Speaking of “I Can’t Feel My Face,” it was a chilly morning to be a groom this morning at the Boekelo CCIO3*. With temperatures near freezing and an icebox breeze, braiding and all the other zillion preparations that go into preparing horses for the Sunday jog couldn’t have made for a fun time. To all the hard-working grooms out there, may your immediate future be filled with hot chocolate and perhaps a few moments in the lorry with the heat cranked up!
Nonetheless, the American contingent — or at least nine-tenths of them — showed up in their Sunday best. Marilyn Little’s RF Scandalous was withdrawn before inspection owing to a minor coronet band injury sustained somewhere along yesterday’s cross-country gauntlet. It’s a shame as this horse is such a brilliant show jumper, as is Marilyn, and this phase would surely have pushed up them up the leaderboard from their 24th position after cross-country. The good news is that at 10 years old, the world is this mare’s oyster and we can’t wait to follow her career as it continues developing in the future.
For Team USA, that puts the pressure on the remaining three Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team riders to bring their “A” game. Heading into today’s competition Liz Halliday-Sharp and HHS Cooley sit in 39th on a 69.0, Buck Davidson and Copper Beach sit in 34th on a 63.4, and our top-placed team pair Matt Brown and Super Socks BCF sit in 15th on a 51.6. If you’re just tuning in, you can read our full cross-country report here.
An uncompleted phase due to elimination, retirement or withdrawal accrues 1,000 penalty points for that pair. The team is allotted one drop score per phase so if our other three get around that will be Marilyn’s for show jumping. Currently the U.S. sits in third place in the Nations Cup Team competition (170.1 points), with Ireland in first (157.7)and New Zealand on their heels by 0.3 of a point for second (158.0). The standings shifted around quite a bit yesterday, with the first and third placed teams, Australia and Great Britain, dropping down the list after cross-country. A similar shake-up may well be in the cards for today.
Looking sharp at the jog, America!
Six horses total were withdrawn before today’s final horse inspection.
The sun is now a bit higher in the sky, and just the fact that it is shining at all is something of an anomaly here at Boekelo as the weather here is notoriously gloomy and damp. Show jumping is nearly underway, with 61 horses running in reverse order of placement. The U.S.’s first pair out is Katherine Coleman and Longwood, who will trot into the ring in 55th place.
Once again there is plenty of atmosphere surrounding the Jos Brinkman-designed course, what with flags billowing and the stands filling up and kids popping the giant balloons and twirling the pinwheels the event has been handing out to them like candy — a bonus cruel and unusual test!
Top 20 after Boekelo Cross Country: