You don’t quite think of the first phase as being the battlefield for a ferocious head-to-head, but that’s exactly what it became this afternoon as day one’s batch of competitors came forward at Les 5 Etoiles de Pau. The exceptional line-up, which featured the first 32 competitors of week, was replete with plenty of heavy-hitting dressage combinations, both veteran and established — and in the end, the fight would come down to the wire between a representative for each camp.
Australia’s Chris Burton and his longtime partner Graf Liberty took the lead at the end of the day, posting an exceptional 22 to sweep the top spot and also the Pau dressage record. Though the fifteen-year-old tends to fluctuate up and down the 20s — and sometimes into the 30s — this isn’t actually his best five-star score: he produced that at Badminton in 2017, when he delivered a 21.9 (“I have no idea how he did it,” laughs Chris).
Please click here to read the rest of the article as it appears on the Eventing Nation website.
Article written by: Tilly Berendt