It’s Kiwis two and seven in the CCI5*-L at Les 5 Etoiles de Pau in France after a challenging Pierre Michelet-designed cross country overnight.
World no.2 Jonelle Price and Grappa Nera jumped from 13th to second after going clear but adding just 1.2 time to finish on 31.3 penalty points, with Caroline Powell and her 5* debutant Greenacres Special Cavalier up to seventh thanks to their clear round with eight time to end the day on 35.7.
The leaderboard in had a good old shake-up with the dressage leaders sliding down the rankings, and some completely out of the competition. David Doel (GBR) and Galileo Nieuwmoed moved from 15th to take the lead on 30.6, with Kaarim Florent Laghouag (FRA) aboard Triton Fontaine up from 19th to third on 31.4.
Just four combinations were clear and inside time, with 14 going clear but adding time penalties. There were four retirements and five eliminations.
But the Kiwi eventers were both very happy with the efforts of their horses. Jonelle feels her 11-year-old black mare is coming of age.
“I am very happy with Grappa Nera today,” said Jonelle. “She really gave me a lovely ride. She is a very athletic, so of lighter nimble model and certainly well-suited to the twisty nature of a large part of the track here at Pau. It is so nice to have mare horse coming through to 5* level. I have always believed that she could be a top one but she hasn’t been the easiest in the dressage department. She made fairly light work of a technical track here today. Looking forward to tomorrow and if we can jump a good round I will be happy.”
Caroline too was rapt with her mare who she has so carefully brought through the levels. “She was amazing,” said Caroline. “There was just one fence that didn’t quite go to plan and we added a stride but otherwise, for a nine-year-old, she was awesome.”
Tonight is the second horse inspection, followed by the showjumping.
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