Pau hosts France's top eventing competition

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France Bed and Breakfasts previews this year's edition of the "Etoiles de Pau", taking place in southwest France from October 23rd to October 28th. The only 4-star eventing competition in France, it features Olympic medallists and the top riders of the FEI in its lineup, all aiming for a slice of the 110,000 Euros prize money.

The only international four star three day event in France.

The Domaine de Sers, southwest France, will host the 2013 edition of the "Etoiles de Pau" from October 23rd to October 28th. The only international four star three day event in France, the highest level of eventing competition, it is one stage of the six four star CCI (Concours Complet International) events in the world. This makes it part of the pantheon of the Burghley and Badminton horse trials in the U.K., the Rolex Kentucky Three Day in the U.S.A., the Adelaide horse trials in Australia and the Luhmuhlen horse trials in Germany.

This year's event attracts the world's most famous riders and horses, from seventeen countries, including Olympic gold medalists and many of the top riders from the FEI (Fédération Equestre International) ranking list. Stars of the turf Philip Dutton, Lucinda Fredericks, Andreas Dibowski and William Fox-Pitt, as well as last year's winner, Andrew Nicholson, will be fighting it out for the first prize of 110,000 Euros prize money.

The race itself dates back to 1991 and was run with a four star rating for the first time in 2007. It has grown in popularity and this year expects to welcome more than 50,000 spectators and be broadcast in sixty-five countries.

It is only one kilometer from the international airport of Pau and the A64 motorway between Toulouse and Biarritz and five kilometres from the A65 motorway to Bordeaux. Being so close to the junction of these transport hubs, there are many hotels situated nearby, as well as bed and breakfast options, both in the centre of Pau and in the surrounding area.

The "Etoiles de Pau" has gained the reputation for being a user-friendly event. Alongside the races, there are many exhibitors at the site's shopping village, from France and abroad, offering a large variety of horse and stable related products for sale. Another major attraction is the horse market organised by the CEPP (Compétitions Equestres Pau-Pyrénées), presenting to the public a selection of horses with event potential of many different breeds aged from three to ten years old, as picked out by international horse trials riders. For younger visitors, there is the possibility to participate in races featuring Shetland ponies.

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Diarmuid Kieran

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