Hello from the FEI Nations Cup at Great Meadow International in The Plains, Virginia! The skies opened and dumped a huge amount of rain on the area earlier this morning, but we had beautiful clear conditions for the first horse inspection.
Thirty-two horses presented to the ground jury of Christian Landolt and Christina Klingspor, with all being accepted and moving forward to dressage, which starts later this afternoon at 5 p.m. EST.
Buck Davidson withdrew Copper Beach from the U.S. Nations Cup team prior to the first horse inspection, so team alternates Lynn Symansky and Donner will step in to take their place. The U.S. team is now Jennie Branigan and Cambalda, Phillip Dutton and I’m Sew Ready, Boyd Martin and Steady Eddie, and Lynn Symansky and Donner.
The draw took place last night to determine the order of nations. Great Britain will go first, followed by Clayton Fredericks as the sole rider representing Australia, then Canada, then the U.S. Ride times are posted here.
Since arriving in the States last week, the Team GB horses have been based at nearby Beverly Equestrian, where event organizer Darrin Mollett has graciously hosted the team. All of the Team GB horses looked fantastic at the trot up — shout out to the super grooms!
We also have to send a big shout out to Allie Knowles, who is back to competing at the Advanced level with Sound Prospect for the first time since a fall at Red Hills in March sidelined her for the spring season.
It’s also fantastic to have Jan Byyny back at this level with her longtime partner Inmidair. (We caught up with Jan, who is also the newest U.S. selector, last week for an in-depth interview, so click here if you missed that.)
As a side note, Christian Landolt was a very brave man to wear such fabulous purple shoes despite the mud that resulted from this morning’s torrential downpour. EN is pleased to report that the shoes made it through the trot up unscathed.
Ride times are here. You can preview Mike Etherington-Smith’s cross country course here, and please join us in sending him happy birthday wishes! Check out more photos below and on Instagram, and stay tuned for much more from #GMI2017.