Rise and Shine, It’s Pratoni Cross Country Time! Your FEI World Championships XC Live Updates Thread

The final combination on course presents a wide variety of options, but the straight route is a direct line between two brush horses.

Well, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: cross country day at the 2022 FEI World Championships! The stage is set for some exciting cross country action today, and we’re wishing safe, clear, and fast rides to all competitors.

If you’re just tuning in, here are a few things to catch up on:

Click the image to view the full course map.

Today’s challenge stands to be an interesting one. Riders will be up against a tight optimum time of 9 minutes, 50 seconds — and there is a whole lot of terrain on the first part of the course. Couple this with the twisting, turning nature that has some riders thinking it may not allow for as much of a gallop rhythm as their horses may prefer, and this is a test unique from its course counterparts around the world.

The full list of starters can be found here, but I’ve pulled times for the North American riders + the top 10 individuals:

  • Hawley Bennett-Awad (CAN) and Jollybo – 10:38 a.m. local / 4:38 a.m. EST – CLEAR, 20.4 time
  • Monica Spencer (NZL) and Artist (=7th) – 11:06 a.m. local / 5:06 a.m. EST – CLEAR, 4.4 time
  • Will Coleman (USA) and Off the Record – 11:10 a.m. local / 5:10 a.m. EST – CLEAR, .8 time
  • Yasmin Ingham (USA) and Banzai du Loir – 11:26 a.m. local / 5:26 a.m. EST – CLEAR, 1.2 time
  • Karl Slezak (CAN) and Fernhill Wishes – 12:02 p.m. local / 6:02 a.m. EST – Eliminated
  • Lauren Nicholson (USA) and Vermiculus – 12:34 p.m. local / 6:34 a.m. EST – CLEAR, 5.4 time
  • Laura Collett (GBR) and London 52 – 12:42 p.m. local / 6:42 a.m. EST – 20 jumping, 18.8 time
  • Dana Cooke and Mississippi – 1:10 p.m. local / 7:10 a.m. EST
  • Ariel Grald (USA) and Leamore Master Plan – 1:30 p.m. local / 7:30 a.m. EST – CLEAR, 0 time
  • Holly Jacks (CAN) and Candy King – 1:54 p.m. local / 7:54 a.m. EST — 11 jumping, 32 time
  • Tamie Smith (USA) and Mai Baum (5th) – 2:26 p.m. local / 8:26 a.m. EST — CLEAR, 0 time
  • Tom McEwen (GBR) and Toledo de Kerser (=7th) – 2:34 p.m. local / 8:34 a.m. EST — CLEAR, 4.8 time
  • Kevin McNab (AUS) and Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam (9th) – 2:38 p.m. local / 8:38 a.m. EST — CLEAR, 24.8 time.
  • Alex Hua Tian (CHN) and Don Geniro (4th) – 3:06 p.m. local / 9:06 a.m. EST — Retired.
  • Michael Jung (GER) and fischerChipmunk FRH (1st) – 3:18 p.m. local / 9:18 a.m. EST — CLEAR, 0 time.
  • Mike Winter (CAN) and El Mundo – 3:26 p.m. local / 9:26 a.m. EST — 31 jumping, 26.4 time
  • Karin Donckers (BEL) and Fletcha van’t Verahof – 3:54 p.m. local / 9:54 a.m. EST — CLEAR, 11.2 time
  • Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg TSF – 3:58 p.m. local / 9:58 a.m. EST — CLEAR, 0 time
  • Oliver Townend (USA) and Ballaghmor Class (6th) – 4:06 p.m. local / 10:06 a.m. EST — CLEAR, 0 time

Our first out of the start box will be Germany’s first team rider, Christoph Wahler with Carjatan S at 10:30 a.m. local / 4:30 a.m. EST. I’ll be updating you as frequently as I can, but I highly encourage you to pick up a pass to watch yourself on FEI.TV, which is a part of ClipMyHorse.TV. You can learn more and sign up here (there is a free trial for new members!).

Want more Pratoni news? Head over to our Ultimate Guide to FEI World Championships for Eventing, and be sure to sign up for the #Pratoni2022 Daily Digest email, which will be delivered straight to your inbox each day through Sunday, September 18.

FEI World Championships for Eventing: [Website] [Definite Entries] [FEI TV] [ EN’s Ultimate Guide ] [EN’s Form Guide] [Live Scoring] [XC Order of Go] [Daily Digest Email] [EN’s Coverage]

To use this thread, start from the bottom — the latest updates will be posted at the top, so refresh periodically to see the most recent items.

