Sandra Auffarth and Let’s Dance 73 (Lancer II x Stella VIII), Dörthe Loheit and Marina Köhncke’s 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, were clear and fast across Adrian Ditcham’s cross-country course to maintain their lead in the Military Boekelo CCIO4*-L on a score of 24.9.
Laura Collett and London 52 (Landos x Vernante), her own, Keith Scott, and Karen Bartlett’s 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, moved up with a double-clear round from third place to sit tied for second place on their dressage score of 26.0 going into tomorrow’s cross-country competition.
Likewise, Christopher Burton and Clever Louis (Cyrkon x Lafita 6), his own and Geoffrey and Kate Guy's 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding, moved up from equal third to equal second on 26.0 after a clear trip across the country.
Tamra Smith and Eric Markell and Ellen and Alex Ahearn's 13-year-old German Sport Horse gelding Mai Baum (Loredano x Ramira) were the best of the Americans today, picking up just 0.8 time penalties on cross-country to move up into seventh place on a score of 27.5.
Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal), The Monster Partnership's 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, were just six seconds over the time allowed of 10:00, adding 2.4 time penalties to their score to sit on 34.1 overnight, moving them up from 40th place to 24th place.
Reserve pair Matt Flynn and Wizzerd (Wizzerd x Amai), Patrick and Kathleen Flynn and Merry Go Round Farm's 10-year-old KWPN gelding, accrued 22 time penalties on today’s cross-country course, dropping them from 53rd place to 57th place on a score of 54.9.
Unfortunately, Jennie Brannigan and the Stella Artois Syndicate's 11-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred mare Stella Artois were eliminated at fence 16, the double open corners, for a fall of rider.
This is where we see the new Olympic format rules come into play. Brannigan and Stella Artois were eliminated for a fall of rider, meaning that they will continue forward in the competition carrying 200 penalty points for not completing the cross-country phase. Reserve pair Flynn and Wizzerd cannot be substituted in – the reserve combination can only be substituted in the case of a medical/veterinary reason. For more information on the new Olympic format and how it is being used at Boekelo, click here.
With three double-clear rides from the team competitors, Germany maintains their lead in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup competition on a score of 78.1. In second place is Australia on 114.3, moving up from sixth place, and third place after cross-country goes to Belgium on 117.5. With the accumulation of an additional 200 points, team USA now sits in ninth place on 292.9.
Of the 94 competitors that set out on cross-country today, 62 jumped clear with 16 coming home inside the time. While problems were fairly evenly distributed across the course, the fence that caused the most trouble was fence 25, the skinny chevron brush at the Koerts Brushes combination, with nine pairs incurring penalties at this fence.
It’s the most hotly anticipated few hours of the eventing year - the cross-country from Tokyo 2020. What will Derek di Grazia’s track have in store for the Olympic riders?
We’re nearly there! Olympic mania has taken over the world, and we’re in the final countdown to the Olympic eventing competition in Tokyo, which starts with the first horse inspection on Thursday. Our USA riders are raring to go, but let’s remind ourselves of the history that precedes them. Just how well has the US team done in past Olympics?
After Germany’s Michael Jung won the second of his two consecutive Individual Olympic Equestrian Eventing titles at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, he was asked what he had next in his sights. “Tokyo 2020, of course, and the Europeans and maybe the world title along the way!" he replied.
Very few stallions compete at the top level in eventing - let alone at the Olympics. Windfall did just that, winning a team bronze medal under Darren Chiacchia for the USA in Athens in 2004. The fact that Windfall now has not one, but two, sons due themselves to compete for the same country as their sire, the USA, in Tokyo really does make him one in a million.