After the conclusion of the final day of dressage in the eventing portion of FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon, yesterday's leader, Julia Krajewski, still sits atop the leaderboard with her incredible score of 19.1 that she earned with Chipmunk FRH. However, nearly the entire top fifteen places were shaken up with new arrivals after a competitive day of action here in Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Germany's Ingrid Klimke, a familiar face at the top of eventing leaderboards, performed a beautiful test with her experienced SAP Hale Bob OLD, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding, to slide into second place with 23.3.
"Bobby did a wonderful job," said Ingrid after her test. "He was so soft and so listening. I could really ride everything the way I wanted. Everything felt perfect, so it was really a pleasure to ride him. I’m very happy.”
Rosalind Canter of Great Britain and Allstar B went shortly after Ingrid and a score of 24.6 puts them in close contention.
“I’m absolutely over the moon," said Rosalind. "The last three or four years he’s been so consistent at this phase. He’s so amazing. In the atmosphere, he never changes. I gave him the day off yesterday! Because he worked so well the day before. It’s more pressure for me, really, but I want to go and do him proud.
When asked about the highlights of her test, Rosalind said, “I can’t really remember! I just heard all my trainer’s words in my head…I’m delighted he kept moving throughout the whole test, since he’s a bit of a lazy horse.”
France's Thibaut Vallette Lt. Col. finished his day in fourth place with the 14-year-old Selle Francais gelding Qing du Briot ENE HN after earning a 25.6.
Swedish rider Sara Algotsson Ostholt was delighted with her long-time partner, 17-year-old Wega. "I think she’s amazing. My horse loves to show herself off for a big audience. I think she’s absolutely fantastic. She gives everything and a little bit more. For me, she’s all heart…when I look at her, I just see a big, red heart." They currently hold tight to the fifth-place position with a 25.9.
Ireland's Sarah Ennis was one of the final riders of the day to compete, but ended on a high note with a 6th place finish after scoring a 26.3 with Horseware Stellor Rebound.
Australia's Emma McNabb was delighted with her Fernhill Tabasco's test, and their 27.0 moved them into 7th place. "He’s 10 now and we got him when he was four, just after he was broken in. He started off quite quirky, he’s a little bit sharp and now he’s the sweetest thing, he’s like the yard pet. You know, he’s a real trier. He just loves the job, so I’m very lucky.”
Team USA rider Boyd Martin was bumped down to eighth, while France's Astier Nicolas moved into ninth and Padraig McdCarthy of Ireland rounded out the top ten.
Team USA Delivers
The two remaining riders for Team USA, Lynn Symansky and Phillip Dutton, produced two solid, competitive tests with their respective partners, Donner and Z.
Lynn and Donner rode this morning and she was thrilled with the 15-year-old Thoroughbred gelding's performance. Donner can be notorious for his spooky behavior at times, especially in tense atmospheres, but he was on his game today and the picture of concentration.
"I’m pretty pumped," said Lynn after his test. "He was awesome. I really couldn’t be happier with what he did out there. I was worried in the beginning of the week that he wasn’t feeling well because he was so quiet in the jog and he’s been so quiet around here. But then yesterday afternoon, I took him out and he started spinning and bolting, so I knew he was feeling fine. Just I think with the hot weather and being kind of close to the barns suits him."
The pair earned a respectable 28.3, which puts them into 17th place.
Phillip Dutton was also proud of his WEG partner, Z, a relatively inexperienced 10-year-old gelding, who scored 27.6 for 12th place.
“I’m really pleased," said Phillip. "It’s as good as he could do at this stage of his career. There’s a lot more to come, but I couldn’t be more pleased at this stage.”
When asked about the atmosphere of the arena, he said: “It’s fun having a home crowd and a cheering crowd, but the downside of that is that the horse isn’t used to it. But he handled it well."
German Team On Top
The Germans aren't only leading the team portion of the competition, but their combined score is the new WEG record for the lowest score for eventing. Currently, they have a score of 73.4.
The British team sits in second with a 80.0 and, much to the delight of Team USA fans, the Americans have moved up three places overnight into the third position with a 83.0.
Looking Ahead to Cross Country Tomorrow
The officials are still keeping a close eye on the weather as Hurricane Florence begins to move into the area and are prepared to make any changes necessary. As of press time, there have been no changes to the cross-country course, though there was talk of moving the start times up. Currently, the first horse is slated to head out on course at 11:00AM.
Here are a few thoughts on cross country from today's riders:
Lynn Symansky of USA: For [Donner], I do honestly wish it was a little bit bigger and maybe a little bit trickier to make it more of a competition for our team because I know we have some competitive cross-country horses on our team. I think it suits him. I just have to get him focused in the beginning because there’s a lot of combinations for him to look at, so that would be his biggest weakness, is getting a little distracted by what is behind everything.”
Tim Price of NZL: "I hope it’s a tough day at the office for everyone and we come out on top.”
Phillip Dutton of USA: “It’s a great cross country. I think it’s a test. You have to be thinking all the way around. It’s not overly big or imposing but it’s suited to those who want to go quick and have a chance at a medal.”
Selena O'Hanlon of CAN: (on hearing that the course will not be shortened): “I’m so pumped about that. I was really disappointed to think they might shorten it. We’ve based our entire season on getting good cross-country horses. I’ve talked to some of the other teams and it’s the same thing, they all brought really good cross-country horses knowing that that hill was going to be there and factoring that in. I’m super excited that we get to do that, because it gives us a chance to climb our way back up the leaderboard.
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