Tim Price and Jesse Campbell are both in the top eight at the end of the dressage in the CCI4* at Les 4 Etoiles de Pau in France.

Tim and Ascona M, who are on debut as 4* level, scored an impressive 25.3 penalty points to sit in fourth, just behind leader Oliver Townend (GBR) aboard Cillnabradden Evo, who is also completing in his first 4*, on 22.7.

Jesse and Cleveland are also well in touch with their 29.1 effort. Both riders are very pleased with their mounts. Tim felt his grey mare was showing a little more maturity.

“She is obviously very inexperienced at this level, having not been 4* before, and while she is very capable in the dressage she doesn’t always display that to her best ability,” said Tim.

“She is a testy mare and usually there can be a little moment in there, but she is getting more grown up as we go along so I was really pleased. Today was a good day.”

Ascona M was “very fancy” whose normal, Tim felt, was better than most. “So we were able to be quite normal and go through the motions and have a good day, so I am happy with that and looking forward to the weekend.”

The world number three ranked eventer said there was plenty ahead for all the riders. “It is not the time to sit on your laurels and think this is an easy 4”,” he said.

Those thoughts were reiterated by Jesse. “The cross country is tough,” he said. “There are some really good questions out there. It is a good 4* so it will be interesting to see how that rides. I am very pleased with how Cleveland has been this season – he has been very consistent, so I am confident he will go well.”

Today, Jesse felt the horse had done a lot of his best work in the dressage. “That was really pleasing. We just had a couple of little mistakes which were uncharacteristic (of him) and I think that stopped the momentum for us going super low with our score.”

Andy Daines and Spring Panorama are in 37th place on 34.5 with Caroline Powell and Spice Sensation on 45.6 in the 60-strong field.

The Pierre Michelet (FRA) designed cross country is this evening, with Jesse and I Spye the first out on the CIC2* track at 0900 hours, with Caroline and Flipper K four later at 0912 hours.

Caroline is the first out for the Kiwis in the CCI4* at 1406 hours (FRA time) followed three later by Andy at 1418 hours. Tim is set to go at 1546 hours with Jesse at 1630.

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The horse details:
Cleveland – owned by Kent Gardner and Jesse Campbell
Spring Panorama – owned by Leanne and David Jensen and Andy Daines
Spice Sensation – owned by Claire and Michael Hunter and Caroline Powell
Ascona M – owned by Suzanne Houchin, Lucy and Ben Sangster and Sir Peter Vela
I Spye – owned by Kent Gardner and Jesse Campbell
Flipper K – owned by Nicholas and Fiona Lambert

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by – Libby Law/ESNZ