I was a little late logging on this morning but I got on just in time to see Caroline Martin on course, she and Spring Easy looked great. First heart in my throat moment came with Phillip Dutton on Z, the horse just didn’t look like he was on it and came up to a fence and sorta scrambled over it. Dutton of course rode like the badass he is. This combination had another scary moment later on in the course right at the end but overall they handled the questions well. The weather conditions looked amazing though and certainly watching this event, every year, makes me wish I’d actually pursued eventing.
Watching cross-country is always a huge draw for eventing, and I think a lot of that is because every equestrian can acknowledge the guts it takes to jump these fences.
We had two horses withdrawn before the day started which still left us with a small but healthy field.
Optimum time for this course is 11 minutes and 03 seconds. To get a run down on the course check this article from USEventing.com.
Following up on my favorite dressage tests:
- Boyd Martin on Tsesterleg: 11:07
- Michael Jung on fischerRocana FST: 11:04
- Elisa Wallace on Simply Priceless: 11:49
- Will Coleman on Tight Lines: 10:44
- Christopher Burton on Nobilis 18: 11:01
- Pawel Spisak on Banderas: ???
- Marilyn Little on RF Scandalous: 11:23
- Lynn Symansky on Donner: 10:58
- Oliver Townend on Cooley Master Class: 10:59
LRK3DE Journey Ended on Course:
- Joe Meyer and Clip Clop (retired).
- Ellen Doughty-Hume on Sir Oberon (eliminated – fall).
- Elinor MacPhail O’Neal on RF Eloquence (retired).
- Hawley Bennett-Awad on Jollybo (retired).
- Holly Jacks Smither on More Inspiration (eliminated – fall).
- Alexandra Knowles on Sound Prospect (eliminated – fall).
- Boyd Martin on Steady Eddie (retired).
Michael Jung and fisherRocana FST did give me a small heart attack at the head of the lake but pulled it together and finished just as strong as they started. Moving along… Anyone else wanna 😍 with me about how Sharon White and I have the same show colors? Also how much of a badass she is (10 minutes 58 seconds on course riding Cooley On Show – fastest of the day at 12:15 pm), because she’s been a badass for yearrrrssss. Ashley Johnson on Tactical Maneuver also drew a lot of gasps but kept it together and pushed on, very impressive (12:37).
I was really pleased I got to watch Oliver Townend go on MHS King Joules. They were sitting in 8th after Dressage and I had hoped to see him higher up on this horse, although he did end up 5th on Cooley Master Class after Dressage. Townend and MHS King Joules rocked out on cross-country and finished in 10:57.
This is the point where I noticed that Caroline Martin withdrew The Apprentice before cross-country so that brings our field down another horse.
The past few years I’ve had a lot of chances to complain about how I wasn’t really a fan of the direction eventing/cross-country seemed to be moving in. However, I have no complaints about this course. The questions were tricky but by no means impossible, there were tired horses, there were green horses, and while there were some falls and riders retiring their horses I didn’t see anything I felt was unfair to ask of the horse and riders. This course was designed perfectly, the footing was great, and overall I was thrilled. Had it rained and the footing been more questionable I think we would have seen more issues but of course, there’s only so much you can do about the weather. I’ll save that rant for another day and another event, because it wouldn’t make sense to many right now.
Watching Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie suffer a run-out was shocking, although with Martin retiring the horse then and there it proves the point that these riders know their horses and have serious bonds with them. Their dressage wasn’t all that great, judging by the store, and they’re a long-time pair so having a run-out or refusal from a seasoned team who are extremely comfortable together is definitely a bit of a warning flag. Hopefully Steady Eddie was simply off this weekend and will come back out soon in his usual form.
I got through the entire day of cross-country, which is a miracle with all I have going on at the moment, and I was stoked about most of the rides I saw. Obviously going into showjumping tomorrow we’re down 10 horses. Overall I think the group of 30 will really put on a good show and be highly competitive. Since showjumping is my thing, I’m really hoping I’m able to watch! Showjumping starts at 1 PM tomorrow, so chances are I wont actually be able to watch because I’ll be going to ride (and hopefully jump) Bella.