11:25 a.m. EST: That was a really incredible day, honestly, and I am BLOWN AWAY by all our American riders in particular. As I was sitting here typing up a little assessment on the scores, Tom McEwan’s score has been updated and the 15 penalties for the flag at 7B has been removed! Tom had been sitting in 36th and the removal of those penalties now shoot him up to 13th.

The removal of that flag penalty doesn’t shake up the top 10, but it does shake up the team scores because it means Team GB bumps New Zealand off the podium:

Germany now takes the top spot in the team standings and THAT’S RIGHT, Team USA is just 1.3 penalties behind them in second. Team GB is hot on our heels though, also less than a rail back in third. This is going to be an exceptionally exciting show jumping finale tomorrow. We hope you’ll join us back here again! We’re signing off on this live thread, but make sure you stick around because we still have so much more to bring you today.

11:04 a.m. EST: And as Marcelo jumps the last, that’s a wrap! Hold please for an update on scores…

11:01 a.m. EST: Marcelo and Glenfly are the the only remaining pair on course now. They’ve had an early runout at 7B, but are looking good through the rest. Marcelo gets tipped forward at the jump into the water at 24A, but he’s quick to get back in the tack and over the B corner easily:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

10:58 a.m. EST: Lea brings it home with a very neat ride through the last complex and stops the clock 13 second over time!

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

10:56 a.m. EST: We’ve got word from the livestream commentators that Nicolas is being treated on site and isn’t bing sent to the hospital. Carlos is being sent to the hospital, but just for a precautionary X-ray. That’s excellent news. And again, both horses are confirmed to be OK.

10:53 a.m. EST: Oh man, this is really heartbreaking. After four basically perfect seasons, Vassily de Lassos has picked up not one but two refusals on course today — the second coming at 24C, the first element of the Longines Water Corner. They’ve therefore come home quite a bit over time too.

10:51 a.m. EST: Our final two riders are now on course: Lea Siegl (AUT) and DSP Fighting Line and Marcelo Tosi (BRA) and Glenfly.

10:50 a.m. EST: It’s a double clear for Oliver and the indomitable Ballaghmor Class! We get the classic Oliver fist pump at the finish line, and of course I miss giffing it.

10:46 a.m. EST: Oliver is picture perfect so far and nearly done with the course already. We haven’t seen much of him on the livestream since the first water (which, to be fair is all the way at fence 21). We’re now following Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos for Australia around the course, but they’e had an early problem that we didn’t get to see on camera! Looks like they ran out at 7c, the last skinny on the Slide.

10:44 a.m. EST: And oh yeah — another very big name is out there on course now in Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class. This is a very important ride for Team GB since we don’t yet know what’s going to happen with the review of Tom’s flag. Kazuma stops the clock 3 seconds over time!

10:41 a.m. EST: THAT IS A MIC DROP FROM TEAM USA. Boyd does it!! He stops the clock at exactly 9:50, the optimum time. Holy smokes. That means he and Tim both stay on their dressage scores of 26.2, but Boyd has the edge and jumps Tim in the standings since closest to optimum time is the tie breaker in these situations.

10:38 a.m. EST: Frida Andersen and Box Leo came home 5 seconds over time — an amazing ride! Meanwhile Tim stops the clock ONE second under time. That really will put the pressure on Boyd, though he doesn’t know it. Boyd will have to be exactly on the optimum time in order to move ahead of Tim in the standings.

Tim and Falco over the last. GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

10:35 a.m. EST: Kazuma Tomato and Vinci de la Vigne JRA, the anchor pair for Japan are fresh out of the box now. Boyd and Thomas kick a flag at 11D, but it shouldn’t be an issue. Nice riding to move up to the second element:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

10:32 a.m. EST: Here comes Boyd!

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

10:29 a.m. EST: Giovanni finishes his round with 13.2 time faults to big cheers again. Tim and Falco are easy peasy down the Slide.

10:26 a.m. EST: Double clear alert!!! Felix comes home four seconds inside the time with his mare. What a great showing from a promising young horse. Tim Price and Falco have now left the box for New Zealand.

10:24 a.m. EST: Frida Andersen and Box Leo are fresh out of the box for Sweden — this horse is a son out of 2018 WEG horse Box Quite. Giovanni gets huge cheers from the home crowd as they tackle the SAP Sunken Road beautifully.

