Saumur horse trials under way today

Caroline Powell and The Earl of Belvedere at the trot-up.
Caroline Powell and The Earl of Belvedere at the trot-up. © Datanaute

All horses but one passed the veterinary inspection for this weekend’s International Three Day event in Saumur, France.

Spain’s Sofia Corsini Furhmann was to start in the CIC2* but her horse Urbanis M was not cleared by the ground jury to continue. That leaves 72 combinations for the competition, added to the 52 who will start in the CCI 3*.

The CIC 2* dressage starts on Friday morning at 10am at the racecourse and the CCI 3* starts at 2.30 pm in the Prince Albert arena.

Several of New Zealand’s Olympic hopefuls will join the field, with Mark Todd looking to gain Olympic qualification aboard Grass Valley. Caroline Powell is competing on both Boston Two Tip and Onwards and Upwards, and Andrew Nicholson aboard Quimbo and Viscount George.

Both Todd and Nicholson are former winners of the event – Nicholson in 2009 with Avebury, and Todd in 1998 on Word for Word, in 1996 on Kayen and 1987 with the mighty Charisma. Nicholson has finished fourth at the event for the past two years.

Other former winners taking part over the weekend include Clayton Fredericks (2006 and 2011), Jean-Lou Bigot (2005) and Nicolas Touzaint (2007), who is in the two-star section.

There are several Kiwi combinations also competing in the CCI2* division of the event. Clarke Johnstone is entered aboard his Olympic hopeful Orient Express, and also Regal Romar, with Nicholson on Sirio and Teseo, Powell with The Earl of Belvedere and Todd aboard Alfiano Del Ferro and Leonidas II.

Organisers expect more than 20,000 spectators over the four days of competition.


Andrew Nicholson at the trot-up
Andrew Nicholson at the trot-up. © Datanaute

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