October 22, 2015--A field of 49 competitors will vie for top honors at Les Étoiles de Pau CCI4*, with competition running from October 22-25. USEF Land Rover Competition Grant recipients Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda along with three other American combinations are up for the challenge of the renowned competition.
Brannigan (Kennett Square, Pa.) and Nina Gardner's Cambalda are in fine form for their Pau debut. The pair won The Fork CIC3* and the inaugural Land Rover Great Meadow International presented by Adequan CIC3* in the spring. They went on to finish second in the Richland Park CIC3* and were fifth in the Plantation Field International CIC3*. Brannigan and the 2002 Irish Thoroughbred Cross gelding had their USEF Land Rover Competition Grant for The Rebecca Farm CCI3* reallocated for Pau after they were named the first-ranked alternate for the 2015 U.S. Pan American Eventing Team and required to travel to Toronto. Their grant is supplementing The Dutta Corp. flight that they received as the winners of the 2014 The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International CCI3*.
“‘Ping’ has settled in very well and had a great lesson with David [O’Connor] on the flat on Wednesday. My groom, Stephanie Cauffman, has him going great and we are looking forward to dressage on Friday,” said Brannigan. “The venue is very interesting and I feel like the track will suit ‘Ping’!”
Three other U.S. combinations hope for strong performances at Pau. Barbara Crabo (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and her own Eveready will make their European debut in France. She and the 1999 Swedish Warmblood gelding finished second in The Event at Rebecca Farm CIC3* and fourth in the Adequan Advanced Gold Cup Final and USEF Open Horse Trial National Championship at the Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships presented by VTO Saddlery. Lillian Heard (Poolesville, Md.) and her own Share Option, a 2002 Thoroughbred Cross gelding, completed the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover CCI4* this spring and have had several top placings in Advanced horse trials throughout the year. Katie Ruppel (Anthony, Fla.) and her own Houdini will also make their overseas debut at Pau. She and the 2004 Thoroughbred gelding have had solid performances this year and had a great prep-run in the Richland Park CIC3*.
Dressage competition gets underway Thursday afternoon, with Heard and Share Option heading down centerline at 1:56 p.m. CEST. Brannigan and Cambalda will be the first U.S. combination to go on Friday at 9:35 a.m. CEST, followed by Ruppel and Houdini at 10:20 a.m. CEST and Crabo and Eveready at 10:55 a.m. CEST.