Welcome to our Olympics Monday cross-country open thread, presented by SmartPak! Reader beware, all scores are provisional, please forgive the typos, and please understand this is written in real time.
1:08pm ET — Mark Todd and Campino (NZL) +0.4: Two-time Olympic individual champion Mark Todd was back today, anchor riding for New Zealand, after returning to the sport from retirement–you can’t make this stuff up. As the last rider, Toddy had the course to himself at the end and what a privilege it was to watch him go to work. Campino showed some green moments early but Toddy helped him through them with ease. Like many horses before him, Campino looked to be slipping around quite a few turns on course and that slipping sapped his energy at the end–Campino looked completely exhausted with a few minutes to go. The greatest eventer of all time delivered a ride that should go down in history as one of the best Olympic rides ever. Toddy was spectacular, but I also give credit to Campino for remaining very genuine despite his exhaustion. The one second that they did pick up proved costly, as they stayed in bronze position, just 0.2 behind the co-leaders Ingrid Kilmke and Sara Algotsson-Ostholt.
1:03pm ET — William Fox-Pitt and Lionheart (GBR) +9.2: William picked this horse for this event for this phase. William rode with patient aggression, he was fast without rushing, he was in control without being overbearing, what more can I say about his brilliance? Lionheart started tiring at the end of the course, but it would have been much worse with any other rider in the tack. They finished with 9.2 time.
12:58pm ET — Yoshiaki Oiwa and Noonday De Conde (JPN) RF: The overnight leaders started off fast and survived a few sticky moments early on course. However, they found disaster when Yoshi trotted off the drop at #20A and he tumbled off the side of his horse. The horse landed in decent balance and didn’t seem to slip significantly, but Yoshi just couldn’t quite sit back enough. Both horse and rider were quickly up and fine. After a brilliant Sunday of dressage, Japan faded today.
12:56pm ET — Elaine Pen and Vira (NED) RF: Elaine was bounced out of the saddle on the landing to #18A, the jump in the middle of the second water. She tried very hard to stay on but just slipped off the side. It was hard to tell what caused the fall as the jump itself looked excellent and the horse remained balanced.
12:51pm ET — Karin Donckers starting on Gazelle De La Brasserie (BEL) +11.8: Karin started in 7th place after the dressage for Belgium. She added 11.8 time for Belgium.
12:48pm ET — Rebecca Howard and Riddle Master (CAN) RF: Canada’s anchor pair headed out looking to continue Jessica’s work to redeem Team Canada’s day after two falls and a stop for the first three Canadian riders. However, trouble continued for Canada when Rebecca was popped off at the skinny at the sundials #14B. Rebecca was jumped out of the tack a bit at the first element and fell off as Riddle Master made an effort to jump the narrow second element.
12:40pm ET — Michael Jung and Sam (GER) +0: The WEG 2010 champions are no strangers to pressure but they left themselves a lot of work to do with a less than best dressage test on Sunday. Michael and Sam did everything they possibly could with a faultless double-clear today–critical for both their individual and team placings.
12:35pm ET — Clayton Fredericks and Bendigo (AUS) RF: Clayton Fredericks and Bendigo had a fall before #20B, the narrow after the drop, when Bendigo’s hind end just slid out from under him. That is terrible luck for Clayton, he didn’t do a thing wrong and neither did his horse–they just lost their footing. Both horse and rider walked away. The footing has continued to get slick in places throughout the day.
12:33pm ET — Phillip Dutton and Mystery Whisper (USA) +2.8: All the pressure was on Phillip after stops for Tiana and Will earlier in the day. Team USA couldn’t ask for a better anchor rider and Phillip added just 2.8 time.
12:30om ET — Stefano Brecciaroli on Apollo VD Wendi Kurt Hoeve (ITA) +11.6: Setfano started out in second place overnight aboard his brilliant horse. This horse can really show jump so Stefano knew that all the pressure was on making the time, but today wasn’t quite their day. They finished with 11.6 time penalties, which would have been great in any other situation than entering the day in silver medal position.
12:20pm ET — Andrew Nicholson and Nereo (NZL) +0: Andrew was incredibly frustrated that a rain delay was called right before his dressage ride on Sunday and he started out on course today with a vengeance. Andrew is one of the, if not the best XC rider in the world and he showed it today. A double-clear was never really in doubt.
12:18pm ET — Niklas Lindback and Mister Pooh (SWE) +2.8: Niklas started knowing that Sweden was in great position after their early three rides. Mr. Pooh looked tired at the end and almost fell over the last fence, but Niklas escaped disaster and got home with 2.8 time. This is a reminder kids–never push for a long one at the last!
