Frenchman wins Pau!

Not the result that Jock or Michael were hoping for, as a young Frenchman takes out the title at Pau.

2016 CCI4* Title Winner: Frenchman Maxime Livio on Qalao Des Mers (Image: Libby Law Photography)
2016 CCI4* Frenchman Maxime Livio and Qalao Des Mers (Image: Libby Law)

Young French rider Maxime Livio has won his first major four-star eventing title at Pau. History repeated itself as, just like in 2015, Olympic double gold medallist Michael Jung could not add the Pau title to his list of victories, having to settle for finishing second and third this year with his two horses.

Sunday afternoon’s show jumping course proved challenging; its triple combination and final line with five short strides saw the demise of some high-ranking riders. There were only seven clear rounds in total.

Jock Paget and Clifton Signature had two down in the show jumping (Image: Libby Law)
Jock Paget and Clifton Signature had two down in the show jumping (Image: Libby Law)

Jock Paget and Clifton Signature were among those who collected faults: two down saw them slip to seventh overall.

Caroline Powell and Spice Sensation completed the 4* at Pau (Image: Libby Law)
Caroline Powell and Spice Sensation (Image: Libby Law)

Caroline Powell and her horses Spice Sensation and Flying Finish finished 26th and 27th respectively on 79.8 and 80.5 after picking up faults in the show jumping.

Caroline Powell and Flying Finish (Image: Libby Law)
Caroline Powell and Flying Finish (Image: Libby Law)

Second in the rankings after cross-country and therefore the penultimate rider to start, Maxime Livio with the Selle Français 12-year-old Qalao des Mers finished his round without any faults. Maxime has competed in three 4* events, with two second placings (Pau in 2014 and Luhmühlen in June this year) and was anticipating a third second place, with Michael Jung holding the box seat. However, after fisherRocana’s faults on the verticals (fences 10 and 12), the crowd went wild as they realised the victory would go to the French. This was a similar finish to last year when Astier Nicolas won after Michael – who was in the lead after cross-country – had a show jumping rail. Astier went on to be a part of France’s Rio Olympic gold team and claim individual silver.

2016 CCI4* Title Winner: FRA-Maxime Livio rides Qalao Des Mers during the CCI4* Prizegiving at 2016 FRA-Les Etoiles de Pau CCI4*/CIC2* (Final-1ST). Sunday 16 October. Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography
Maxime Livio and Qalao des Mers (Image: Libby Law)

Maxime described his win at ‘the most beautiful four-star competition in the world’ as a magical experience. “I’ve finished second at this level before, so finally to win is very special. I’ve had a marvellous time at Pau – the ground was well prepared, the courses were great and my horse performed well.”

Michael Jung’s achievement of second with fischerTakinou (who had one rail) and third with his 11-year-old mare fischerRocana, should still be celebrated, and he declared on the podium that he would be back next year to win.

British rider Nicola Wilson just missed the podium, finishing fourth after the two penalties clocked up by One Two Many. Her fellow British rider, CCI4* first-timer Alexander Bragg, a farrier, finished fifth on Zagreb after one of the few faultless jumping rounds. Nicola filled a second top-10 spot with Annie Clover in eighth.

Camilla Speirs from Ireland was delighted with her Rio Olympics partner Portersize Just A Jiff: the pair rose from 32nd after dressage to take sixth place with clear rounds in the cross-country and show jumping.

Two horses were withdrawn before the final veterinary inspection – 10th-placed Parkiarrup Illicit Liaison (Sonja Johnson, Australia) and Fleet Street (Roo Fox, GB) – and two more were eliminated at the final inspection – Cracker Jack, who lay in sixth place with Boyd Martin (USA), and Cooley Blue Flame, 35th with Katie O’Sullivan (Ireland).

2016 CIC2* winner Aurelien Leroy rides Boyjoyce Chavannais (Image: Libby Law Photography)
2016 CIC2* winner Aurelien Leroy rides Boyjoyce Chavannais (Image: Libby Law Photography)

Aurelien Leroy, second after dressage and the leader after cross-country, jumped clear to win the CIC** on the nine-year-old gelding Boyjoyce Chavannais.  Maxime Livio had additional cause for celebration after finishing second in this class on Tina de la Fieffe. Karim Florent Laghouag rounded off the all-French podium with Vendéen des Bois.

Caroline Powell on Chance Encounter produce a clear round in the CIC2* Showjumping (Image: Libby Law)
Caroline Powell on Chance Encounter produce a clear round in the CIC2* show jumping (Image: Libby Law)

Caroline and Chance Encounter were 31st in the CIC2*, with 90.2pen, finishing with a clear round in the show jumping.

About the winner
Maxime Livio runs his own stable, Ecurie Maxime Livio, near Saumur with his girlfriend, jumping rider Mathilde Montginoux.
Maxime competed on French teams at the FEI Junior and Young Rider European Eventing Championships, and made his senior championship debut at the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2014.
His first major success came with his Pau winner Qalao des Mers in 2014, when they won the Saumur CCI3*, and he received international recognition when finsihing second in the 4* at Pau aboard Cathar De Gamel in 2014.
Maxime’s family has no connection with horses, but he started having riding lessons as a small child and participated in all forms of competition. He trained at the Ecole Nationale d’Equitation de Saumur, and spent time with François Roemer and Nicolas Touzaint before setting up his own establishment.
Results after Cross Country
1 Maxime Livio/Qalao des Mers (FRA) 45.3 + 0 + 0 = 45.3
2 Michael Jung/fischerTakinou (GER) 39.3 + 8.8 + 4 = 52.1
3 Michael Jung/fischerRocana FST (GER) 43.8 + 0.4 + 8 = 52.2
4 Nicola Wilson/One Two Many (GBR) 43.6 + 2.8 + 8 = 54.4
5 Alexander Bragg/Zagreb (GBR) 43.0 + 12.4 + 0 = 55.4
6 Camilla Speirs/Portersize Just A Jiff (IRL) 54.1 + 1.6 + 0 = 55.7
7 Jock Paget/Clifton Signature (NZL) 44.0 + 4.0 + 8 = 56.0
8 Nicola Wilson/Annie Clover (GBR) 54.1 + 2 + 0 = 56.1
9 Tina Cook/Billy The Red (GBR) 48.7 + 3.6 + 4 = 56.3
10 Karim Florent Laghouag/Punch De L’Esques (FRA) 55.7 + 0.8 + 0 = 56.5


Videos of the four best riders on the cross-country :

Videos of the three best riders on the jumping :

The full results :