In a very similar scenario to Liz Halliday and Fernhill By Night’s cross-country trip this morning, Lauren Kieffer and Veronica had a foot-perfect round here at Boekelo … until fence 21. It seemed like Veronica locked on well to 21a but changed her mind at the last minute, slamming on the brakes and ducking out to the left. Unfortunately, that caught Lauren off guard, and she fell over Veronica’s right shoulder, landing hard on her back. She was down for quite a long time, and I’m guessing she just had the wind knocked out of her, as she got up after a few minutes and started walking back to stabling with Veronica. Thankfully, both Lauren and Veronica are OK.
It goes without saying that I’m absolutely gutted for Lauren. She had a brilliant day yesterday, scoring 47.4 in dressage to sit in a very good position going into cross country for her first competition overseas. They cruised around the course very confidently and were keeping a good pace through the messy footing, with Veronica looking very keen the whole way around. I can’t really call fence 21 a bogey combination at this point, as I’ve seen numerous lovely trips through there, although a lot of riders have also been taking the alternate route rather than face the questionable footing there. It seemed like Veronica just didn’t feel comfortable enough to take off in the slop.
We have about 20 riders left to go out on cross country. Overnight leader Niklas Lindbäck and Cendrillon had a very scary fall at fence 16b, and Lizzie Brown and Henton Attorney General delivered a clear round with just 2.4 time to take the lead. No one has a chance to catch them, so they will lead going into show jumping tomorrow, where they can’t afford a rail, as Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST are sitting close behind. Boyd Martin and Trading Aces will be the final pair out for Team USA at 3:54 p.m. local time, or 9:54 a.m. EST. Don’t forget to follow along with the live feed here, and I’ll be back after Boyd’s trip with a full report. Stay tuned for much more from Boekelo.