France Foray for Four Kiwis
Kiwi eventers Jesse Campbell, Tim Price, Andy Daines and Caroline Powell are chasing CCI4* glory this week at the Les 4 Etoiles de Pau in France.
Jesse will ride Cleveland, Andy is aboard Spring Panorama, Caroline is on Spice Sensation and Tim has entered Ascona M in the CCI4* class which has attracted 65 combinations from 14 countries.
Rio Olympian and two time World Equestrian Games representative Tim is no stranger to Pau and in 2015 was third with his rather special horse Wesko. The world number three ranked rider who this year added the Burghley crown to his trophy cabinet will compete on Ascona M. The 10-year-old mare was previously ridden by his wife Jonelle and while the grey is having her first 4* start, she is well-performed at CCI3* and CIC3* level.
Double Olympian Caroline, who has also ridden at two WEG before, has been in the top 10 at Pau and has previously competed at Pau with 13-year-old Spice Sensation.
Jesse and 11-year-old Cleveland are having their first CCI4* start at Pau together but have been in good form, with fourth placings in the CCI3* at Cappoquin and CIC3* at Barbury Castle this year. Jesse had his first 4* start in 2016 at Badminton and has also competed at Luhmuhlen.
Andy moved his operation to the UK this year after twice finishing in the top 10 at the Adelaide 4* aboard his 14-year-old gelding Spring Panorama. They are on debut at Pau.
It is a star-studded line-up in the CCI4* and includes world number one Oliver Townend (GBR) among other top 20 riders.
Organisers are expecting around 40,000 spectators at the event, which has been dominated by French riders in recent years. The cross country has been designed by Pierre Michelet (FRA) and includes a number of new fences and combinations this year.
Caroline and Jesse will also compete in the CIC2* aboard Flipper K and I Spye respectively. The class has attracted 47 combinations from seven countries.
The event gets underway on Wednesday (October 24) with the first horse inspection for the CIC2* competitors, with the 4* inspection on Thursday, followed by the dressage on Friday, cross country on Saturday and showjumping on Sunday.