Eight classes were on the cards on this second day of competition, which notably signalled the start of the Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe CDIO5*, a leg of the dressage FEI Nations Cup. Seven teams comprised of four riders and three riders invited to take part as individuals competed against each other in the first test, the Grand Prix – Ville de Compiègne. The opportunity to watch the performances of the World’s best athletes in this discipline and make ones own forecasts: will Great Britain remain in the lead? What strategy will France, currently 5th, decide on tomorrow?

Firstly 7 year-old young horses, tomorrow’s stars, took to the main arena for their final. Already having headed the preliminary test yesterday but equally winner at Saumur at the beginning of the month, the stallion First- Step Valentin (Vitalis x Fidermark) asserted himself, scoring 76.486% piloted by Belgium’s Larissa Pauluis. The pair led ahead of Elisabeth Geluk/Hamilton (NED) on 74.243% and Flore de Winne/Mac Donovan (BEL) on 73.415%.

The time that it took the sun to break through the clouds at the start of the morning, for the large number of public to settle themselves in the stands and the CDIO5* Grand Prix – Ville de Compiègne was ready to start. The field of 31 rode in front of the five officiating judges in order to establish the provisional leading nation. And it was Great Britain which placed themselves the top of the scoreboard with 14 points, in front of Sweden who totalled 17 points and the United States on 36 points.

The class itself was won by Sweden’s Patrick Kittel with Well Done de la Roche CMF who skipped through their test, winning over both the judges and spectators, and attaining the score of 77.283%. It was with a huge smile that the rider confided: « My mare was magnificent, she’s my favourite. I think it’s her best Grand Prix, she executed it perfectly, calmly, totally connected with me, she didn’t make any real mistakes. I think, with a little more experience in classes like this, we’ll most certainly get up to and over the 80%. Tomorrow, I’ll take part in the Grand Prix Special as she was a little tense because of the music at Hagen and I prefer to continue quietly bringing her on and not risk it. »

The Scandinavian star led in front of two other big names, Great Britain’s Carl Hester who rode Hawtins Delocato (76.348%) and Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg on Damsey FRH (75.957%).

France is positioned temporarily in 5th place on 46 points. The best performing rider for the home nation, Morgan Barbançon Mestre, was among the top 8, scoring 71.783% on her Sir Donnerhall II OLD. She revealed as she left the arena: « I’m really pleased, but could kick myself for my fault in the two-time changes. »

Tomorrow, riders, divided between the Grand Prix Spécial – PAPREC and the Freestyle Grand Prix – Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe, will be rivalling each others’ excellence, in order to keep the lead or to win precious points and perhaps top the podium.

The CDI3* Freestyle – Prix Hauts de France paid tribute to the talent of Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry, 4th yesterday, she dominated today with Everdale attaining 76.075% finishing ahead of her comrade, the Grand Prix winner, Emma Hindle/Romy del Sol (75.575%). Flying the flag for France, both Nicole Favereau and Bertrand Liegard confirmed their good form by taking 3rd and 4th respectively with Ginsengue (74.045%) and Star Wars (72.860%).

In the Prix St-Georges, Intermediate 1, the CDI2* – Prix Brezillon, Charlotte Fry (GBR) didn’t give her rivals a look-in. She again made sure her name was on the winners slot with Glamourdale, their score of 77.108% left the judges saying that they have never seen such a promising horse. Equally representing Great Britain, Jessica Dunn/Alicante Valley (72.843%) and Katherine Bailey/Boccelli 6 (71.912%) were 2nd and 3rd.

In the Juniors, the Prix CRE Hauts de France, saw Natalia Bacariza Danguillecourt (Spain), 1st and 4th yesterday, making a clean sweep this time by claiming the first two places with Dhannie Ymas (72.353%) and Romantico Ymas (72.157%). She was followed by Belgium’s Amber van den Steen and Fame (70.441%).

Gaining a place compared to the previous day in the Prix Barriquand, for Young Riders, Elizaveta Lyban (RUS) and Erantos claimed victory with 70.147%, in front of Laura de Graeve/Feuertanz (BEL) who was awarded 70.098% and Benjamin Ebeling/Behlinger (USA) on 70.049%.

Lara van Nek (NED) took her revenge on Friday’s result in the Pony section and won the Prix Lanson riding Brouwershaven’s Nairobi (74.189%), followed by her compatriot Floor van der Kuijl/Castenrayseweg’s Dreamboy (72.658%). Anabella Pidgley (GBR), yesterday’s winner, completed the podium, partnering Cognac IX (71.892%).

Drawing this before last day of this event to a close with their ‘Team test’, the children (12-14 year olds). The Netherlands’s Lara van Nek/Amazing Comeback (75.705%) and Maura Knipscheer/Amaretto (73.269%) took 1st and 2nd. Maïté Colling and Rapallo C.L. finished 3rd (69.744%).

Times, start-lists and results at https://www.worldsporttiming.com/results/timing-1105.html
LIVE streaming of the CDIO5* and the CDI3* on www.chevaltv.fr

Free admission and parking / Catering on-site.