Derek di Grazia’s cross country course has proven to be quite difficult for many of this morning’s rides; including several in the top 10. The leaderboard is in the process of a major shuffle and should look quite different by the close of the day.
Buck Davidson withdrew both of his rides (Absolute Liberty and Titanium), as did Jolie Wentworth and Killian O’Connor, before the start of Cross-Country.
Of this morning’s starters, Becky Holder and Courageous Comet were the first to splash into the Rolex Head of the Lake but were later eliminated by a rider fall. Other eliminations included Karen O’Connor and Veronica, Laine Ashker and Anthony Patch, Kadi Eykamp and Double Rivers Dillon, Holly Payne and Madeline, Katie Ruppel and Sir Donovan, and Jolie Wentworth on Good Knight. Time penalties were also a problem with this highly technical course.
To this point only William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk (who literally stormed around the cross country course), Will Coleman and Twizzel, and Erin Sylvester and No Boundaries have finished with a double clear. Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Eagle added just 0.4 time penalties to their dressage score and Boyd Martin and Remington XXV added 7.2. Seven riders managed to jump around clear, but outside the time including; Jordan Linstedt and Tullibard’s Hawkwind, Jessica Hampf and High Society III, Kate Hicks and Belmont, Marilyn Little-Meredith and RFRovano Rex (who were the first to cross the finish flags. There were numerous runouts and six riders finished adding 20 points + time to their score (Andromaque and Will Faudree, Running Order and Doug Payne, Jane Sleeper and UN, R-Star and Kristi Nunnik, Madeline Blackman and Gordonstown, and Heather Morris and Slate River). With many big names still to go, I am chomping at the bit to see who will be jumping the painted rails tomorrow morning!