Welcome to cross country day at the Longines Luhmühlen 5*! I always love watching Luhmühlen cross country — to this point in the season, our 5* events have been the big, bold, beefy type. This German event has a slightly different flavor and feel. It’s one of my favorites to watch, and you can follow along with me live with your H&C+ subscription here. If you’re unable to watch live because you’re, you know, the type of human who prefers to sleep through the night, replays are typically available within a day or two on H&C+ so you can catch up at your leisure.
In the meantime, I’ll be providing some play-by-play here on this post all morning, beginning with the 5*. Refresh this page periodically for more updates. I’ve listed a few notable times to keep handy below. You can find the full cross country order for this division here.
4:02 a.m. EST / 10:02 a.m. CEST: Bubby Upton & Cannavaro (1st) – Eliminated
4:30 a.m. EST /10:30 a.m. CEST: Lauren Nicholson & Vermiculus (2nd) – CLEAR, 5.2 time
4:58 a.m. EST / 10:58 a.m. CEST: Matt Flynn & Wizzerd (16th) – 20 jumping, 19.6 time
5:26 a.m. EST / 11:26 a.m. CEST: Liz Halliday-Sharp & Cooley Quicksilver (5th) – CLEAR, 6.0 time
5:30 a.m. EST / 11:30 a.m. CEST: Karl Slezak & Fernhill Wishes (24th) – CLEAR, 19.6 time
5:34 a.m. EST / 11:34 a.m. CEST: Felix Vogg & Colero (4th) – CLEAR inside the time
5:50 a.m. EST / 11:50 a.m. CEST: Tim Price & Vitali (3rd) – CLEAR with .4 time
Our first horse on course will be Tom McEwen with Braveheart B, 15th currently on a score of 31.6, coming out at 9:30 a.m. local time / 3:30 a.m. EST.
You can view a map of this year’s 5* track, designed by Mike Etherington-Smith, here.
As always, a major thank you to our supporters at Kentucky Performance Products for helping us bring you this coverage! Be sure to check out their research-backed line of nutritional support products here.
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6:10 a.m. ET: So here’s your final leaderboard following cross country here at Luhmühlen. We’ll have two U.S. riders in the top 10 ahead of tomorrow, and don’t forget there’s still the 4*-S cross country to come, where we’ll see if Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS can keep their lead. That’ll be live on H&C+ next here. First horse will be out on course in about an hour, at 1:06 p.m. CEST / 7:06 a.m. EST. You can view the full starting order for the 4*-S here.
6:09 a.m. ET: Oliver Townend is going to be inside the time in his first 5* with Dreamliner — he’s well inside so he can take the pressure off for the final fence. That’s two successful debuts for Oliver today, nicely done. This pair will be third overnight on 29.6 penalties.
6:03 a.m. ET: Sticky through the water at 13 for Oliver and Dreamliner, who are the final pair on course now. Meanwhile, David Doel is heading home. We’ve just seen Cathal’s fall and the frangible device at fence 3 certainly did it’s job here as the pair found a bad distance and couldn’t quite make the top of the fence. We’re glad they both appear to be fine. David Doel comes home inside the time with Ferro Point.
6:01 a.m. ET: Colero and Felix Vogg will be the overnight leaders after Tim Price picks up that pesky extra second he couldn’t afford with Vitali. Nothing to sneeze at though, as Vitali will be second overnight. Oliver Townend is back with us now aboard Dreamliner, a Jumbo son making his 5* debut. Cathal Daniels is listed with a horse fall at fence 3 with the final horse to go, LEB Lias Jewel.
5:57 a.m. ET PSA folks, please please please keep your dogs under control at these events — or leave them at home. Evidently, according to Spencer Sturmey on the live stream a loose dog is what might have spooked Bob Chaplin sideways, prompting the reaction we saw on camera.
5:54 a.m. ET: Oh no, Tom is going to end his weekend early here with Bob Chaplin, falling at the corner at fence 29A. He throws his arms up in frustration as he gets up, seems to be directed at something or someone in particular? Unsure. They both seem unhurt; Bob Chaplin appeared to jump the wider part of the corner and couldn’t make the landing.
5:51 a.m. ET: Now on course are Tokyo partners Tim Price and Vitali, the last remaining threat to take over the lead should they go inside the time. Tim has about four seconds of time to spare if he wants to stay ahead of Felix Vogg. As much experience as the 12-year-old Vitali has now, this is actually his first 5* cross country.
5:49 a.m. ET: Solo hands a knee at the second last combination, the rail/ditch/rail coffin complex, but both he and Hollie Swain sit tight and make it work on the way out.