10:22 a.m. EST: Felix is still having an excellent clear round two-thirds of the way around the course. Giovanni and Duke of Champions get the job done down the Slide:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

10:19 a.m. EST: Next on course now are Giovanni Ugolotti (ITA) and Duke of Champions, another enjoyable horse to watch in the dressage. Felix having a great ride through 11:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

10:15 a.m. EST: And we’re back again, Felix and Cartania are out of the box! By the way — there’s still a big ‘ol “??” on the score card for the flag at 7B for Tom McEwan and Toledo de Kerser. It’s going to be veryyyy interesting and influential to see how that review shakes out later.

10:11 a.m. EST: Felix Vogg (SUI) and Cartania are being held at the start. Here comes the storm:

Screenshot via ClipMyHorse.TV

10:09 a.m. EST: Oh dear, we have another hold. They brought out the ambulance for Carlos, but we have also heard now they let him out of the ambulance just as soon as they’ve trucked him off the course. Guess that’s a good sign?

10:08 a.m. EST: Karin had a super round, picking up right where she left off after being held. The live scores says she’s 28 second over time.

10:04 a.m. EST: OUCH. Carlos falls hard at 7B after very valiant effort to hang on to his pony’s neck. That airbag made quite a bang too.

10:00 a.m. EST: Ok, we’re back and running! Karin Donckers and Fletcha van’t Verahof are off and have resumed their run. Carlos Diaz Fernandez (ESP) and Taraje CP 21.10 are now about to head out of the box — I loved this little horse during the dressage.

9:59 a.m. EST: The ambulance is now heading off the course. We’ll be thinking of Nicolas constantly now and wishing the best for him. The livestream video is looking really dark all of a sudden and Tilly says it looks like some serious rain is heading their way!

9:55 a.m. EST: We’re still on hold and hearing from our team on site that Nicolas is being loaded into the ambulance. We’re thinking the best of thoughts for him and hoping all ends up well. His horse, Absolut Gold HDC is looking completely fine.

9:47 a.m. EST: Speaking of Tilly, she’s given us some intel from the mixed zone on Kevin’s ride. His reins did indeed break and he was able to stop Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam by reaching forward and grabbing the cheekpiece and then tie his reins back up and continue on! Likely would have made the time if that hadn’t happened.

9:45 a.m. EST: We’re still on a hold — Karin Donckers and Fletcha van’t Verahof are being held on course at fence 10 — and we’ll bring you an update on Nicolas as soon as we can. We’re hoping it’s just for a fence repair. Our eyes on the ground, Tilly, says the horse is up and looks fine.

9:42 a.m. EST: We’ve got word that Nicolas Touzaint has fallen from Absolut Gold HDC at 17B and we have a hold on course. Mike and El Mundo have finished their round and we didn’t see it, but they’ve collected a 20 at 26B, the Intesa Sanpaolo Skinny. That’s a major bummer for a round that looked to be going so well!

Mike Winter and El Mundo over the last. GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

9:38 a.m. EST: Mike is having a really super go — he’s through 24 already! Austin finishes clear and just two second over time! Nicolas Touzaint (FRA) and Absolut Gold HDC and Karin Donckers (BEL) and Fletcha van’t Verahof have also just started on course.

9:34 a.m. EST: Austin is clear through 26 and our anchor rider for Canada, Mike Winter and El Mundo are on course as well now. Team Canada is bringing some social issues into the spotlight with them this weekend — make sure to give this a read.

9:33 a.m. EST: MAGIC MIKE DOES IT AGAIN! He and fischerChipmunk FRH stop the clock 9 whole seconds under time. Just incredible to watch.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

9:30 a.m. EST: Chip makes Michael really work to get him straight through the Longines Water Corner at 24D. Austin O’Connor (IRE) and Colorado Blue have started on course, but we’re not seeing much of him on the livestream!

9:29 a.m. EST: Eek, Michi and Chip have a little hairy moment at Fence 15, a smaller gallop fence. They’re still clear though the water at 21.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

9:24 a.m. EST: Chipmunk looks as if he’s navigating the Hickstead Bank as he kicks up the dust down the KEP Italia Slide and Michael gives him big pats afterward! Jan and Jard are homewith that 20 and some time.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

9:22 a.m. EST: Here we goooooo…..

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

9:18 a.m. EST: Top, we didn’t even see Maarten Boon (BEL) and Gravin van Cantos start out on course and we won’t get a chance to either — they’ve had a fall at fence 6 and that will be the end of their competition. Major bummer. Jan is currently the only one on course now and he’s through 24. We’re awaiting Michi and Chip next to start!

