Five New Zealand eventers are at the final 5* of the season, Les Etoiles de Pau in France this week.  World no.3 Tim Price, world no.7 Jonelle Price, London Olympian Caroline Powell, New Zealand three day champ Madison Crowe and debutant Tayla Mason are amongst a starry field chasing honours.

Tayla says she is incredibly excited to be doing her first CCI5*-L aboard her 10-year-old bay gelding Centennial. “I have been happy with his preparation and how he is feeling,” she says. Centennial, who is by Euro Sport Centavos, out of Made You Look (by Moonwalker), had his last international start at Aachen where he placed 15th.

Madison is also looking forward to getting out aboard Waitangi Pinterest, her 13-year-old mare who is by Cassiano, out of Amberlou (by Aberlou). “I am really excited to be here,” she said. “The venue looks really cool and she (Waitangi Pinterest) seems good. It was a long trip to get here but she has travelled well.”

Caroline is no stranger to 5* events, winning Burghley (2010) with her gorgeous Lenamore and having completed at Luhmuhlen, Pau and Badminton during her career. She lines up aboard Up Up and Away who she started internationally in 2012 at 1*.

His owners Cameron and Mary Crawford were very keen to see the 15-year-old grey gelding, who is by Puissance, out of Coolmore Frolic (by Paris Lights), start at Pau. “He is a real character this one,” says Caroline. “He hasn’t done a three day for a while but it will be fun.”

Jonelle starts aboard McClaren, the 14-year-old who came to her stable after Sir Mark Todd hung up his boots. The gelding is by Clarimo, out of Toni 1 (by Landjunge), had his last international start at Aachen where the New Zealand team finished fourth.

Tim lines up on Falco, a 12-year-old who won Millstreet CCI4*-L in June and was sixth more recently at Aachen. He is highly rated by Tim, who has brought the horse, who is by Cardenio 2, carefully through the grades.

The CCI5*-L class has attracted 53 combinations from 10 countries and includes Kevin McNab (AUS) who comes off a solid win at Le Lion Young Horse Champs, previous Pau winner Maxime Livio (FRA), Laura Collett (GBR) who won Pau on 2020, world no.1 Oliver Townend, Padraig McCarthy (IRE) and William Fox-Pitt (GBR).

The first horse inspection will take place Thursday morning (French time) with the first session of dressage getting underway on Thursday afternoon. Friday will see the second day of Dressage before the Pierre Michelet-designed cross country on Saturday and the Yann Royant-designed showjumping on Sunday.

The event has this year attracted riders from 16 nations, with the 5* offering Euro40,000 to the winner. Kiwi official Andrew Bennie is on the ground jury.

Pau is one of seven 5* events around the world but this year’s pandemic saw the cancellation of Adelaide, Burghley and Badminton.

WHAT: Les Etoiles de Pau CCI5*-L
WHEN: 27-31 October, 2021
WHERE: Domaine de Sers, Pau, France

Waitangi Pinterest – owned by The Crowe Family
Centennial – owned by Sue Rutter, and Sonya, Kyle and Tayla Mason
Up Up and Away – owned by Cameron and Mary Crawford, and Caroline Powell
McClaren – owned by Katherine and David Thomson
Falco – owned by Sue Benson, Jackie Oliver and Tim Price

By Diana Dobson, ESNZ HP Media Liaison
October 27, 2021