We brought you a fence-by-fence preview of Mike Etherington-Smith’s cross country course at Great Meadow International early in the week, and now we have this super cool flyover video produced by Jamie Rees.
Mike reversed the direction of the course for the FEI Nations Cup this year, which he says “changes the interest a bit, not just for the horses and riders but for the spectators as well so there is something different for them to look at.”
The course still has the same flow, which Mike said is very important to him “so the horses can get into a rhythm and grow from the experience. At the same time there are enough tests without being over the top. What I try to do is make riders have to think as they’re going around a course, making a decision based on how their horses are going that particular day.”
Only four horse and rider combinations made the time last year, and the clock definitely plays a key influence at Great Meadow. The terrain is “pretty undulating. It looks deceptively flat, but there are quite a few hills,” Mike said. “Riders have to use their heads. They can’t come out of the box and press the go button the whole around around.”
Dressage starts this afternoon at 5 p.m. EST with the first nine horses going. Then dressage resumes in the morning at 8 a.m., followed by show jumping starting at 5 p.m. EST. Cross country runs at 9:30 a.m. EST Sunday. The action will stream live on both USEF Network and FEI TV.