12:16pm ET — Tina Cook and Miners Frolic (GBR) +0: Miners Frolic was a gentleman yesterday in the pouring rain. He was a gentleman today after a lengthy hold on course for Camilla Speirs. “Henry” ate up the hills of Greenwich early on the course with the adoring British fans cheering him on and looked to be well up on time. They made the time look easy and finished with the third British double-clear of the day.
12:13pm ET — Kenki Sato and Chippeih (JPN) RF: Kenki popped off at The Sundials when he hit the narrow fence on a half stride and his horse ducked out to the right. Kenki slipped off to the left and landed on his feet.
12:11pm ET — Camilla Speirs and Portersize Just A Jiff Update: Team Ireland Equestrian reports on Facebook, “Unconfirmed reports Camilla Speirs and Portersize Just a Jif up after fall and gone for medical assessment. We believe no serious injury.”
11:59am ET — Jessica Phoenix and Exponential (CAN) +2.4: All the pressure was on Jessie as she started out, needing to finish to give Canada a chance at posting a team score after Hawley and Peter fell earlier in the day. You would never have known that Jessie was under such pressure watching her early on the course–she rode every stride to perfection through combinations that had caused problems all day. Then they were held for 20 minutes after Camilla’s problem. Jessica rode Exponential home for a much needed great result for Canada, adding 2.4 time.
11:48am ET — Camilla Speirs and Portersize Just A Jiff (IRL) EL: Camilla Speirs reportedly had a fall at the Rose Garden corner, #24, causing a lengthy hold on course. A human ambulance was seen approaching the fence on US TV and Twitter reports claimed that the screens had been put up. When the course was restarted, reports suggested that Portersize Just A Jiff was up and walking. We will update when we learn more.
11:31 am ET — Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo (GER) +4.8: Sandra nursed her horse around the entire course with a superb ride to finish with just 4.8 time penalties.
11:22am ET — Lucinda Fredericks and Flying Finish (AUS) +38: This pair picked up a run out at the skinny bank out of the 2nd water as they just barely lost their line. They looked wonderful up to that point.
11:19am ET — Will Coleman and Twizzel (USA) +36.4: Team USA needed perfection from Will to keep up with great performances from the top teams earlier in the morning. Will expertly negotiated a sticky moment at #3A and B that would have caught most riders with 20. However, they picked up a stop at the drop at #20A that will frustrate Will for a long time. Twiz just got up to the edge of the bank and had a second thought. They easily dropped down the second time as Twiz looked to be laboring a bit. They finished with just the one stop and 16.4 time.
11:15am ET — Nina Ligon and Butts Leon (THA) +16: Nina is the youngest eventer at the Olympics at 20 years old. Nina started off with a real sense of purpose normally reserved for veterans. Butts Leon was yet another horse to slip around several turns on course. They finished with 16 time penalties after a tremendous ride. I would say that was a great ride for Nina’s first Olympics, and it was a great ride period.
11:02am ET — Caroline Powell and Lenamore (NZL) +1.6: The 19-year-old Lenamore has had so many great cross-country rides throughout his illustrious career but none was more important than today in his first Olympics. They finished with just 1.6 time with a brilliant performance although NZL still would like to drop their score.
11:00am ET — Sara Algotsson Ostholt and Wega (SWE) +0: This pair started out after finishing the dressage in 4th place. They added nothing to this with a double clear. Sara’s ride made a bid for Sweden to emerge as the dark horse team of this Olympics. They crossed the line as the 5th inside the time of the day.
10:59am ET — Serguei Fofanoff and Barbara (BRA) EL: Reportedly eliminated at 20B, the skinny at the bottom of the drop. This ride received virtually no coverage because Zara was also on course.
10:56am ET — Zara Phillips and High Kingdom (GBR) +0: Zara Phillips set out much to the crowd (and media’s) excitement. Zara started with the comforting knowledge that Britain had two great rides under its belt from Nicola and Mary. As Zara set out with determination, she galloped through a cacophony of sound from the crowd that was unlike anything we had seen yet from Greenwich. Zara finished within the time for the second double-clear of the day for Great Britain. The one word to define Zara’s ride: determination. Zara commented after her ride that the footing was very slippery, making it hard to ride in the turning corners. Zara also reported that High Kingdom lost both of his front shoes.
10:46am ET — Atsushi Negishi and Pretty Darling (JPN) +25.6: Atsushi finished with 25.6 time after a tentative ride. Japan’s first three riders looked just a bit over-faced by Sue Benson’s course but two of them made their way around.
10:42am ET — Marc Rigouts and Dunkas (BEL) +56.8: This pair picked up a stop at #14A The Sundials. Marc was really struggling to half-halt Dunkas and #14B was way too technical to ride without breaks. The riders on stronger horses today seemed to take the approach of waiting things out until their horses tired on the hills, but I suppose that is all they could do.
