Tom McEwen was first into the arena this afternoon to perform his Pau Horse Trials dressage test aboard Braveheart B. And the pair impressed the judges of Sue Baxter (Great Britain), Anne-Mette Binder (Denmark) and Xavier Le Sauce (France), earning themselves a score of 28.3 to sit second, .8 of a penalty adrift of day one overnight leaders Ros Canter and Rehy Royal Diamond.
“He is a really, really sweet horse. It’s his second attempt to this level, and to be honest, we were early in the draw at his first five-star attempt at Luhmühlen and produced a really similar test to score in the early 30s”, said Tom. “So I’m delighted with him – he did as well as he could do and that’s all we can ask of them, to try as hard as they can.”
Tom pinpointed a few movements during his Pau Horse Trials dressage test that he was particularly pleased with.
“A couple of his flying-changes were a highlight as they can be a little bit small. He’s got some nice work in there, but can hide a little bit behind the vertical at points. But actually, overall he produced a really nice test and outline – it was a solid, safe, clear round.”
Tom said that Bravehart B, who last scored a sub-30 at a three-day event at the CCI3*-L at Tattersalls in Ireland in 2019, is very much a work in progress.
“It’s all coming and it’s just a case of working on his strength and taking our time. I actually think for a horse like him, taking him to Le Lion D’Angers with us last week has helped as it’s given him some time in an atmosphere.
“Working him through his body and running through tests and actually being out with a whole load of other horses has helped – it’s one thing going through it at home, but it’s nothing compared to doing it a show.”
The second day of dressage gets underway tomorrow at 10am local time (9am British time), with Australia’s Kevin McNab and Willunga first into the arena.
The remaining 31 combinations will come forward with no less than 16 British combinations set to enter the arena, including first phase favourites Mollie Summerland riding Charly Van Her Heiden at 3.44pm local time (2.44pm British time).
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Credit: Gemma Redrup
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