9:16 a.m. EST: Aww man, the camera just catches up with Alex to see him raise his hand to retire at fence 23. The score sheet doesn’t show any jumping faults there, so Alex might just be deciding to save his horse for another time since that pin takes them out largely out of the running. An admirable horseman, Alex is. Jan has had an early runout at 7B.

9:13 a.m. EST: DANG it. Don Geniro just doesn’t pick up his hind end quite enough and takes the pin at 17B. Don is completely fine and didn’t even jump it particularly sketchily, that I could tell. Alex looks behind him, disappointed to see a dropped log. Jan Kamiński (POL) and Jard are out on course.

9:11 a.m. EST: Jordy has completed with just that runout and a handful of time. Miroslav is having a little trouble on course here and there, with a runout at 21A and then another issue at 24C, which is under review. Alex clear through 11.

9:07 a.m. EST: Alex and Don are straight as an arrow through the skinnies after the Slide:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

9:07 a.m. EST: Ooh lordy, Jordy Wilken (NED) and Burry Spirit, who have been on course for a bit now, and they pick up a runout at 23C. They circle and Jordy gives him a big pat for answering the question right the second time around. We’ve also just seen Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro pop over fence 1 — they’re in fourth after dressage so this is another important round to watch!

9:01 a.m. EST: Carlos has finished a little while ago with two run outs: one early and one late on course. Alina, riding as an individual for Germany, is thrilled with her round as she crosses the finish flags seven seconds over time. She’d going to have fence 19D under review for a flag, however. Felicity Ward, individual for Ireland, will unfortunately have her weekend come to an early end as she collects a refusal at the last skinny of the Slide and then she elected to retire after another runout at the corner at 11B. Miroslav Prihoda Jr. (CZE) and Ferrolus Lat are currently on course as well now.

8:57 a.m. EST: Three pairs are on course now: Carlos Parro (BRA) and Goliath, Alina Dibowski (GER) and Barbados 26, and Felicity Ward (IRE) and Regal Bounty.

8:53 a.m. EST: Ohhh Dr. Harold, no!! He just tips a bit forward in an effort to help Mountbatten 2 jump the last, but he hits the breaks instead!

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

8:50 a.m. EST: I’ve got a lot of catching up to do all of a sudden. Kevin McNab (AUS) and Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam have already started and completed and this whole time I’ve been trying to figure out what’s been happening with his tack. It looked for a moment like his rein had completed broke, but that may not have been it because he’s continued on course and has now completed and jumped clear but he’s a full minute over time. It looks here like he’s had to stop and gather up his martingale maybe? Dr. Harald Ambros, the professional dentist out of Austria, and Mountbatten 2 are on course too now.

Something funky has happened to Kevin’s tack. GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

8:47 a.m. EST: Tom guns for the finish but comes in 12 second over time. This is going to be a verrrry important review, as 15 penalties would nock Team GB off the podium all together.

Tom and Toledo over the last. GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

8:42 a.m. EST: Ok, breathe, I’m still not over Tamie but we’ve got GB’s Tom McEwan out there have a great ride too. He really had to hold Toledo and help him through that first skinny after the slide, their scores are actually showing a “??” for 7b so that might be under review for a flag there.

8:38 a.m. EST: TAMIE SMITH AND MAI BAUM ARE CLEAR AND ONE SECOND INSIDE THE TIME!!

8:36 a.m. EST: Another important round, Tom McEwen (GBR) and Toledo de Kerser are just out on course. Jonelle and Mclaren are home clear of jumping faults, but 15 second over the optimum time.

8:33 a.m. EST: Toshiyuki Tanaka and Swiper JRA are on course for Japan and clear through fence 11. Tamie and Mai Baum are still clear as they near the back third of the course:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

8:33 a.m. EST: I’ll never ever get tired of watching Jonelle ride. Look how quickly she picks herself back up and gets Mclaren back on their line here at the Longines Water Corner:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

8:30 a.m. EST: Well done down the Slide for Tammie:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

8:29 a.m. EST: Jonelle is riding like the absolute boss she is so far, helping Mclaren navigate those tricky corners at 11. And we’ve got our next Americans Tamie Smith and Mai Baum on course now too!

8:23 a.m. EST: Jonelle Price and Mclaren are just out of the box now for New Zealand!

8:20 a.m. EST: Whoop, I’ve fallen a bit behind here. We’re not sure what’s happened with Robin — it appears he’s possibly circled near or within the fence 24 complex. Live scores are showing “??” there. He’s finished with a time of 10:08. Susanna Bordone (ITA) and Imperial van de Holtakkers very sadly end their weekend early after three refusals 11c. Aminda Ingulfson (SWE) and Joystick are on course as well and so far so good!

