Happy Final-Day-of-Kentucky, intrepid eventing fans! I’m just casually sitting here with sweaty palms, thinking about everything to come. Is it healthy to maintain a really elevated heart rate for an entire day? Is it going to supercharge my metabolism so I end up looking like Kate Moss despite having just Bruce Bogtrotter-ed a chocolate cake into my face? God, I hope so.
One thing that didn’t end up giving me the fear was this morning’s final horse inspection, which saw all 31 of our cross-country finishers pass to showjumping, without so much as a hold. You guys don’t need me to tell you how rare this is, particularly at the five-star level.
We’ll be getting underway shortly, with our first rider heading into the ring at 1.00 p.m. That’ll be Dom Schramm, who rides Bolytair B. Then, we’ll head down the line-up in reverse order of placing, getting sweatier as we go. Forgive my typos; slippery fingers. (Eugh.)
You can tune in via USEF Network or Horse & Country TV if you’re in Europe. To tide you over – for now – check out Maggie Deatrick’s analysis of our leaders’ jumping stats. For one last time – let’s do this thang.
— USEF Network (@USEFNetwork) April 28, 2019
— Eventing Nation (@eventingnation) April 28, 2019
.@Oliver_Townend delivers another MASTER CLASS performance to win the @LandRoverUSA @KyThreeDayEvent presented by Mars Equestrian for the second consecutive year in a row! #LRK3DE pic.twitter.com/0KmQ1MMLfh
— USEF Network (@USEFNetwork) April 28, 2019
Can we just take a second to mention how remarkable that clear round of Tsetserleg’s was? TOTALLY defied the stats!
What an amazing performance – back-to-back wins for Oliver, and a first ever 5* national championship win for Boyd!
CLEAR! Oliver and Cooley Master Class win again!
2.54 p.m. SO CLOSE at the liverpool, but clear!
An awkward jump over the triple bar but clear so far
Leader and reigning champ in now!
YES BOYD YES BOYD YES BOYD OUR NATIONAL CHAMPION YEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
FORKING SHIRTBALLS THAT WAS CLOSE
Odds-off for a clear round. Is reverse commentator’s curse a thing?
BOYD IS IN NOW, MY HEART CANNOT TAKE ANYMORE
CLEAR! MY HEART IS GOING TO EXPLODE. IS IT THE CAKE OR THE EXCITEMENT WHO KNOWSSSS
Some riding from Tim at the liverpool! I think I just pulled a muscle in my bum cheek from tensing so hard
Xavier Faer really likes to dangle his front legs and it is GIVING ME A HEART ATTACK
Phillip and Z drop below Felix. What a WEIRD moment. Tim Price and Xavier Faer in now – second leg of the Grand Slam if he manages it.
YIKES Z. Legs everywhere, what a miss! Two rails so far.
P Dutty and Z in now! Who will win the US 5* National Championship this year?!
My stomach flips when they cheer after the treble – our British horses aren’t used to that! But they’re clear, phew! 33.5 finishing score for them. #YEAROFTHEPIG
Red is looking an awful lot more professional today after some surprising green moments yesterday.
What are we doing now? We are #GETTINGPIGGYWITHIT
Oh, and now he has a rail. I need to stop being so thirsty for a good seat. Felix drops below Doug.
This is all looking very stylish, and very Swiss. Felix could pass as a pure showjumper.
These two have been seriously impressive all week – it’s Switzerland’s Felix Vogg and Colero. And damn, what a canter this horse has.
SO speedy and clear for Doug and Vandiver! They nearly FOD this weekend – just 0.4 time yesterday stops them.
Doug Payne and Vandiver in now! Love Doug’s grey outfit. #FASHUN
Just the one rail down for Lauren – two in the top ten for her!
Vermiculus looks like he’s fuelled by his opinions. I LOVE HIM.
Lauren Kieffer is back in now, this time on the very cool little Vermiculus.
Just the one rail and 0.8 time for Ariel and Leamore Master Plan. They move below Lauren and Paramount Importance. What an impressive pair these two are – a serious horse and a very, very exciting up-and-coming rider for the Americans.
Argh – a rail mid-course drops Ariel three places. They clear the liverpool beautifully, though.
Debutantes Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan find themselves in the top ten as they start this phase – what a feeling that must be. A terrifying one.
Apparently Jollybo had to be kept under observation yesterday because her heart rate returned to normal SO quickly after XC – that really sums this little mare up! Three down though, unfortunately, which sees them drop ten places to 21st.
Jollybo and Hawley Bennett-Awad are our highest placed Canadian combo, and they’re in now. LOVE this feisty little mare, who was bred by British 5* rider Alice Dunsdon and sourced by Kate Tarrant and Justine Dutton. One down so far.
4 jumping, 0.8 time to add for Ellen and Obie. Another very happy rider!
Liverpool goes yet again!
Ellen Doughty-Hume and Sir Oberon start their round. We’re nearly to the top ten, guys!
Blimey. Joe Meyer and Johnny Royale are going bowling. Big pats for a tired horse after adding 28 jumping penalties and 1.6 time.
Clear for Leslie! The (gold medal-winning) boy’s still got it. [bicep emoji]
Our first Brit is in – and it’s a vintage offering. Leslie Law starts with Voltaire de Tre.
Clear! This’ll be the third time that Hannah Sue and Harbour Pilot will finish in the top fifteen here.
I still haven’t figured out how they get the Land Rover logo onto the feed.
This horse was bred by Jacqueline Mars – a good result here would be very fitting.
Hannah Sue Burnett to start next with Harbour Pilot.
One pole, one place lost for Jessica – but she is thrilled with her lovely horse!
Jessica Phoenix and Bogue Sound starting for Canada.
Eight faults in total drops Andrea and Indy to 20th.
The liverpool goes again. This could be the fence that decides the outcome of this competition.
4 for jumping and 0.4 for time drops Lillian down a place below Will Faudree and Pfun. Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 in now.
Liverpool down again – Lillian is going pretty slowly, she’ll need to get a bit of a wiggle on.
Lillian Heard and LCC Barnaby in now. We were sad not to see Lillian’s boyfriend, Ryan Wood, competing here this week.
Will Faudree and Pfun in, growling through the treble. They knock the penultimate but clear the last – just the four for them!
The broken bones club there, between Jenni and Buck. Bet they’re going to sign one another’s casts once they’re off air.
Will Coleman and Tight Lines are CLEAR! Will is thrilled (and so, so pretty.)
Really not sure why the crowd insists on cheering after riders finish the treble. There are two fences left! Let them focus!
Will Coleman and Tight Lines in now. Unlike Lauren and Paramount Importance, they’ve kept their 15 overnight.
Whoever put the Landroverky3day event, the Battle of Wintefell, and the weekend before my cardiology test on the SAME WEEKEND really wanted to raise my blood pressure, didn’t they? #GameofThrones #got #landroverky3day #lrk3de #goboydmartin #medschool #medicalschool
— Walter’s Social Media Manager (@ReigningKoa) April 28, 2019
2.02 p.m. https://www.instagram.com/p/BwzuPohh1Ok/ 1.57 p.m.
— U.S. Eventing (@USEventing) April 28, 2019
1.56 p.m. That’s both Daniela Moguel and Joe Meyer, as you may recall – they’re each riding with broken ribs this week.
Just a reminder to casual viewers. Equestrian sports are IOC monitored. Riders have to abide by WADA regulations. So when a rider is riding with broken bones, they’re doing it without painkillers since those would be “performance enhancing.” #LRK3DE
— Emily Logan (@STSporthorses) April 28, 2019
1.53 p.m. Heads up, John –
Stop showing the comm’s face, it’s unsettling. Comms don’t have faces. #LRK3DE
— What duck? (@geeoharee) April 28, 2019
A drag break now – next to jump will be at 2.00 p.m. It’ll be Will Coleman with Tight Lines.
0.4 time to add after the horse has a bit of a trot before the penultimate fence – possibly because of a cheer from the crowd, which may have made him think he was finished. Lauren is thrilled – huge hugs and a big point to her horse. LOVE ALL THIS.
This horse was originally ridden by Ludwig Svennerstal, and it’s a super type – a really exciting addition to Lauren’s string! She gets very lucky at the brown and yellow upright, though – it has a proper boogie in its cups before deciding to stay put.
Last rider before the short break is the Kieffatron, jumping out of order on Paramount Importance. They initially picked up a 15 for missing a flag yesterday, but after a successful appeal, they moved up into the top ten.
Matt Flynn and Wizzerd in now. Matt’s a lovely chap – he offered to buy me a gin and tonic in Ocala this January, but then admitted he was sneaking everything onto his friend’s tab. I still took the drink. (They’ve had one pole. WELL DONE MATT, next drink’s on me. Or probably Conor, again.)
“I’m so incredibly happy with him – he feels absolutely fantastic,” says Sara Gumbiner. “It’s been a long road – I’ve had him eight years, and brought him up from the Beginner Novice level. He’s my best friend, he’s like my kid, he means everything to me. I’ll probably never have another one like him.”
GREAT round! Erin and Paddy are clear – huge cheers for them from the crowd. This is a proper jumping horse.
Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy in and looking great. Such a shame to see them pick up 20 yesterday.
Whoops – bit keen! Polaris knocks a rail in his enthusiasm to get to the other side. He’s clear through the treble though – and these distances are coming up quite short. He’s a big, lanky, 17.2hh boy, so that’s a testament to the adjustability that Sara Gumbiner has installed in him. They finish with just the four faults!
Come on Polaris! I will never forget working with this horse when he was the world’s lankiest three-year-old. Now look at him!
Two more come down – they finish with 16 jumping and 2 time faults, and Chris finishes with an enormous hug for his horse. He canters around pointing to Unmarked Bills as the crowd gives them a colossal cheer. SO lovely!
Unmarked Bills looking a wee bit opinionated out there! They take the triple bar down, and then nearly have a stop – they don’t, but it’s another fence down for them.
This pair picked up a lot of new fans yesterday – Chris Talley and Unmarked Bills are in now!
2.4 time and 12 jumping faults for Marcelo and Glenfly. BUT HIS PRETTY LIL FACE
Two down so far. It’s okay, Glenfly! I’d still give you a carrot <3
Brazil’s Marcelo Tosi and the incredibly elegant Glenfly in now. God, I love this pretty horse.
A better round by the end – Waylon gave his horse a lot of help out there. It’s nice to see that sort of riding.
Whew – Lancaster making it a bit tricky for Waylon. Some awkward, tired jumps out there. He’s taken three so far.
Honor Me looks SO chuffed with himself after that round. What a funny chap.
69.7 finishing score for Lisa Marie after those two rails – that’s good enough to hold her position on the leaderboard! Waylon Roberts and Lancaster in next.
Two down so far for Lisa Marie Fergusson and Honor Me.
Just the two down for Hazel Shannon, who finishes on 73.4. A bit of a bittersweet week for this pair – they’ve had some great moments, but an uncharacteristic 20, too. Their aim has been to get on the radar of the Australian selectors, and it’s been a long old way to come – hopefully we’ll see her contest some more competitions in the northern hemisphere.
Two down so far for Hazel Shannon and Willingapark Clifford, our two-time Adelaide winners.
“When you’re first in, you just don’t really want to screw anything up. It’s electric – I don’t think I’ve experienced pressure like that before. He was phenomenal. It’s been great to finish on such a good note!” Dom is officially the first rider in the world to complete five-star event!
Cecelia gets a bit quick and kicks out the Rolex rails and the second part of the treble as a result. She crosses the line and pins her ears at the crowd – SUCH mare face. Love this horse!
Daniela Moguel and Cecelia in the ring for Mexico now. Is Dani wearing her festival glitter again? I hope so. It’s a look I’m tempted to steal next month.
First part of the treble out, too. Just 15.1hh, this little dude. 12.4 to add in total – this year, the showjumping time penalties have been changed, and they’re now the same as cross country. They finish on 91.9 and stay ahead of Dom and Bolytair B.
The liverpool and the white rails come down for Allie and Nio.
Our favourite almost-pony is in now! It’s Sparrow’s Nio, ridden by Allie Sacksen. They were MEGA yesterday, and I think Allie has only just stopped crying. The distances here might quite suit this one.
Wow, WHAT a pair. The crowd prematurely cheered when they still had two fences to go, and they didn’t bat an eyelid – they’re CLEAR.
Phew, really clonking a couple there! But what an incredible canter this horse has. Dom is doing so well to package it on some of these shorter-striding lines!
1.18 p.m. WE HAVE A DOM ON COURSE
Still my fave rendition of the national anthem:
OMG he really just dipped out and got the crowd to take over singing the national anthem. I am ROARING. (Also muting to play Old Town Road for the pure lolz, if I’m honest.)
Really missing an opportunity to smash out ‘Old Town Road’, tbh. Here, I’ll fix it.
1.11 p.m. OH MY GOD
This guy could probably do it pretty quickly, though.
It would take me about twenty minutes to run across this arena. Must lay off the champagne and cake.
Cor, I thought they were going to bust out Killer Queen while showing us the course map. Quite disappointed they haven’t. A first-class CHOOOON. (Mostly because it talks about both champagne and cake, which are among my favourite things.)
The crowds are growing and everyone is excited for an incredible afternoon of sport!
This might be my favourite photo of Tim ever.