Oct 23, 2020

Great Britain Takes the Lead in the Dressage Competition at Les 5 Étoiles de Pau

By Les 5 Étoiles de Pau - Edited Press Release
Laura Collett and London 52. S. Bailly/Centaure Production Photo.

The world’s top riders and their mounts are all at the Domaine de Sers in Pau, Southwest France until this Sunday to battle it out in the five-star, the highest level of eventing competition in equestrian sport. The first phase of the competition, dressage, ended with the victory of British rider Laura Collett on her mount London 52 (Landos x Vernante), her own, Keith Scott, and Karen Bartlett's 11-year-old Holstiner gelding.

Australian Christopher Burton was in the lead of the provisional ranking yesterday evening with Jill Martin and David Webster's 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Graf Liberty (Limmerick x Lisheen Star) on a score of 22.0, but in the end, it was the 2015 Young Horses World Champion, Collett, who won the competition this morning. She finishes the event with 21.3 penalty points. Collett is currently 49th in the world rankings, but she also took 10th place in the event with Mr Bass (Carrico x K-Jeunesse), her own, Nick How, and Keith Scott's 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, on a score of 26.2.

Christopher Burton and Graf Liberty. S. Bailly/Centaure Production Photo.

Close behind, Burton and Piggy March remain in second and third place, respectively. Although six of the 10 top scores were taken by British riders, Tim Price (NZL), who ranks second in the world, took fourth place with a dressage score of 23.0 penalty points with Wesko (Karandasj x Kolien), his own and the Windrush Equestrian Foundation's 17-year-old KWPN gelding. German rider Christopher Wahler also made it to the top 10 with Carjatan S (Clearway x Kajenna), his own and Lena Thoenies's 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding. The last French rider to take off this morning, Maxime Livio scored 32.4 penalty points to stand in 31st place.

Piggy March and Brookfield Inocent. S. Bailly/Centaure Production Photo.

"I am very happy with both my horses!" commented Collett at the completion of dressage. "This is the first CCI5* eventing competition for London 52. He was a bit nervous when he entered the track but then he was well focused throughout the test! Of course, the event is not over yet and the cross-country tomorrow will undoubtedly shake up the ranking, but I have confidence in my horses. Mr Bass is experienced at this level of competition and is a very good cross-country horse. London is less experienced but he is in great shape this weekend and I can't wait to see how he will perform tomorrow! We are very lucky to be here this weekend and I am very happy to be able to compete with these two outstanding horses."

Tomorrow's event will be the breathtaking cross-country competition. Horse and rider will set off on the 6.3-kilometer course, with an array of 31 impressive natural obstacles. An event which promises many twists and turns in the rankings and a good dose of adrenaline for the public!

Full results are available here. The live stream can be accessed here.

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I’m not one for the spotlight. As the voice of the Association, you don’t need to know my personal views, political, eventing, or otherwise. So despite my byline appearing on thousands of articles on the USEA website and magazine, this is probably only the second time I’m writing about myself (the first was about my love for lessons, and reading it now makes me laugh as I am still 100% addicted). But as I am now just a USEA member I thought I would share a bit of my journey to add to our member spotlight series, Now on Course.

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