Pierre Michelet’s cross country certainly lived up to the hype in the CCI5* at Les Etoiles de Pau in France and has given the leaderboard a real shake up.

Jonelle Price is New Zealand’s best placed, sitting in eighth aboard 5* debutant Harado on 42.4 penalty points after jumping clear and picking up 12 time. Their efforts bounced them up five slots on the leaderboard.

Jonelle was delighted. “It was a tough day of sport out there today,” said Jonelle. “She is particularly inexperienced at this level and I haven’t had her very long – we bought her last summer. So it has kind of been a big year of change for her but I really think a lot of the mare and she has really come through for me this week and showed all that class that I hoped she had.”

Jonelle was “hugely grateful” to David and Karie Thomson who had bought the mare for her to ride. “We did it with the hope she could be an outside chance and back up for the Olympic Games next year but I now think she has shot herself right up there into contention.”

She figures another six months would turn Harado into something quite special. “I am delighted we were able to show some of that today and can’t wait to see what she is going to do over the next couple of years.”

The next clutch of Kiwis were all clear jumping but picked up time penalties. James Avery and his 5* debutant MBF Connection are in 11th on 51.4, after adding 17.6 time to their dressage score. Their efforts rocketed them up the leaderboard from 30th.

Muzi Pottinger and Just Kidding are two slots behind on 51.9 having added 20.8 time, while
Samantha Lissington and Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ added 32.4 time penalties for a tally of 61.2 at the end of the day. Tim Price and Viscount Viktor added both jumping and time to their score.

There were seven retirements on course and 10 eliminations including, Jesse Campbell with both Cooley Lafitte and Diachello, Jonelle with McClaren and Muzi aboard Good Timing. Tim withdrew Happy Boy before the cross country.

No one made it home across the Pierre Michelet-designed course clear and inside time but 20 combinations did jump clear. It is a Britfest on the leaderboard, with the top seven all wearing the Union Jack. Rosalind Canter and Izilot DHI is out front on 27.5, after adding just 3.2 time to her tally, with Tom McEwen aboard JL Dublin slipping to second on 31.1, and Kirsty Chabert with Classic VI in third on 33.4.

Pierre admitted the course was a “little more difficult” than last year but didn’t think there would be so many “twists and surprises”. “A few things were a bit different,” he said, “namely that the beginning of the course turned quite a bit. I think the horses didn’t get into the course as well as they had on other occasions, when the first part was more fluid. The ground was a bit sticky and this combination of factors led to more incidents. On this very flat terrain with a galloping track, if you’re not a little strict on the route, you’ll have twenty horses coming in within the allowed time.”

The second horse inspection starts at 11.45am (France time) with the showjumping underway at 2.30pm.




French Time

NZ Time


Sun 29th – 2.30pm

Mon 30th – 1.30am





Happy Boy

by Indoctro out of W.Amelusina 17 who is by Odermus

Susan Lamb and Therese Miller

Viscount Viktor

by Viscount out of Nova EH who is by Nobre

Barbara Cooper, Glynn Norcutt and Ginny Rusher


by Diarado out of Ubiloa who is by Ekstein

David and Karie Thomson


by Clarimo out of Toni I who is by Landjunge

David and Karie Thomson

MBF Connection

by Luidam out of Traditionally Aloof

Hazel Livesey


by Diarado out of Visser Cholin who is by Chello I

Kent Gardner and Jesse Campbell

Cooley Lafitte

by Je T’aime Flamenco out of Graf Shenanigans who is by Scirocco

Jay Jaffar

Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ

by Caretino out of Quantum Flash who is by Tristaking

Pip McCarroll and Samantha Lissington

Just Kidding

by Fusaichi Pegasus out of Gypsey Princess who is by Sadler’s Wells

Andy, Tinks and Muzi Pottinger

Good Timing

by Nom Du Jeu out of Baloushe who is by Black Minnaloushe

The Volunteer Syndicate

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

29th October 2023