8:14 a.m. EST: Robin has a textbook ride down the KEP Italia Slide at fence 7. Antonio and Duque HSM ping through fence 19ABC the SAP Sunken Road.

Duque HSM goes BOING! GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

8:11 a.m. EST: So we now have two out on course: Antonio Cejudo Caro (ESP) and Duque HSM and clear through fence 13 and Roben Godel (SUI) and Grandeur de Lully CH are freshly out of the box.

8:08 a.m. EST: Holly and Candy King have finished 20 seconds over the time, plus they have that bummer of a pin. And we also have another double clear alert!! Gaspard Maksud of France and Zaragoza come in 4 seconds under time and the mare has her ears still pricked and practically looks ready to go around the course again!

8:05 a.m. EST: Oh this is heartbreaking: Lara de Liedekerke-Meier (BEL) and Hermione d’Arville’s weekend end at the very first fence. We’re not exactly sure what happened, but Lara is off the horse (standing up, both of them) with her airbag inflated and looks to be sorting out something with the tack. What an incredible disappointment that is.

8:04 a.m. EST: We also have Gaspard Maksud (FRA) and Zaragoza on course now and jumping clear through about halfway ’round. SHOOT, Holly and Candy King have an unfortunate pin at 19A – dang!

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

8:00 a.m. EST: Padraig has completed clear and seven seconds over time. Canada’s Holly Jacks and Candy King are on course and looking keen through 11:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

7:57 a.m. EST: SHE NAILS IT! The Olympic champs have gone clear and inside the time to remain on their dressage score! That’s a HUGE result for Germany and Julia goes into individual second provisionally.

7:54 a.m. EST: Ireland’s Padraig McCarthy and Fallulah join us on course as well. Balázs Kaizinger and Clover 15, sole representatives for Hungry, complete safely but with a little hairy moment at the last combination on course. Check out this long spot!

HOLD ON BALAZS. GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

7:49 a.m. EST: Patrick and Amanda have both finished the course now — we’ll have to wait for the ground jury’s decision on Patrick. The live scoreboard is showing “??” for 11C. Amazing clear ride for Amanda — just 6 seconds over time! Julia and Mandy are having a great ride down the slide:

Great balance form Julia and Mandy own the Slide. GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

7:46 a.m. EST: Our Olympic champions Julia Krajewski and Amande de B’Néville for Germany are just out of the box. Amanda and her little thoroughbred are still looking flawless late on course.

7:43 a.m. EST: Hello, hello! Sally and I have had successful hand off and we’re still following Patrick as he continues on course. Amanda is clear through fence 20.

7:41 a.m. EST: And with that I am going to bid you farewell and hand over the rest of the updates to Abby Powell. Enjoy!

7:40 a.m. EST: Well this just in: Ariel Grald has made the time! Scores showing her 10 seconds over after a very smart, efficient round. The Americans have enlisted the help of Ian Stark this week for cross country and his advice seems to be paying off (as well as the badassery our riders have shown so far, of course).

7:39 a.m. EST: Patrick did not clear the flag at 11 to my eye but he’s continued on at any rate. Amanda Pottinger is away with the TB Just Kidding.

7:38 a.m. EST: A look at Ariel making these angled brushes look like a gymnastic:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

7:38 a.m. EST: Shenae Lowings and Bold Venture finish clear with about 20 seconds of time while Patrick has quite a ride down the Slide but makes it through clear. A look at Ariel through 11:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

7:35 a.m. EST: Swiss individuals Patrick Rüegg and Fifty Fifty are away.

7:33 a.m. EST: Cyrielle Lefèvre and Armanjo Serosah make a statement and come home clear with just four seconds of time. Meanwhile, Ariel is clear through 10.

7:31 a.m. EST: Now away are the American individual pair Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan, making their Worlds debut.

7:29 a.m. EST: Ah bummer, Sanne de Jong and Enjoy mars an otherwise lovely round with a 20 at the Pratoni Horses. Meanwhile a scrappy ride through the Slide for Australia’s Shenae Lowings and Bold Venture:

Big pats for Bold Venture! GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

7:28 a.m. EST: Meanwhile, in the EN group chat:

7:25 a.m. EST: French combo Cyrielle Lefèvre and Armanjo Serosah leave the box and are hunting a clear as the individual pair.

7:24 a.m. EST: Ah, rats. Nicolas Wettstein ends his day early after a tumble at the Longines Water at 24.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

7:21 a.m. EST: Dana opts for the long at the Pratoni Horses and now finishes for Canada. She’ll be disappointed about the 40 penalties, but they will have learned a lot on this round and put forward a completed cross country.

