October 24, 2013 -- The first day of dressage began at Les Étoiles de Pau CCI4* with the first two combinations of the U.S. contingency performing their tests. With 40 competitors performing their dressage tests on Thursday in front of the judging panel of Angela Tucker (GBR), Christina Klingspor (SWE), and Alain James (FRA), Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot are currently tied in fifth place while Clark Montgomery and Universe are in 13th place.
USEF Land Rover Competition grant-recipient Burnett (The Plains, Va.) and Jacqueline Mars' Harbour Pilot had a lovely, relaxed test earning an impressive score of 45.7. Their test displayed quality trot and walk work with an excellent canter tour, only marred by a final halt that was a bit early on the centerline. The pair is contesting their first CCI4* as a partnership and they are only 4.2 points behind current leaders William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain and Sea Cookie TSF, who scored a 41.5. Burnett and the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding are in a three-way tie for fifth place with Ludwig Svennerstal of Sweden and Shamwari 4 and Andreas Dibowski of Germany and FRH Fantasia.
"I'm real happy with my ride today," said Burnett. "He was really rideable. In hindsight I could have pushed for a little more but I'm really happy with him and looking forward to Saturday. I also want to say thanks to William's owner, Jacqueline Mars, who is cheering at home from Virginia, and my sponsors."
Montgomery (Wiltshire, UK) and Universe were the first U.S. pair to come down the centerline Thursday afternoon. The 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Jessica Montgomery, Carole Montgomery, Janet Higgins, and Elizabeth Smith showed a bit of tension throughout the test, but Montgomery rode him well to earn a score of 52.0 to lie in 13th place. They also received a USEF Land Rover Competition grant and are contesting their second CCI4* of the year after finishing 27th at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.
Competition continues Friday with the second day of dressage for the remaining 35 competitors at Les Étoiles de Pau CCI4*, which serves as the first leg of the 2013/2014 FEI Classics™. Lynn Symansky and Donner will kick things off for the U.S. at 9:46am local time. Michael Pollard and Mensa G will go at 10:26am, followed by Krisit Nunnink and R-Star at 11:14am. Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott will be the last to go in the morning session at 12:38pm, with Marilyn Little and RF Demeter being the sole U.S. pair in the afternoon session at 2:16pm.
Learn more about the Les Étoiles de Pau CCI4*, visit www.event-pau.fr/en/homepage/.
For start times and results, click here.
Follow the 2013 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.