Throughout the Olympics, Horse Nation will be capping off each day with a pint-sized synopsis of the most recent Olympic equestrian sporting festivities. Here’s your Happy Hour report for Monday, July 30.
OK, so it’s a little early for happy hour here in the U.S.–but it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right? And, I’m sure that those of you who didn’t call into work sick today to watch cross-country are itching to hear the scoop on what happened.
For many, it was a heart-breaker of a day. The twisty, hilly, slippery course took its toll on the scoreboard, shaking up both team and individual standings. The U.S. didn’t have quite the day it was hoping for, moving up slightly to fifth place: Karen O’Connor, Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton blazed around with 12 time penalties between the three of them, but Tiana Coudray and Will Coleman picked up a stop apiece. Tiana’s mistake came early on the course, when her Ringwood Magister had a stop at #3, an angled line that gave trouble throughout the day. Will’s Twizzel had second thoughts about a bank at fence #20. EN maintained an open thread throughout the day with easy-to-access recaps of most rides–check it out here. A full cross-country replay is available here.
Germany kept a death-grip on the no. 1 slot, and less than a rail separates no. 2 Great Britain and no. 3 Sweden going the show jumping tomorrow. [Team Scores] Germany’s Ingrid Klimke and Sweden’s Sarah Algotsson Ostholt are tied for the lead in individual competition, with New Zealand’s legendary Mark Todd in no. 2 and Germany’s Michael Jung in no. 3. [Individual Scores]
Many of today’s equine competitors came off course visibly tired; navigating the terrain seemed to take a lot out of even the fittest horses, and took shoes off a few of them as well. That’ll make tomorrow’s jog a nail-biter and the show jumping a real test of who’s still got gas in the tank on the final day of the competition. The fitness factor will be compounded by the fact the the Olympic format features two show jumping rounds–a team round followed by an individual round.
Three cheers for a thrilling day of competition that produced many a bruised ego but, so far as we’re aware at this point, no serious injuries.
Looking forward to tomorrow’s grand finale!