Klimke keeps 1st, Canada’s Robinson moves up to 8th at Pau

Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob. (Trevor Holt/FEI)


Ingrid Klimke (GER) is poised to win her first CCI4* after a superbly committed Cross Country round on Horseware Hale Bob at Les Etoiles de Pau (FRA), opening leg of the FEI Classics™ 2014/2015.

The double Olympic gold medallist was cheered to the finish by the large crowd enjoying an exciting and sunny afternoon as she flew home just two seconds over time.

Klimke now has a fence in hand for tomorrow’s final Jumping phase over Joseph Murphy (IRL) and Electric Cruise, the only pair to achieve the optimum time of 12 minutes 2 seconds.

“It was a very challenging course with lots of places where you could run out, but it was wonderful to ride,” said a delighted Klimke. “I am very proud of my horse because it’s his first year at CCI4* level and he had two run-outs at Luhmühlen.

“I knew I had to remain very focussed, but Bobby is clever so I could take the lines I wanted. I know tomorrow’s Jumping will be big, but that’s great for me because he’s a big scopey jumper. And what is even better is that he is my own horse, so I am hoping that he will have a wonderful future.”

Course Designer Pierre Michelet’s (FRA) twisting, technical course demanded an obedient, flexible horse and Andreas Dibowski (GER) hardly took a pull on the beautifully trained FRH Butts Avedon. He finished with the good score of 5.6 penalties and is in third, on the same score as Murphy, who is higher placed due to finishing nearer the optimum time.

Murphy was the hero of the day, the only rider to complete with two horses. He was pathfinder on Sportsfield Othello, rising 16 places to fourth with another fast clear, for 2.4 penalties.

“Both my horses are very good jumpers and had great experiences today, but they are very different,” said an elated Murphy, who is on the brink of the best CCI4* result of his career.

“Electric Cruise is very careful and travels at a good cruising speed, but he’s very careful. He’s a special horse. I enjoyed my first round as well – once I’d jumped fence 4! The only problem was that I knew I had to do it again, but I think that stood me in good stead. It was a real rider’s course, definitely more technical than last year.”

The Irish rider made it look easy, but thereafter others were considerably less fortunate. Both William Fox-Pitt (GBR) and Pippa Funnell (GBR) pulled up their first rides. Fox-Pitt decided to retire Seacookie at fence 6, feeling that the ground was too firm for the 15-year-old, and Funnell and Mirage D’Elle fell foul of the sharply angled corner at fence 4.

This notoriously difficult obstacle, where the direct route is approached “blind” after a tree, also claimed New Zealand’s Jock Paget (Shady Grey) and Britain’s Francis Whittington (West Side) as victims.

It wasn’t Fox-Pitt’s day because he later withdrew his joint Dressage leader, Parklane Hawk, and matters worsened for Funnell when she was unseated from her second ride, Redesigned, when the long-striding chestnut clipped the second arrowhead at fence 20.

The time proved highly influential, with Arnaud Boiteau (FRA) and Quoriano ENE HN, incurring only four penalties and, as a result, they have leapt 12 places from 17th to fifth and best of the home riders.

New Zealand’s Jonelle Price, now in sixth place after a great ride on the nine-year-old Faerie Dianimo, was one of very few riders to take all the direct routes with the grey mare, and making two huge leaps over the boats in the second water complex she still clocked 11.2 time penalties.

Three North Americans in the top 10

North America is well represented in the top ten, with Erin Sylvester (USA) and No Boundaries in seventh, ahead of British-based Canadian Kathryn Robinson, who achieved her best CCI4* Cross Country result to date with eighth place at this stage on Let It Bee. Lauren Kieffer (USA) and Veronica have slipped to ninth place with 27.2 time penalties.

Nicola Wilson (GBR), fourth after Dressage on the former Bill Levett (AUS) ride One Two Many, had a frustrating run-out in the final water complex at fence 25, but with an otherwise good round and only 11.6 time penalties, she remains in the top ten in 10th place.

Julien Despontin (BEL) and Waldano 36, sixth after Dressage, had a bold clear round but lost time with a few steering problems and are now 12th with 42.4 time penalties.

There were 22 completions from the 31 Cross Country starters and 15 clear rounds.

Results after Cross Country
1 Ingrid Klimke/Horseware Hale Bob (GER) 39.3 + 0.8 = 40.1
2 Joseph Murphy/Electric Cruise (IRL) 46.3 + 0 = 46.3
3 Andreas Dibowski/FRH Butts Avedon (GER) 40.7 + 5.6 = 46.3
4 Joseph Murphy/Sportsfield Othello (IRL) 53.8 + 2.4 = 56.2
5 Arnaud Boiteau/Quoriano ENE HN (FRA) 52.8 + 4.0 = 56.8
6 Jonelle Price/Faerie Dianimo (NZL) 48.3 + 11.2 = 59.5
7 Erin Sylvester/No Boundaries (USA) 59.3 + 9.6 = 68.9
8 Kathryn Robinson/Let It Bee (CAN) 50.5 + 18.4 = 68.9
9 Lauren Kieffer/Veronica (USA) 44.2 + 27.2 = 71.4
10 Nicola Wilson/One Two Many (GBR) 41.2 + 11.6 = 72.8

Follow the action:

  • Show jumping: Sunday, October 26, 14:30 CEST, 8:30 EDT

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Excerpted from FEI press release by Kate Green.


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