7:20 a.m. EST: Dutch individuals Sanne de Jong and Enjoy are on course and clear through 6, coming to the Slide.

7:17 a.m. EST: Evelina finishes clear with Fidjy des Melezes. Dana has another spot of trouble at 21C, the angled brush after the water that’s caught out a few riders today.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

7:16 a.m. EST: Ecuador’s Nicolas Wettstein takes the long option at the Slide.

7:14 a.m. EST: Dana takes the long route at 11 with finishing top of mind — remember, Canada will no longer have a score to drop after the elimination of Karl Slezak.

7:13 a.m. EST: Dana Cooke has trouble at 7C, which is turning out to be probably the more influential question on course.

7:12 a.m. EST: Our next Canadians, Dana Cooke and Mississippi are now on course and clear through 6.

7:06 a.m. EST: Polish pair Malgorzata Korycka and Canvalencia as well as Italian pair Evelina Bertoli and Fidjy des Melezes are on course now.

7:02 a.m. EST: Katrin Khoddam-Hazrati and Oklahoma 2 finish with some trouble at the last combination.

6:59 a.m. EST: Catching up real quick, Brazilian pair Marcio Carvalho Jorge and Kilcoltrim Kit Kat are on course and clear through 15 with a heck of a ride down the slide. Danish rider Mia Hastrup and Shjabrina are also on and clear through 6 but have trouble at the C of the Slide. Lots of influence here at this question!

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

6:55 a.m. EST: Checking in with Lauren at the finish:

“He was super. I think this is like our ninth five-star and I know him really well, he knows me really well. I know when to throw in a trot step if we’re in trouble, and I knew all the questions were there for him and so it was more for me trying to hammer at the time from the get-go because he doesn’t have a huge gallop.

“It’s always a different kind of pressure riding for the team and you still want to be toeing the line of being gutsy but trying to do anything stupid that’s going to affect the team. So I’m just very glad to have it done. And Coleman got it done and that takes the pressure off.

“Ian’s been our cross country guy, and he’s been super and I told him ahead of time, I was like, ‘You know what, I don’t want pep talks or motivational crap,’ which everybody seems to want to do at this point in time. I was like, ‘just give me facts. Give me an order.’ That’s all I want before I go. So he was super, he just walked out and said ride the plan we talked about and hammer at it. So I did.”

6:53 a.m. EST: Heartbreaking for Laura as her individual hopes slip away, and now the pressure is on for GB to finish the remaining two members clear.

6:52 a.m. EST: Austrian pair Katrin Khoddam-Hazrati and Oklahoma 2 are now on course. Hazel is clear through 16 as Laura makes her way towards home.

6:50 a.m. EST: Calle 44 finishes looking quite tired with Yoshi.

6:48 a.m. EST: This track to my eye doesn’t seem to suit London 52 quite as well. This horse needs a gallop lane and this track doesn’t give you many of them, so he’s a bit more argumentative than I’m used to seeing him. Laura’s put her team hat on and takes a long route at 16 to prioritize getting home and finishing.

6:47 a.m. EST: Yoshi also shows with a pin at.. I believe 17C (the fence report is kind of hard to read). For Australia, Hazel Shannon and Willingapark Clifford are on course.

6:45 a.m. EST: And Lauren is also home clear, the second of such for the U.S., with 5.6 time. Let’s goooooo!

6:44 a.m. EST: No!! Laura Collett’s world championship fight goes out the door now as she has a drive-by at the C of the KEP Italia Slide. What a heartbreaker.

6:42 a.m. EST: Ah man. Calle 44 has a stop at the B of the Slide:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

6:41 a.m. EST: Lauren is clear through the Sunken Road at 20. A look at her ride through the fischer Brush question at 11:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

6:40 a.m. EST: Tokyo Olympic pair Toshiyuki Tanaka and Calle 44 are on course.

6:37 a.m. EST: I haven’t seen them yet, but Lauren Nicholson is on course with Vermiculus and clear through 10. Clarke has a pin fall but I didn’t catch the fence.

6:36 a.m. EST: What a shot of Christoph and Sandra at the finish from Shelby Allen:

Photo by Shelby Allen.

6:34 a.m. EST: For New Zealand now we have Clarke Johnstone with Menlo Park. Marco finishes for Italy with just the one problem, and Sofia is clear through 25. Clark looks to have had a stop at the A element of the Slide but has cleared it on second attempt.

