FEI Classics™: Outstanding Field Heads for Pau as New Season Kicks Off

Andrew Nicholson, HSBC Rankings leader, is pictured here with Avebury at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2013 - he heads to the first leg of the 2013/2014 FEI Classics™ at Les Etoiles de Pau CCI4* with Viscount George, Quimbo and Mr Cruise Control, a seasoned Pau campaigner. (Photo: Fiona Scott-Maxwell/FEI).
Andrew Nicholson, HSBC Rankings leader, is pictured here with Avebury at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2013 - he heads to the first leg of the 2013/2014 FEI Classics™ at Les Etoiles de Pau CCI4* with Viscount George, Quimbo and Mr Cruise Control, a seasoned Pau campaigner. (Photo: Fiona Scott-Maxwell/FEI).

An exceptionally strong field is heading for Les Etoiles de Pau CCI4* in the French Pyrenees this weekend (24-27 October) for the first leg of the 2013/2014 FEI Classics™. Twelve nations are fielding riders, many of them world leaders, and over 80 horses have been entered.
 
The FEI Classics™ series has captured riders’ imagination ever since it began in 2008 with generous funding from HSBC, whose contract ends in December this year.
 
“The FEI Classics is one of Eventing’s great success stories and has become more and more exciting as riders plan their seasons carefully so that they can travel to more events,” explains Catrin Norinder, FEI Director Eventing.
 
“We have had a fantastic six years with HSBC, and while we are actively looking for another title sponsor, the FEI plans to maintain this popular series, with a US $120,000 prize fund. Everyone is very much looking forward to another season which will kick off in great style with a fantastic entry for Pau.”
 
Andrew Nicholson (NZL), who last month became the first non-British winner of the HSBC FEI Classics™ in spectacular style with four CCI4* wins, is heading to Pau with three horses. The current HSBC Rankings leader rides Viscount George plus two of those CCI4* winners: Kentucky winner Quimbo and Luhmühlen victor Mr Cruise Control, a seasoned Pau campaigner.
 
William Fox-Pitt (GBR), a three-time winner of the HSBC FEI Classics™ and the 2011 Pau winner, also has three experienced horses: world silver medalist Cool Mountain, Seacookie TSF and Neuf Des Coeurs, fourth at Luhmühlen this year.
 
Other leading riders include Christopher Burton on Tempranillo and Lucinda Fredericks with her Olympic horse Flying Finish for Australia; European team gold medalist Andreas Dibowski (GER) with FRH Butts Leon and FRH Fantasia, and European team silver medalist Ludwig Svennerstal (SWE) with Shamwari 4.
 
A strong American contingent includes Marilyn Little on RF Demeter and Phillip Dutton with Mr Medicott, and the home side is well represented by European team bronze medalists Arnaud Boiteau (FRA) on Quoriano ENE HN and Donatien Schauly (Pivoine des Touches).
 
British team member Lucy Wiegersma will be hoping for better luck with Simon Porloe after their unlucky fall at the HSBC FEI European Championships in Malmö (SWE), and Bettina Hoy (GER) will be pleased to get the Dressage phase over with Lanfranco TSF, as the talented but enigmatic gelding played up dramatically at both Luhmühlen and Burghley this year. Hoy also rides the exciting prospect Designer 10.
 
The following nations are represented: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden and the USA.
 
The action gets underway with the first horse into the Dressage arena at 8.30am on Thursday. Watch all the Cross Country and Jumping action live on FEI TV over the weekend at www.feitv.org and keep up to date with the scores throughout on www.event-pau.fr.
 
FEI Classics™ 2013/2014 calendar
1 Les Etoiles de Pau CCI 4* (FRA) - 23-27 October 2013
2 Australian International 3 Day Event (AUS) - 14-17 November 2013
3 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (USA) - 23-27 April 2014
4 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (GBR) - 8-11 May 2014
5 Luhmühlen CCI 4* presented by DHL Paket (GER) - 12-15 June 2014
6 Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR) - 4-7 September 2014




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