The Dubarry Nations Team Challenge teams were named on Wednesday evening, and it’s not a huge surprise that the mixed bag European team consisting of an Irish, German, Australian, and New Zealand rider currently holds the top spot in the standings.
The mixed team was made for countries which had sent less than a full team to Rolex this year. Therefore, Michael Jung and Sam, Tim Price and Wesko, Bill Levett and Improvise and Austin O’Connor and Balham Houdini are all on the winning team tonight, with Austin’s 58.0 the current drop score.
Oozing with talent and winning patterns, this team currently stands on a cumulative penalty score of 121.2 after dropping Austin’s score. This puts them well into the lead over Team Great Britain, who sits on a 136.9.
Team Great Britain consists of William Fox-Pitt with Bay My Hero, Nicola Wilson and Annie Clover, James Alliston and Tivoli, and Zara Phillips and High Kingdom, who will be the automatic dropped score due to their unfortunate withdrawal.
Great Britain is in a great position with three very solid cross country riders poised to tackle Derek di Grazia’s course tomorrow. Naturally, we’ll have to wait and see what the weather looks like, but with $20,000 on the line you can expect to see some competitive gleam in these riders’ eyes.
In third place after dressage is Team USA, with members Jennie Brannigan (Cambalda), Allie Knowles (Sound Prospect), Colleen Rutledge (Shiraz), and Holly Payne (Never OutFoxed) all putting in solid efforts for a team score of 159.9 after dropping Holly’s score of 63.4.
Fourth placed Team Canada is not made up of slouches either. Jessie Phoenix anchors this team with her veteran partner, Pavarotti, along with Rolex Rookie Cody Sturgess and Imperial Melody, Rachel McDonough and Irish Rhythm, and Jessie’s second ride, A Little Romance.
Canada will take a team score of 165.7, with A Little Romance’s score dropped, into cross country tomorrow. As we all know by now, this will certainly not be a dressage competition, so it’s still anyone’s game at this point.
Stay tuned for more updates on the Dubarry Nations Team Challenge, as well as our Rolex Fantasy League, also presented by Dubarry. The scores for the Fantasy League are updating as we speak, so we’ll get a clear look at our early leaders tomorrow morning.
Go Rolex, and Go Dubarry!