6:30 a.m. EST: Checking in with Sandra in the mixed zone:

“In Tokyo I also had a super great round, that was one unlucky thing you can have. I think it can always happen, like in a short term you can have always a mistake and still a good round. And in Tokyo I had already a super feeling, also so fresh and so motivated. My last run was in Aachen, where he gave me the perfect round as well and I had a good feeling to start here. There was not one fence I was worried about and it was a good feeling.”

Sandra said German pathfinder Christoph Wahler told her that she could come a bit off the lines the team had walked if needed, and she notes that she’s never had a horse as adjustable as Viamant du Matz, which enabled her to make those adjustments and still have fun on course. “I said when he would be a human he would do that ski thing! You’re always looking for the inside lines. I’ve never had a horse like this before, and that made it easy for me. Sometimes I just have to move to the left and he goes to the left. I don’t have to ask him. That made it for me easy and that is why it felt for me good.”

6:28 a.m. EST: Niklas Lindback is showing as having been eliminated at 24C.

6:27 a.m. EST: Now away for the Swedes are Sofia Sjoborg and Bryjamolga van het Marienshof Z.

6:24 a.m. EST: For Italy, Marco Cappai and Uter have a drive-by at the C of the KEP Italia Slide. Melody Johner is clear through 20.

6:21 a.m. EST: Well Gonzalo has opted to pull up after another issue at 16. Sie Veux d’Autize seemed to be losing a bit of confidence after starting off a bit nervous. Gonzalo made some great decisions to try to get around but now has chosen to end his day early. 21-year-old Jarno is home clear with about 21 seconds of time — nicely done!

6:18 a.m. EST: Next away and hoping to bring home a clear for the Swiss are Mélody Johner and Toubleu de Rueire.

6:15 a.m. EST: Here we go with our second Spanish rider, Gonzalo Blasco Botin and Sie Veux d’Autize. They take the left hand flag at 4, the IGA Picnic Table, and then get rather hairy to the Triple Bar, prompting them to then go long at the KEP Italia Slide. Nice decision-making here.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

6:13 a.m. EST: Tom unfortunately just pops off to the left after Darmagnac de Bellard just slides over the brush to the right at 19C. He lands on his feet, which has to be more infuriating than lawn darting, in my opinion.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

6:10 a.m. EST: For the French and riding just a nine-year-old comes Tom Carlile with the absolute class Darmagnac de Béliard. Clearly through the fischer Brush at 11. For Belgium, Jarno Verwimp and Mahalia are away. Jarno is the youngest rider in the field at 21.

6:08 a.m. EST: Oh no. Karl and Fernhill Wishes have two rather fussy stops at the B element of the fischer Brush question of 11. One last shot, and Chocy still says no so that will sadly be the end of the road for this pair. Canada will go forward with no scores left to drop.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

6:04 a.m. EST: Viamant du Matz looks maybe the fittest so far besides Ros’ horse coming home, and Sandra has three seconds in hand over the last!

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

6:02 a.m. EST: Susie Berry (IRL) and Monbeg by Design as well as Karl Slezak (CAN) and Fernhill Wishes are on course.

5:56 a.m. EST: Ok, let’s try to catch up a bit here: Miroslav Trunda (CZE) and Shutterflyke have one refusal at 21C — the same fence that caused trouble for Fouaad — Korntawat Samran (THA) and Uster de Chenay got home clear with 35 seconds of time. 2014 World Champion Sandra Auffarth starts the next rider rotation for Germany with Viamant du Matz and is clear through 13 after a scrappy ride down the Slide:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

5:54 a.m. EST: Well Commander VG’s day will sadly come to an end after another issue, this time at 19C, having also had trouble at 16A. A look at his trouble at the Slide:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

5:50 a.m. EST:: Let’s hear from Yasmin at the finish:

“It was hard work actually, it was very intense. I think it was the terrain more than anything. You’re just constantly on the camber, up and down. But as I’ve said from the beginning, I’m just so glad that I’m sat on Banzai — he just really took it all in stride and just felt like he was really at home up in the hills.

“All the combinations I wrote to my plan A, apart from the last water where the jump in was quite steep so we just didn’t land quite as far outside as I would’ve liked. And we just picked up the five strides instead of the four, so I think if I’d maybe been a bit quicker there we might have made the time but I’m just delighted with him.”

5:48 a.m. EST: Rats, Fouaad has a stop at the B element of the Longines Hydroconquest Combination. They’ll finish strong but he’ll be disappointed with that blip. Lithuanian individuals Aistis Vitkauskas and Commander VG are on course and have had an early refusal at, it appears, the A element of the KEP Italia Slide.

