|Mary King Takes Home The Big Money Winning The 2011 HSBC FEI Cassics™ Series|
|Ready For Take Off|
By the time showjumping started the sun was out, and the grandstands were packed to gills. It was very atmospheric, not as tense as some big 4 stars, more 'relaxing excitement', than edge of seat, nail-biting kind of thing. Pau has a large square arena with permanent grandstands on two sides, and every available space on the rails around the entire arena was at least 3 deep with spectators as well.
One of the noticeable differences to UK events is, over here they play music during the show jumping, and after a clear round you get a little trumpet fanfare to celebrate!
Fellow Aussie Chris Burton also had a mixed weekend dropping rails in the CCI**** showjumping, and slipping from the lead down to 8th place, but what a performance from this young guy who has now based himself in the UK, and is one of the highest ranked Aussie riders in the FEI league table.
Mary's trademark smile barely left her face since the final curtain fell, everytime I spotted her after the riders' conference, she was laughing and smiling, and at one point I did catch her jumping up and down saying 'we did it, we did it" when talking with owners and friends.
I still can't stop thinking about Andrew Nicholson's great big grey horse Mr. Cruise Control, what a lovely animal. Andrew is the most exciting cross country rider on the circuit at the moment, and whilst many of the pictures you'll see of MCC from Pau indicate some hairy moments, these two looked foot perfect all the way round, so after a top 10 dressage placing and only one rail in the showjumping he's still my "Horse To Take Home From Pau". With 8 or more horses qualified for the Olympics, and the fact he struggled to name them all, I'm sure he won't mind if I took this one home, would he?
|Mr. Cruise Control | 2nd At Pau & "The Horse To Take Home"|
|Mr Cruise Control | Pau CCI**** Cross Country|
|Cruising Round The Dressage|
Here's a few links to my photos & videos from Pau:
CCI**** Cross Country
CCI**** 2nd Horse Inspection (& Video)
CCI**** Show Jumping
Paul Tapner's XC Helmet Cam (CCI****)
Clayton Fredericks' XC Helmet Cam (CCI****)
CIC** Cross Country
CIC** Show Jumping Video (Top 2)
Paul Tapner's XC Helmet Cam (CIC**)