10:35am ET — Peter Barry and Kilrodan Abbott (CAN) RF: Troubles for Canada continued when the normally automatic XC horse Kilrodan Abbott got off his line in the coffin and put his knees up on #11B. Kilrodan Abbott slid off the fence to the right, and Peter slid off him to the left. Both horse and rider were up and walking away quickly.
10:26am ET — Ingrid Klimke and Butts Abraxxas (GER) +0: Ingrid’s ride was an important one for Germany to keep up with Great Britain and Australia after time penalties from Dirk Schrade earlier in the day. Ingrid rode boldly around the course early and as a result easily finished within the time–a great ride for Germany!
10:25am ET — Hawley Bennett update: CTV is reporting that Hawley is in stable condition at the hospital. She was sitting up after her fall.
10:18am ET — Andrew Hoy and Rutherglen (AUS) +7.6: Andrew Hoy has such a resume of team success for Australia at the Olympics. Today he produced a steady ride for Australia after he looked to be taking things a bit easy in the early part of the course as Rutherglen gave him a few green moments.
10:13am ET — Tiana Coudray and Ringwood Magister (USA) +25.6: Tiana and Ringwood Magister picked up a stop early at fence #3B, the angled vertical. He backed off a bit after jumping into the line and arrived on a half-stride. Ringwood Magister did not give Tiana an easy ride throughout the early part of the course and looked to be both green and backing off. He settled in a bit better in the middle of the course and even looked after Tiana over a couple fences. Fortunately for Team USA, Tiana’s score was a dropped score after the dressage, but that ride put more pressure on Will and Phillip left to ride.
10:12am ET — Ronald Zabala and Master Rose (ECU) +36: Ronald had a great dressage ride on Saturday with Master Rose, who was formerly ridden by Oli Townend. They finished today with 36 time.
10:08am ET– Harald Ambrose and O-Feltiz (AUT) RF: Harald reportedly fell at the second element of fence five, the Chestnut Logs. There was no hold on course although I have not heard a definite report on either the horse or the rider.
9:59am ET — Jock Paget and Clifton Promize (NZL) +4.8: Jock finished on 4.8 time penalties with a ride that was never in doubt. Jock continues to ride like a true veteran for NZL.
9:58am ET — Ludwig Svennerstal and Shamwari (SWE) +0.4: Ludwig came in just one second over the optimum to take the temporary lead at the time. A lovely ride on a lovely horse.
9:45am ET — Mary King and Imperial Cavalier (GBR) +1.2: Imperial Cavalier was extremely strong in the bit for Mary but she fought her way around valiantly. Mary was held on course briefly following Takayuki’s fall, which perhaps gave Mary a chance to catch her breath. Mary delivered one of the more courageous rides I have ever seen to get “Archie” around that course. 5.2 penalties were reported for Mary immediately after her ride, but that score was updated to 1.2 time after the hold was taken into consideration.
9:44am ET — Takayuki Yumira and Latina (JPN) RF: They had a fall later on course at the Cricket Ball Basket, the same fence at which Alena fell. The horse reportedly caught his left front on the back of the fence. Horse and rider were both up quickly and there was a very short hold on course.
9:35am ET — Carl Bouckaert and Cyrano Z (BEL) RF: Carl was held in the warmup after Hawley’s fall at fence 3 and he suffered the same fate. Cyrano landed after 3A and seemed to stumble a bit, popping Carl out of the tack. The horse never fell and walked away fine. Carl walked away limping as though the horse stepped on his foot. There was no hold on course. Fence 3 presents two angled verticals.
9:02am ET — Hawley Bennett Awad and Gin & Juice (CAN) RF: Hawley fell at fence 3. Although we don’t have a lot of details, Gin & Juice was seen galloping loose and looking fine. Hawley appeared to be getting some medical attention. Hawley was sitting up after the fall. There was a hold on course while Hawley was tended to and a human ambulance was seen on course. It was reported that she was taken away in an ambulance with a possible ankle injury. The hold lasted about 25 minutes. Fence 3A has caused a number of issues today including two stops to the French riders.
8:54am ET — Dirk Schrade and King Artus (GER) +10.8: As Germany’s second team ride of the day, Dirk gave the overnight first placed German team a solid ride but he did pick up some time penalties. Those time penalties opened the door for the teams right behind Germany.
8:51am ET — Aurelien Kahn and Cadiz (FRA) +39.6: Aurelien was the second French rider of the day to have a stop at the third fence. After that I can only imagine the French team rethought their ride there.
