The second day of the U.S. Eventing Mandatory Outing was a day filled with team spirit, Olympic level riding, and clear cross-country rounds. Only adding time penalties, all riders representing the U.S. jumped clear around Ian Stark’s Advanced level track. Unfortunately, the Canadian rider, Colleen Loach parted ways with Qorry Blue d’Argouges at the water complex only one jump from home. The remaining 11 horse and rider combinations will move forward to tomorrow’s second horse inspection.
The Tokyo team of Liz Halliday-Sharp, Boyd Martin, Phillip Dutton, and the traveling reserve, Doug Payne showed appreciation for their fellow Tokyo teammates. “It’s been my dream to ride with the two of them. They are such wonderful athletes, and so experienced and so professional,” said Liz-Halliday Sharp of Martin and Dutton.
"I thought he was a bit of a weirdo when I first met him!” Boyd Martin said of Dutton while smiling. “I was lucky enough, and obviously green, when I rode with him on my first team for America in 2010. We’ve been on every WEG and Olympic team for the last 11 years. It’s comforting. He’s the guy I turn to and ask for advice. He’s just a great guy. He’s humble, and he’s forever helping other people.”
Dutton and Martin, who are both originally from Australia, are going into their third Olympic Games together as teammates representing the U.S.
Martin, the only rider with two horses, was the first out of the box as well as the last rider out on course. His first ride was with the second direct reserve, On Cue (Cabri de Elle x On High) a 16-year-old Selle Français mare bred by Alyse and Jolyse Clancey, and owned by Christine Turner, Thomas Turner, Tommie Turner, and Boyd Martin. His last ride, and the last ride of the day, was with Tsetserleg TSF (Windfall II x Thabana) a 14-year-old Trakehner gelding owned by Christine Turner, Thomas Turner, and Tommie Turner.
“He’s as good as they get, he’s starting to really understand each phase. He’s a real competitor.” said Phillip Dutton of the 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding, Z owned by Thomas Tierney, Ann Jones, Caroline Moran, Simon Roosevelt, and Suzanne Lacy.
Dutton, the 6-time Olympian, is going into his 7th Olympic Games. Dutton’s first three Olympics he represented Australia and helped secure the team gold medal twice (1996 - team gold, 2000 - team gold, and 2004). The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games were the first Olympics that Dutton rode for the U.S. and has been on the U.S. Olympic team ever since (2008, 2012, and 2016 - individual bronze with Mighty Nice).
“It’s a huge honor to represent our country and I’m certainly looking forward to it,” said the traveling reserve, Doug Payne after making easy work of Ian Stark’s cross-country track with the 17-year-old Trakehner gelding, Vandiver (Windfall II x Visions of Grandeur) owned by Debi Crowley, Doug Payne, and Jessica Payne.
“He was super. Eric and I have been working on me riding him a little different and I was actually nervous to change up what I’ve been doing my whole life but, it was amazing,” said the first team alternate, Tamra Smith after her strong cross-country round with Mai Baum (Loredano x Ramira), a 15-year-old German Sport Horse bred by Sachsische Gestutsuer Waltung, and owned by Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell.
“He’s amazing - he gives me the same feeling as Antigua did,” said the second team alternate, Will Faudree of the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Mama’s Magic Way (Mighty Magic x Hauptstutbuch Straightaway) owned by Jennifer Mosing.“If he gets called up to Tokyo, there’s no better horse I’d be sitting on, especially in the heat.”
The final day of the mandatory training session is tomorrow with the second horse inspection at 8:00 a.m. and show jumping starting at 10:00 a.m.
Make sure to follow the USEA social media for updates and coverage of the event!
The secret ballot was held at the 138th Session in Tokyo, two days before the Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games, under strict COVID-19 restrictions. The Session heard presentations by Brisbane 2032, including by video link-up from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, as well as a final report from Kristin Kloster, Chair of the Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad – the IOC body responsible for monitoring and analyzing interest in hosting the Olympic Games and the Youth Olympic Games.
The afternoon session will be conducted at the Bernalillo County Sheriffs Posse and include the hands-on building of a show jumping course with help from the Watermelon Mountain Pony Club as demo riders.
The highly anticipated Event at Rebecca Farm kicks off TODAY in Kalispell, Montana. It’s been called the field of dreams, and for many just getting to attend The Event at Rebecca Farm, and this year is extraordinary, as the Event is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Doug Payne and Vandiver are on the road to Tokyo! Payne and Vandiver were first named as the traveling reserve but, due to Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z sadly withdrawing from the team, the pair are now going into Tokyo as part of the three-person Olympic team.