. After the two hedges it's down a steep hill, turning to this corner in the picture. Nearly home...|
|Ahhh... The last fence. The smallest fence on the course. It would be a long trip home if I had a shocking ride to this one. I will be looking to take a tug at this one just to be sure (unless the clock is yelling at me).|