8:55am ET — Sam Griffiths and Happy Times (AUS) RF: Happy Times slipped his way around the course, requiring some fantastic saves by Sam, including right before the first water. Happy Times was seen galloping loose by fence #22, signaling elimination for Sam, although it was unclear exactly why or how he fell. Dirk was held at the start box after the fall but started in a couple minutes. The fall reportedly occurred at fence #21. A few of the horses have been slipping while galloping around the course. Equestrian Australia later reported both Sam and Happy Times are OK.
8:45am ET — Karen O’Connor and Mr. Medicott (USA) +5.6: Karen and Mr. Medicott were held right before their start time due to Alena Tseliapushkina’s fall. At her 5th Olympic Games, Karen had all of the experience necessary to keep Mr. Medicott focused and ready to go in the warm up. Karen started off with a vengeance but came home on a little easier pace with Mr. Medicott. They jumped clear with 5.6 time penalties.
8:28am ET — Alena Tseliapushkina and Passat (BLR) RF: Alena fell at fence 23 the Cricket Ball Basket when her horse hit the fence with his upper leg and chest. Fortunately, they managed to keep all four shoes on the ground-side. The horse just barely stayed upright on his knees and walked away, although a hold was put on course and the horse ambulance was called to the scene. Alena sat up and received some medical attention but she did not appear severely injured. The rider on course after her, Andrei Korshunov, was held right before where she fell. The horse was standing on all four legs with ears pricked and the vets appeared interested in his left front as the ambulance drove up. The hold lasted about 10 minutes.
8:25am ET — Samantha Albert on Carraig Dubh (JAM) +54: Our friends on the H&H live blog pointed out that this horse was produced by British team member Tina Cook and it was leased by Samantha for this Games when her horse went lame. They picked up a stop at fence 5, the horse slipped on approach, lost a shoe, and really slid into the fence.
8:21am ET — Jonelle Richards and Flintstar (NZL) +6: Joenelle’s ride marked the end of the first group of team riders. They finished full of run with 6 time penalties. As Joenelle galloped around some parts of the course were already showing signs of being slightly cut up from the horses’ hooves.
8:13am ET — Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz (GBR) +0: This pair got a late call up from Team GBR after Piggy’s withdraw a few days ago. The British crowd cheered Nicola around from the beginning. Opposition Buzz is a terrific horse on the cross-country, but he is the bigger scopier type and this course presented the test of tight turns and technicality. Nicola and Opposition Buzz made the course look like a walk in the park and they made the time easily. They finished full of run, proving that a big, scopey type can run well at Greenwich, the second double-clear ride of the day.
8:07 am ET — Live Video Coverage: Click here to watch in the USA. NBC live coverage is working well. It is clearly time delayed by about 1 minute based on the H&H live blog. However, the 15 second commercials seem randomly spaced and they are going to be incredibly annoying if they come during a key ride.
8:01 am ET — Toshiyuki Tanaka on Marquis De Plescop (JPN) +60: This pair was not a counting team score for Japan, but they added some pressure to the later Japanese riders by picking up a stop at the first part of The Sundials at 14.
7:57am ET — Michael Ryan and Ballylynch Adventure (IRL) RF: Michael suffered the first fall of the day at the first part of the Saxon Village. His horse looked just a touch tired and Michael couldn’t quite save it. Both horse and rider were up quickly and walked away.
7:54am ET — Michelle Mueller and Amistad (CAN) +63.2: Canada’s lead off pair took their time early but suffered a stop at the second fence (#16) in the main arena. Michelle took a good steady ride to the first jump, but tipped a bit forward on the landing and Amistad ducked out to the right at the left turning question.
7:51am ET — Peter Thomasen and Barny (GER) +5.2: Just a few time penalties give Germany a good lead off ride, but they will still hope to be able to drop Peter’s score at the end of the day.
7:47am ET — Denis Mesples and Oregon de la Vigne (FRA) +46: Just third on course, this pair was the first to experience an issue–20 penalties at the third fence.
7:45am ET — Chris Burton and HP Leilani (AUS) +0: Burto was the first rider to cross the finish line double-clear despite being just the second horse out on course. Chris rode very efficiently, but this will open some eyes back at the barn that perhaps the cross-country time isn’t quite as tough to make as expected.
7:42am ET — Boyd Martin and Otis Barbotiere (USA) +3.6: Boyd Martin and Otis delivered exactly the ride that Team USA needed for them–a steady path finding ride. As usual for Boyd, the clear ride never looked in doubt. Otis looked a bit tired at the end, which is a trend that I think we will see all day. The four remaining USA riders could head out on course with the comfort knowing that Boyd had already posted a very solid team score.
Click to enlarge, via horsecarecourses
7:23am ET — It’s almost here: I can’t believe it! After all of the buildup and anticipation, cross-country at Greenwich is just a few minutes away. Good luck to all the horses and riders–stay safe and have fun, as we say!