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Posted by Kirsty Pasto on 28/10/2019.
Chris Burton and Quality Purdey
Kirsty Pasto

Two Podium Places at Pau for Australian High Performance Riders at Les 5 étoiles de Pau CCI5*-L

The final day of competition at Les 5 étoiles de Pau CCI5*-L saw two Australian High Performance Squad riders on the podium after an exciting day of jumping in-front of a full house. The crowd was electric as the jumping took place in the main arena. Les 5 étoiles de Pau is one of only six 5* competitions in the world, and a pinnacle event in the sport.

Chris Burton and his impressive mare Qulity Purdey secured second place, moving up from 3rd position after the cross country phase yesterday. Chris and ‘Purdey’ jumped beautifully only having the final rail down to incur 4 penalty points seeing them finish on a total score of 33.8,

“She felt really terrific, I am delighted that the mare has come through the three day event so well. Of course I am very disappointed to have that last rail down but this is three day eventing and more importantly it didn’t cost us anything, it wouldn’t have mattered, so that is always nice when that happens.

She did it easily, she is a lovely horse and she tried very hard, I knew she could do it. She is qualified for Tokyo now so we will just think over the winter now about what we will do next year” said Chris of his plans for ‘Purdey’ in the future. 

World Equestrian Games 2018 combination Shane Rose and Virgil made the showjumping course look effortless as they flew around the arena leaving all fences upright whilst also coming inside the optimum time, one of only four combinations to produce a clear round for the day securing 3rd place on the podium.

“I was very happy with him, obviously he is a good jumper he was trying really hard, he probably just felt a little not quite himself, he had to overexert himself a few times which he doesn’t normally do especially later in the course so I just took a little bit of time on a couple of the turns, more than I perhaps normally would have. He is such a good horse and he tried really hard and he managed another clear round” describes Shane.

Shane and Virgil travelled all the way from Australia just for the event showing his class against the best riders in the world. “It is amazing how much you learn from coming away on such a big trip, whilst it wasn’t an ideal preparation to begin with I think I have learnt a lot of things about how I am going to manage him going forward. I felt like he was in a lot better physical shape here than he was in Tryon, I think he is certainly improving.

A top three place is what I came over to do, hopefully it will give the selectors the confidence that I can travel away and compete how we normally do, albeit under more stressful situations than what we are used to. Overall the trip has been a really successful one and hopefully I can go home now and prepare him towards Tokyo. He is a very good horse, his record has been impeccable over the last couple of years, so I don’t feel like he needs to do a lot to prove anything, he just needs to be fit and sound and competing”

Kevin McNab finished the competition in 7th position riding Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam after having one rail and 1.6 time penalties which saw him slip a place from his overnight 6th position after cross country.

“He was super, unfortunately the mistake was mine in the showjumping but he was very good. He has been good all week. The event was really good for him, I think he improved a lot over the week and he will be a lot of fun next year” says Kevin of Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam

Isabel English and her Connemara X TB gelding Feldale Mouse were the first Australian combination to jump this afternoon, and with two rails they finished the competition in 26th place from a total of 42 combinations that started the event.

“It was good, I would have liked a little bit of a better day yesterday but it was a good learning day for both of us” said Isabel who says that Mouse will now enjoy some time to “chill out over winter and we will see how he comes back”.  

Full results can be found here:

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