5:47 a.m. ET: Very green through the second water for the 5* first-timer Bob Chaplin but Tom gets him through.
5:44 a.m. ET: Tom McEwen joins us again with Bob Chaplin, who survives a hairy moment at the impressive first fence. Tom loses a stirrup but they’re through. Meanwhile Felix is well inside the time and will go into the lead. Only Tim Price and Vitali can overtake him — they’ll be next to see. Nicely done, Felix! A look at this pair through the penultimate combination:
5:41 a.m. ET: Clever footwork for Colero though the double corner combination near the end of the course. Karl is home — he’s done it! They’re about 50 seconds over time.
5:39 a.m. ET: Colero is such a fun horse to watch, and his partnership with Felix allows him to be bold, quick-thinking and brave. Karl Slezak is clear through the final water.
5:37 a.m. ET: Not sure if Philippa Cross is eliminated or retired — scores are showing such but she’s just finished. Liz is home clear but has 15 seconds of time, so she won’t top the board overnight. She drops into seventh currently.
5:36 a.m. ET: Clear through the water at 13 for Karl and Fernhill Wishes. Colero is very keen at the first water.
5:34 a.m. ET: Swiss Olympian Felix Vogg is the latest on course with Colero, another threat to the top of the board. Meanwhile Liz is through the final water at 21.
5:33 a.m. ET: Karl is clear through the main arena questions.
5:33 a.m. ET: Karl Slezak now on course for Canada with Fernhill Wishes, re-routing from Badminton.
5:31 a.m. ET A couple issues now at the skinny arrowhead into the water at 18, the latest coming for Philippa Cross and Scoop de Ferbet. It looks like they might be letting Liz overtake Philippa here. Liz has a great shot through the water at 13. A look at her through the upright gates at 11 earlier on:
5:30 a.m. ET: Liz goes for it in the main arena and Cooley Quicksilver responds beautifully.
5:27 a.m. ET: Next out are Liz Halliday-Sharp with Cooley Quicksilver, owned by The Monster Partnership consisting of Ocala Horse Properties, Renee Lane, and Deborah Halliday. This is another pair threatening to take the lead with a clear and fast round; they’re currently on a score of 29.1.
5:25 a.m. ET: Britain’s Philippa Cross and Scoop de Ferbet grind to a halt at the B element of the first water after a gigantic jump in. Peter Flarup and Fascination have a pin at the corner at 16 and then run into trouble later on at 18 — he’s retired here.
5:22 a.m. ET: Now joining us are Danish pair Peter Flarup and Fascination, another Tokyo combination. Meanwhile I see that the Italian rider Giulio Guglielmi has fallen with Uhlan de l’Epine at fence 15.
5:20 a.m. ET: Uhlan de l’Epine has a huge jump into the second part of the water at 11 and the pair was then too unorganized to make it to the final element. They’re clear on their second attempt.
5:19 a.m. ET: Michael Ryan, who fell with his first ride and looked to be holding his elbow or arm/shoulder, has withdrawn his second ride, TR Kaygraff.
5:16 a.m. ET: Now on course are Italy’s Giulio Guglielmi making his 5* debut aboard the 14-year-old Selle Francais Uhlan de l’Epine. Fun fact, this horse was previously campaigned by Canadian husband-wife duo Lindsay and Xavier Traisnel.
5:13 a.m. ET: Matt is going to be well over time but he’s had a smooth round on this back half of the course. It looks like Wizzerd might have bitten his lip or tongue.
5:11 a.m. ET: We’re also joined now by Sweden’s Niklas Lindbäck and Focus Filiocus.
5:09 a.m. ET: One second and into third for Jonelle and Faerie Dianimo! Meanwhile our sole German rider in this class, Sophie Leube with Jadore Moi, have no brakes in the first water and sadly have retired early on.
5:08 a.m. ET: Now we catch up with Matt at the water at 13, and it does look like Wizzerd has some blood in his mouth.
5:06 a.m. ET: We haven’t seen Matt Flynn on the live stream yet, but he is showing up with one refusal at fence 4, the table ahead of the first water. Meanwhile Jonelle is clear still and on her way home.
5:01 a.m. ET: Our next U.S. rider will be next to go: Matt Flynn and Wizzerd come forward after re-routing from Badminton on a dressage mark of 33.4.
5:00 a.m. ET: Expertly through the first water are Jonelle and Faerie Dianimo.
