Saumur, France—May 24
As anticipated Pierre Michelet's technical cross-country track proved extremely influential on Saturday at the Saumur CCI*** as the leaderboard saw a great shake up. Of the 69 competitors to start the second phase of competition, 45 completed.
Land Rover Competition Grant recipients Doug Payne, fifth after dressage, and Crown Talisman added 6.8 time faults to sit seventh after the second phase.
France's Luc Chateau held his dressage lead with Propriano de l'Ebat to stand on a two-day total of 39.2, and he is followed by compatriot Maxime Livio with Qalao des Mers two points behind in second on 41.2. Australia's Christopher Burton climbed three places on the strength of a faultless round to lie third after the cross country with Graf Liberty on 46.0.
But the day also included a tragic element as British rider Rodney Powell’s mount Happy Go Lucky reportedly suffered a presumed cardiac event galloping between fences and died.
Payne (Apex, N.C.) and his own and Larry and Amelia Rosses' 11-year-old Holsteiner-Thoroughbred gelding cruised around the 29-obstacle track without jumping penalties to finish 17 seconds over the optimum time. The winners of this year’s Jersey Fresh CIC*** stand on a two-day total of 50.2.
" ’Tali’ was again exceptional on a very challenging course. (He) warmed up great and headed out on course strong as ever and improved as the course progressed and finished up very strong. During the last few minutes on course he still had energy to spare," said Payne. "I can't express how proud I am [of] Tali and how thankful I am to have the support of Larry and Amelia Ross, the entire Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team, and of course my family and wife Jessica. I wouldn't be here without all of their help."
Payne will be the lone U.S. representative in Sunday's show jumping after Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (East Sussex, United Kingdom) incurred trouble at fence 5 with Deborah Halliday's Fernhill by Night, electing to retire and save the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse for another day. The horse had been in eighth place after dressage.
See full results on the Saumur site.