USEA Board of Governors member Morley Thompson is on the ground in Lima, Peru at the 2019 Pan American Games and will be sharing his thoughts from the spectator's seat!
The Army Equitation School is a green oasis of solitude in a concrete urban jungle. Getting there in Lima traffic is a challenge, but once you enter the walls it has beautiful trees and many helpful volunteers. The overall size of the grounds is quite limited though. The entrance for a spectator is a bit like shopping at IKEA as you are routed along a circuitous path through sections of the cross-country course, through the Peruvian equivalent of a Tiki hut, and eventually get to the dressage area.
The size of the venue is so limited that the cross-country course loops back and forth on itself. Imagine a CCI3*-L course at Kentucky in an area that is probably smaller than the inside of the Kentucky steeplechase track. There are some slight hills and lots of trees, so it does not feel like a Tryon derby field, but the twisty course may prove tough for horses that are not handy.
There are places where trucks are rumbling on city streets on the other side of a wall less than 20 yards from a cross-country jump and there literally were cross-country jumps within the dressage stadium, with a water complex less than 10 yards from A.
Today's dressage was very impressive for the top tier of riders. The U.S. is in a very enviable position to have Lynn's 29.2 be our drop score. Lynn's test set a bar for being calm, rhythmic, and precise but other tests bested her in brilliance and energy. Tamra's test was fantastic and would have placed well in any international competition.
Individually, Brazil's Marcelo Tosi on Starbucks was very impressive. I am probably showing my lack of familiarity with many of the international riders, but I was very impressed by the riding skills of Guatamela's two ladies. Sarka Kolackova De Mendez's Carneval 32 has some incredible moments of brilliance and energy, but with all his energy the extended walk was not on his playlist. For this test, the walk-canter transition at C when the horses were anticipating the medium canter (and pointed at a cross-country jump) proved very challenging for several.
Both the Canadians and Brazil are close on our tail so we need two more great phases!
Weren’t able to spend your morning glued to the livestream of the 2021 Maryland 5 Star cross-country? Couldn’t be there in person to trek up the hills? We have you covered with a play-by-play of what happened on Ian Stark’s cross-country course which gave both the designer and the riders many sleepless nights, but ended up riding quite well for the majority of the field.
The forecasted downpours held off until the last horse and rider crossed the finish flags during the CCI5*-L cross-country at the Maryland 5 Star today, confirming the event’s decision to move up the start. The majority of riders had sunny skies and a cool breeze as backdrop to tackle Ian Stark’s five-star course across the sprawling grounds at Fair Hill in Elkton, Md. Before cross-country there was much chatter about the testing terrain, but 11 pairs managed to make the time despite the hills. At the end of the day, the top three riders held onto their podium positions going into show jumping tomorrow with overnight leader Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class (Ramiro B x The Swallow) impressing all who watched at each and every question.
It's the day we have all been waiting for, cross-country day at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star! Both the CCI5*-L and CCI3*-L field will contest Ian Stark's terrain-filled track across the historic grounds at Fair Hill today and there is lots of chatter about how the questions, terrain, and time allowed might impact the current placings.
Chris Talley came into the Dutta Corp USEA YEH East Coast 5-year-old Championships knowing that the Corwin Sport Horse LLC’s owned 5-year-old Hanoverian mare Gina (Gentleman x Ballerina) possessed a lot of quality, but to emerge victorious out of the 42 horse field was an absolute treat for the pair.