The Kiwis are eighth and 13th at the end of the dressage in the CCI5*-L at Les 5 Etoiles de Pau in France. Caroline Powell and her 5* debutant Greenacres Special Cavalier bagged 27.7 penalty points to sit in eighth spot in the 47-strong field, with Jonelle Price and Grappa Nera in 13th on 30.1.
Jonelle was very pleased with Grappa Nera. “She is naturally a fairly alive, bright sort of mare. Relaxation has been a big thing – it has been very difficult and taken a lot of time to achieve but we certainly achieved that yesterday for the first time truly I would say.”
The changes were not quite there proving costly but to still score a 30 showed the quality of the work. “It is only a matter of time until we will get those changes and then I think she really has all the ingredients to be very competitive in this phase. She is only 11 years old so hopefully we have some exciting years to come.”
The second day of dressage saw the bar continually lifted and the leaderboard well and truly shuffled. Overnight leader Rosalind Canter (GBR) and Rehy Royal Diamond slipping to seventh with their 27.3 effort.
Felix Vogg (SUI) and Colero lead the field on 24.2 penalty points with a crush of Brits right behind him – Izzy Taylor and Monkeying Around are in second on 24.4, Tom McEwen aboard Bob Chaplin next on 24.6 and Mollie Summerland with Charly van ter Heiden in fourth on 25. The top 10 are covered by just 4.7 penalty points.
Riders will be tested by the Pierre Michelet-designed cross country overnight with the time said to be tight. “I’ve been designing the cross country course in Pau for 25 years now, and I know my way around the Domaine de Sers like the back of my hand,” says Pierre. “I decided to change the direction of the cross country course this year to make things more interesting for the riders and spectators.”
He says it is a fine balance to create the perfect course. “Our aim is for the time factor to be crucial in the final results. Ideally we’d love to have just a few clear runs within the allocated time.”
THE HORSE DETAILS:
Grappa Nera – owned by The Grape Syndicate and Jonelle Price
Greenacres Special Cavalier – owned by Chris Mann
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