Double Olympic champion Michael Jung, who has had the most extraordinary run of success over his career to date, has still to achieve a win at Les 4 Etoiles de Pau (FRA). Will this be his year at Pau?
Having been the clear winner of the overall FEI Classics™ title for 2015/16 with victories at Kentucky (USA) and Badminton (GBR), Michael Jung returns to Pau for the start of the competition tomorrow with his double European gold medal ride fischerTakinou.
The FEI Classics™ series links the elite four-star fixtures on the international Eventing calendar, with points accumulated across the six events - Pau (FRA), Adelaide (AUS), Kentucky (USA), Badminton (GBR), Luhmühlen (GER), and Burghley (GBR).
Also in with a chance after winning at Pau last year is Frenchman Astier Nicolas, who has since won team gold and individual silver at the Rio Olympic Games, as well as being placed sixth overall in last season’s FEI Classics™. It looks like he will have a good chance vying for the title as he rides Molokai this week.
Another two countries which have proved successful over the years are Britain and New Zealand. Tina Cook (GBR), travelling reserve for the British team in Rio and double bronze medallist at the 2008 Olympics, will ride Billy the Red and Calvino. While Jock Paget (NZL) who was runner-up at Pau in 2012 will ride Clifton Signature this weekend with fellow New Zealander Tim Price, second in the 2015/16 FEI Classics™ and third at Pau 2015, set to ride the British-bred Xavier Faer.
The starting line-up also features a strong contingent from Ireland, plus riders from Italy, Belgium, Portugal, South Africa, Australia, Spain and the USA.