As the eventing season draws to a close, several British riders have made the journey to 2009’s final CCI4* event in France.
Les Etoiles de Pau, the only three day event in the South of France, has been running since 1991 and plays host to both the Final of the HSBC FEI Classic™ plus a CIC**.
On a high from the European Eventing Championships at Fontainebleau last month, several Senior Team riders have headed to this prestigious French event to contest the HSBC FEI Classics™ Trophy. These include current leader Oliver Townend with the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trial’s winner Carousel Quest and the 2008 HSBC FEI Classics™ title-holder William Fox-Pitt, who will ride Macchiato, the winner of Luhmühlen CCI4* earlier in the year. Lucy Wiegersma will ride the 2009 Blenheim CCI3* winner, Granntevka Prince.
British Eventing’s Sport Manager (Development) Paul Graham says of the competition: "This years’ final will make for very interesting viewing! Last year the final prize was as good as guaranteed for William after his Burghley result, however this year it looks as though our two top riders Oliver and William will be battling it out to the finish, and are running very close to the wire with Australia close behind. We wish all the British riders a successful end to their season both at home and abroad."
The 2009 HSBC FEI Classics™ leader-board currently runs as:
Oliver Townend (GBR) 33 points
William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 21
Sam Griffiths (AUS) 20
Lucinda Fredericks (AUS) 15
Michael Jung (GER) 15
Bettina Hoy (GER) 12
Andreas Dibowski (GER) 12
Lucy Wiegersma (GBR) 11
Bruce Davidson Jnr (USA) 10
Dirk Schrade (GER) 10
Polly Stockton (GBR) 10
The 2009 HSBC FEI Classics™ calendar started with the Kentucky Rolex Three-Day-Event (22-26 April), then Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (7-10 May), Luhmühlen (Germany) and the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR).
Also riding in Pau’s CCI4* from Britain are Andrew Downes (Loughnatousa Gypsy Diamond) Natasha Halliday (Viva La Diva II), Clea Phillips (Lead The Way) and Ed Eltham (Bonza Billabong). Nina Barbour contests the CIC2*, riding Balladeer Kursalite.