Pau Thursday Dressage

GBR-Tom McEwen rides Figaro Van Het Broekxhof during the first day of Dressage for the CCI5*-L. Interim-3rd. Les 5 Etoiles de Pau. Pyrenees Atlantiques. France. Thursday 24 October. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

Figaro van het Broekxhof (Fig) drew the short straw and had to strut his stuff on Thursday at Pau although Toledo de Kerser would have probably preferred to get the dressage done and dusted and swop into a jumping saddle as fast as possible!

The small but quality field jogged up on Thursday morning before the first short session of dressage that took place in drizzly rain and very cool temperatures. After a week of rain and mud at Le Lion d’Angers the troops were ready for some South of France sunshine but apparently they will have to wait another 24 hours for that to appear.

Fig is, with the best will in the world, really not built for dressage.  He is long in the body as well as tall which isn’t ideal for collection and he is a big unit to pilot around a restricted area.  He also is one of life’s triers and the harder he tries the more concentrated he becomes which looks to the outside world as though he is bored stiff when in actual fact he is doing his utter best to put his body exactly where Tom wants it!

Fig and Tom bettered their previous 5 star test score by a whole mark and putting 31.9 on the board in the early stages of the competition is a solid start. There are plenty of distractions around the beautifully decorated main arena at Pau as the decidedly whacky organising committee take a sort of Alice in Wonderland approach to the event and the “anything goes” theme is enthusiastically applied throughout the entire show ground. Fig looks slightly bemused but is taking it all in his stride and I have no doubt that Toledo is pretty damn happy to be back out at a party again.