4:56 a.m. ET: Next out we’ll see a former winner, New Zealand’s Jonelle Price with the 17-year-old British mare Faerie Dianimo. This pair won here in 2018 and came back in 2021 but had an unusual fall at a gallop fence. Meanwhile, Kylie Roddy and SRS Kan Do stop the clock with 11 seconds to spare and now go into second behind Kirsty Chabert. Lauren Nicholson now moves into third.
4:54 a.m. ET: Victoria Scott-Legendre is home with 6 seconds of time. We’re also joined by Felicity Ward and Regal Bounty. This Irish pair is another making their debut at this level. And British rider Fiona Kashel is also away with the debutant horse WSF Carthago.
4:50 a.m. ET: Kirsty Chabert stops the clock inside the time and will now overtake Lauren for the top of the board, remaining on her dressage mark of 31.1.
4:47 a.m. ET: Catching up here, South African Olympian Victoria Scott-Legendre and Valtho des Peupliers are clear through the water at 13 with a very bold stride left out at the final element. Kirsty Chabert is clear through the penultimate combination. British rider Kylie Roddy and SRS Kan Do, also re-routing from Badminton, are also on course and clear so far.
4:46 a.m. ET: Lauren stops the clock 13 seconds over time — this may well open the door for another pair to go quicker and take that lead away but what a positive ride from this pair. She’ll likely be kicking herself about those 5 or so time penalties, but what a round.
4:45 a.m. ET: We’re through the coffin! She’s got about 40 seconds to get home..
4:43 a.m. ET: Bug trots a step in the final water but he shows his experience and scope to get safely through with no issues.
4:41 a.m. ET: We’re now joined by a Badminton re-route in British rider Kirsty Chabert with Classic VI.
4:39 a.m. ET: Lauren has one of the best rides through the upright gates at 11, getting positively to a deep distance. He stands a bit off the last element of the water at 13 but it’s just another day at the office for this handy little Anglo-Arab. Interestingly, he also has a bit of a trip step at the bottom of the bank at 15 but he finds his feet and never loses his line.
4:38 a.m. ET: A lovely positive trip through the main arena question now. It’s nice to have Lauren on course nearly alone at the moment — we’re getting a good view! Alex Donohoe is further ahead, safely through the coffin complex just a few from home.
4:37 a.m. ET: Very handy through the first water at 5 for Lauren and Vermiculus.
4:36 a.m. ET: Here’s Lauren over the first fence:
4:35 a.m. ET: Danielle Dunn and Grandslam come to grief again at the corner in the main arena and have sadly ended their day early.
4:34 a.m. ET: Here we go! Lauren and Bug on course!
4:33 a.m. ET: On course now are British pair Danielle Dunn with the 17-year-old Grandslam – they have one refusal at the first water that we didn’t see but are clear on the second attempt. Meanwhile, Aistis Vitkauskas and Commander VG come home inside the time!
4:29 a.m. ET: We’re one away from our first U.S. rider, Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus, who now find themselves with a lead to defend after the untimely end for Bubby Upton.
4:28 a.m. ET: Now another rider for Ireland, Alex Donohoe and Guidam Roller, making their 5* debut this weekend as well.
4:26 a.m. ET: Another horse looking stronger and more confident as he’s gone is Cupido P, who is safely home now about a minute over with Austria’s Lea Siegl.
4:24 a.m. ET: We’re also now joined by Lithuanian rider Aistis Vitkauskas and Commander VG.
4:22 a.m. ET: Sarah Dowley and Rubix Cube finish safely! A well-deserved celebration at the finish:
4:21 a.m. ET: British rider Max Gordon is our newest on course, making his 5* debut alongside Redwood Clover, a 13-year-old Irish gelding.
4:19 a.m. ET Rubix Kube is looking a little tired toward the end, as Sarah pulls out for the longer route at the coffin complex. They’re nearly home!
4:17 a.m. ET: Now we have Lea Siegl for Austria piloting Cupido P and jumps the wrong side of the flag at the first water but is clear on second attempt.
4:16 a.m. ET: Crap! Bubby has a very bad jump into 16 and then comes to grief as she and Cannavaro both crumble on landing from the bank. Thankfully they’re both right up and look to be ok but that’s a gutting end for this pair.
4:14 a.m. ET: Cathal Daniels stops the clock exactly on the optimum time of 11 minutes! Bubby is clear through the second water at 13, surviving a very big jump at the drop in the middle.
4:12 a.m. ET: Bubby is clear through the first water at 5. Meanwhile it looks like Sarah Dowley had one refusal at the C element of the water at 13.
