Hello from another rainy day at Boekelo! With more rain anticipated tonight and tomorrow, the anticipation is building for what is expected to be a dramatic day of cross country here in Enschede, Netherlands.
But first, we look to the second day of dressage. At the lunch break, yesterday’s leaders Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro still sit in first place on 37.3 for China, but Tim Lips and Bayro are hot on their heels after scoring 39.1 this morning to slot into second. Boekelo serves as the Dutch National Championships, and Tim and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding are heavy favorites to take the title this weekend.
Our second American combination, Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z also did their test before the lunch break, scoring 44.6 to sit in 20th place with the final afternoon session still to come. The 9-year-old KWPN gelding has now scored 44 in all three of his tests at the level since moving up over the summer — definitely consistent!
“He’s quite green at this level still,” Liz said. “I was hoping to be on a better mark and get a lower score, but it’s a massive atmosphere. They were removing some scaffolding during my test, so every time he went into that corner he was looking.”
Liz is still chipping away at Niro’s flying changes with her longtime dressage trainer James Burtwell, and while they weren’t clean today, she knows clean changes will come in the future.
“He learns everything very fast, but the flying changes have been hard for him,” Liz said. “For this season we had to accept that this is where we are and try to get him to confidently do them and not drill the cleanness yet. I think when those are installed, he’ll be a horse in the 30s. He’s done tremendously well with the atmosphere considering he’s so green.”
Deniro Z has big fan club here at Boekelo, including Deniro Z Syndicate members Rob and Chris Desino and Liz’s husband, Al. Three cheers for our entire American crew who traveled to Boekelo to support our riders!
Katherine Coleman and Back to Business II now sit in 47th position after scoring 51.3 yesterday, and she is hoping time will prove to be a factor on cross country so she can climb the leaderboard. The forecast is currently calling for rain all day tomorrow, so she will likely get her wish!
Caroline Martin and Pebbly Maximus, the third and final rider on our U.S. Nations Cup team, are the third to last pair to go today, and you can watch their test live at 4:04 p.m. local time/10:04 a.m. EST thanks to the excellent Boekelo live stream.
Keep checking back to EN for much more from Boekelo, including comments from Team USA on their strategy for tackling Sue Benson’s cross country course tomorrow. If you missed the course preview, be sure to check it out here. Go Eventing.