Clark Montgomery rode an aggressive cross country round aboard Loughan Glen at Boekelo, much to the delight of the commentators, who repeatedly remarked about how well Glen was jumping today. Clark came towards home looking primed to retain his lead with a clear round, but Glen spooked coming off of fence 27, the second from home, and Clark immediately pulled to circle before the last fence.
Clark was given 20 penalties for fence 28, which would put him on a 64.0 with the 8.8 time he picked up, but he said immediately after his ride that he will appeal the 20 and that he was confident it would be successful, as Glen spooked away from something before they started to turn to the final fence, so it wasn’t related to the final jump. Jess Montgomery said the appeal cannot take place until after cross country concludes, so we’re all anxiously awaiting to hear the outcome.
The live stream showed a head-on view, but from what Clark said in his interview after and commentator Ed Holloway confirmed with his own thoughts, the circle happened far enough away from fence 28 that the appeal should be successful. And we’re keeping our fingers crossed since it would have them in the lead on 44.0, with five combinations still to go that could potentially best that score.
[UPDATE 10:06 a.m. EST]: Clark Montgomery’s score without the 20 penalties would have slotted him into second place upon conclusion of cross country. Currently, Thomas Carlile and Sirocco du Gers are in the lead on a score of 42.5.
Liz Halliday-Sharp put down a clear cross country run with 17.2 time faults this morning to go into 29th after cross country. Liz and Fernhill By Night were lying in 20th after scoring a 47.9 in the dressage, and this pair has really been turning on the burners on cross country of late, coming off of a second place finish in the CIC3* at Ballendenisk last month. Liz will be thrilled with her result today, as this is “Blackie’s” first clear round around a CCI3* track.
The first U.S. pair on course, Tiana Coudray and Kinnordy Rivaldo, retired on course after two refusals at fence 10A, the first water complex on course. This was the 12-year-old gelding’s first CCI3* attempt since Tiana Coudray acquired the ride from Chris Burton in 2012, as a bone injury and subsequent surgery kept him sidelined for much of last year.
With Tiana’s retirement, Team USA’s second position in the Nations Cup standings is unfortunately no more, as they no longer have a drop score with yesterday’s withdrawal of Sharon White’s Under Suspection. At last glance during the live stream, Team USA was in 9th place in the Nations Cup standings after Tiana’s decision to retire.
Canadian rider Lindsay Traisnel and Candar van het Neerveld also retired on course this morning, also picking up two refusals at the first water, this time at the C element. This was Candar van het Neerveld’s first attempt at a CCI3* course.
It appears that fence 10, the first water question, is causing the most difficulties for the horses and riders today. We’ll tally up the final fence analysis once all riders have completed and will have a final report up once cross country completes.