4:10 a.m. ET: Our overnight leaders, Britain’s Bubby Upton and Cannavaro, are away! Bubby is looking for a first 5* cross country completion with this 15-year-old; they started Pau in 2021 but retired on course.
4:08 a.m. ET: Next away are Ireland’s Sarah Dowley with Rubix Kube, her 18-year-old partner of many years, making her second 5* start and looking for her first completion. Meanwhile, Oliver and Lukas come home clear INSIDE the time — very impressive for this debut. Oliver rode gritty the whole way around but the horse responded well and kept his gallop to the end.
4:07 a.m. ET: Cathal and Rioghan Rua are straight as an arrow through the water at 13.
4:06 a.m. ET: Here’s a look at the question Michael Ryan came to grief at earlier, ridden by Oliver and Lukas:
4:04 a.m. ET: Rioghan Rua gets a bit hung up in the final brush out of the first water but leaves that safely behind.
4:03 a.m. ET: Now away is the first very experienced pair this morning: Ireland’s Cathal Daniels with the little red Corvette, Rioghan Rua. Oliver is clear through the water at 13.
4:01 a.m. ET: A cute Team Price moment at the finish:
3:59 a.m. ET: Oliver Townend is away now with another debutant, the 11-year-old Lukas. It looks like David Doel has retired Dunges Dom Perignon after two runouts at the 8C in the main arena. Tim is home clear with Spartaco, a time of 11:21 total. That’s 21 seconds of time but he’ll be absolutely thrilled with this first-time effort from Spartaco.
3:57 a.m. ET: David Doel survives a huge flyer at a corner in the main arena. Meanwhile, Tim is nearly home and we haven’t seen anyone finish yet so we’ll get our first glimpse at the time here shortly.
3:56 a.m. ET: Hey, I made a GIF!
3:55 a.m. ET: There is just something so cool about seeing a 5* horse become, well, a 5* horse and that’s what we’re seeing here as Spartaco is attacking each question with increasing confidence — they’re clear through fence 23. David Doel now joins us on course.
3:53 a.m. ET: And it looks like Tim is getting back underway after this hold, presumably for fence repair at the corner Michael fell at.
3:50 a.m. ET: David Doel, currently held at the start, will be the next to see with Dunges Don Perignon, a 12-year-old British-bred horse who made his debut at this level here last year but ended his weekend early with a couple of problems on cross country. Also, I apologize that I’m not very GIF-heavy this morning; my program that I usually use is being a little temperamental! You can get the full experience on the H&C+ live stream here.
3:49 a.m. ET: We’ll now go onto a hold while the medics check on Michael Ryan. We didn’t see the fall but now we see a shot of Michael being helped off, perhaps with a dislocated shoulder.
3:47 a.m. ET: Spartaco is much bolder through the second water at 13. We also see Barnahown Corn Hill being led off which is a good sight to see.
3:45 a.m. ET: Spartaco needs a second to read the first water but they’re clear and have now made their way to the main arena questions at 7,8 and 9. Now we are seeing a fall for Michael and Barnahown Corn Hill at 16C, a left-handed corner following a drop as shown here:
3:42 a.m. ET: Next to see will be New Zealand’s Tim Price on his first of two rides, Spartaco — yet another 5* debutant at the age of 11. This pair is currently in 13th on a score of 31.4. Meanwhile, Michael is to the second water, where there’s much to do as per usual.
3:42 a.m. ET: Michael is clear and positive through the questions in the main arena, which are set on a sweeping right-handed circle that spins you around and back out the gate.
3:37 a.m. ET: We get a shot of Tom leading Braveheart B now, we’re glad to see they are both ok. We’ll next see Irish rider Michael Ryan on Barnahown Corn Hill, an 11-year-old also making his 5* debut this weekend. They’re currently in 27th on a score of 38.5.
3:37 a.m. ET: The fence Tom and Braveheart B appear to have fell at is the second of a pair of upright gates:
3:35 a.m. ET: Oh no – fence analysis is showing a horse fall at fence 11B.
3:34 a.m. ET: Here’s a look at the track, which isn’t too different from its 2021 predecessor:
3:32 a.m. ET Tom and Braveheart B are cleverly through the first water, Tom showing all his expertise to properly set the horse up to read the questions ahead.
3:30 a.m. ET: Let’s get this party started! Tom McEwen and Braveheart B will be our first of the morning. This 12-year-old Irish gelding is making his 5* debut this weekend, making the task of trailblazer that much more of an ask, so expect Tom to be looking for a positive experience above all as the first out.