Ingrid Klimke and FRH Escada JS are your overnight leaders in the Aachen CICO3* after jumping clear and inside the time over Frank Rothenberger’s show jumping course, which was set on the same field where the horses and riders did their dressage earlier today. Seventeen pairs jumped clear and inside the time, which is about 40 percent of the field, but it sure seemed like feast or famine out there in looking at the leaderboard.
The 96 seconds allowed to complete the course ultimately proved very difficult to make, with 13 riders racking up time penalties. If you spent even a split second out there to settle your horse or took one too many outside lines, the clock became a big issue. Show jumping definitely shook things up for the North American contingent, with just two of our seven riders going clear and inside the time over the course.
Team Rebecca’s Veronica was jumping out of her skin today and didn’t even come close to touching a rail, producing a beautiful double clear with Lauren Kieffer to move up to 13th place on their dressage score of 43.6. Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Cubalawn, owned by Tom Tierney and Simon Roosevelt, also jumped a super double clear to move up 10 spots on the leaderboard to sit in 18th place going into cross country.
That gives Team USA two riders in the top 20 after the first two phases, and those clear rounds also contributed in boosting the U.S. up to fifth place in the team standings. Lynn Symansky and The Donner Syndicate’s Donner pulled one rail but picked up 5 time penalties to sit in 36th place on 58.9 (which is currently counting as our third team score), and Colleen Rutledge and her own Covert Rights are right behind them in 37th place after dropping three rails, one more than his current three-star average.
All three Canadian riders pulled one rail in show jumping, but time penalties further impacted their team score. Rebecca Howard and Blithe Hill Farm’s Riddle Master were the only pair to make the time allowed and are now sitting in 29th place on a score of 52.5. Kathryn Robinson and her own Let It Bee picked up 2 time penalties and are in 33rd place on 55.1, and Holly Jacks-Smither and her own More Inspiration picked up 9 time faults to sit in 41st on 67.5.
Rails and time penalties impacted every single team score in the Nations Cup competition, and we saw plenty coming from seasoned pairs and even world-beaters. (Click here to see the fence report.) Last year’s Aachen winners and current World Champions Sandra Auffarth and Opgun Louvo had the crowd gasping when they pulled a rail at the final fence of the triple combination, which dropped them from second to sixth place on a score of 36.2.
Michael Jung and Halunke FBW also pulled one rail to fall from ninth down to 14th place on a score of 43.9, just behind Lauren Kieffer and Veronica (though he did jump clear on his individual horse fischerTakinou). Sara Algottson Ostholt and Reality 39, who were sitting in fourth place after dressage, had a rough go in show jumping, dropping two poles and picking up 5 time penalties. It wasn’t any easy afternoon out there.
Sandra and Opgun Louvo’s rail moved 21-year-old British wunderkind Holly Woodhead up to second place individually with DHI Lupison; Holly and Luke’s double clear keeps them on their dressage score of 34.3. The rest of the top five also jumped clear and inside the time, and Andrew Hoy and Cheeky Calimbo now sit in third on 34.5, Ingrid Klimke and her team horse Horseware Hale Bob sit in fourth on 37.0, and Michael Jung and fischerTakinou sit in fifth on 37.2.
With show jumping concluded, Germany still holds the lead in the team competition on a score of 118.1, which doesn’t give them much breathing room over second-placed New Zealand going into cross country tomorrow. The Kiwis are holding second in the team standings on 121.2, with Great Britain in third on 123.6. Just 5.5 penalties are separating the top three teams, so every second is going to count for a lot tomorrow.
There’s a big gap in the team standings after that, with Sweden sitting in fourth on 143.9, with the U.S. in fifth on 148.9. Australia sits in sixth on 155.3, Ireland is in eighth on 167.4, and Canada sits in ninth on 175.1. But this show is far from over, and while the general consensus from the riders is that the first part of Rüdiger Schwarz’s course is softer than it has been in years past, that new coffin combination at fences 16 and 17 has everybody talking.
Thoughts on cross country from the U.S. and Canadian teams are coming your way next, and I also caught up with Coach David O’Connor to get his comments on Team USA’s day here at Aachen. Stay tuned for that, and keep checking back to this post for more photos of our North American riders. Click here if you missed the dressage report from this morning, and don’t forget to check out the full cross country preview here.