Trouble on course for Fouaad Mirza. GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

5:44 a.m. EST: Hanne Ramasgaard takes the longer option at the open oxer question towards the end. Amequ Torino looks a bit weary, so she’s choosing to get him home safely rather than push for time. She’s finished about 38 seconds over with a big fist pump over the last! Thai individuals Korntawat Samran and Uster de Chanay are now on course.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

5:42 a.m. EST: Fouaad has a bit of a wardrobe malfunction as his pinny decides it would rather not be along for the ride. Meanwhile, Siegneur Medicott really stands off from the very downhill Arturo’s Kennel at 12 but they’re clear so far.

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

5:40 a.m. EST: Our inidividuals for India, Fouaad Mirza and Seigneur Medicott are on course as Niklas finishes with Focus Filiocus.

5:39 a.m. EST: “Oh, I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Ros says at the finish line. “He is just a phenomenal cross country horse you know, only 10 years old and it just feels like child’s play to him. He is green and he’s, you know, inexperienced, but he just treats it like a big kid and he just plays with it and focuses when he needs to focus. He’s fantastic.”

On his handling of the track and fitness:

“I was pretty confident after Badminton. I haven’t done as much galloping work at home because of the hard ground and we only go on grass, but he experiences hills like that all the time at home, whether he’s hacking or cantering. So I knew he’d be able to keep his speed or accelerate up the hill. And I think that’s key because once you’ve done the hills, it gets very twisty. And if they feel a bit tired, that’s when they’re going to be hard to steer. So I was fortunate in that sense that he kept galloping.”

5:37 a.m. EST: Niklas is really scrubbing his way around with Focus Filiocus. Also Hawley’s 20 looks to have been removed — yay!

5:36 a.m. EST: Yasmin is home clear with just three seconds of time. Time will tell if that’s enough to hold onto an individual medal position, but what a round for this young superstar.

5:35 a.m. EST: Danish rider Hanne Wind Ramsgaard and Amequ Torino, who have a really cool story, are now on course. Shane Rose came home just seven seconds over with Virgil and Yasmin, who I’ve seen once, is nearly home and clear through 28.

5:35 a.m. EST: Will checks in from the finish: “He was really good. I thought he answered all the questions very confidently. You know, he’s kind of a bulldog out there. He takes the bit and he really wants to go, but I was really pleased with just how sort of almost arrogant he was out there. He was really strong and he was almost telling me to ‘let me at it, dad!’ It was cool. He’s not the fastest horse to be frank. He’s a very efficient horse, and he’s quick, but he doesn’t necessarily have a tremendous gallop he loses a bit of step as he tires. I’m super happy with the round — I couldn’t fault him for anything. He did his absolute best.”

5:31 a.m. EST: Swedish individual pair Niklas Lindback and Focus Filiocus are away as Shane Rose is nearly home with Virgil and Yasmin is clear through 14. The cameras are showing some pairs for the majority of their round and some hardly at all, so hopefully we can get some balance as the day goes on. Eeek — Niklas lives very dangerously down the Slide and slips and slides his way through the B and C elements somehow.

5:28 a.m. EST: She’s done it! Ros has made the time — 7 seconds to spare — with Lordships Graffalo! A great start for the Brits. And now the British individual, Yasmin Ingham and Banzai du Loir, are away.

Ros navigates the Pratoni Horses, the final combination on course. GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

5:27 a.m. EST: Ros has about a minute to get home with 4 fences left to go.

5:25 a.m. EST: Shane Rose and Virgil are now on course as Ryuzo finishes with Cekatinka, about 25 seconds over.

5:20 a.m. EST: Gosh, Lordships Graffalo just hunted down the B and C of the KEP Slide as he carefully picked his way down the hill. What a smart horse. Holy sh*t, Will is home with TWO SECONDS of time! What a round for the Americans!

5:20 a.m. EST: Well we’ve seen Will exactly twice, but he is showing clear as he heads for him with just three more to jump.

5:19 a.m. EST: Loving Ryuzo’s riding so far — quiet, tactful, and staying out of Cekatinka’s way. Ros Canter — reigning World Champ — is now away with the young gun Lordships Grafflo. A tall task to trailblaze for the Brits today, but we know this pair has it in them — they were fifth at Badminton, after all!

5:17 a.m. EST: Just 11 seconds over for Monica Spencer and Artist! What a smashing round from this pair. Will is clear through 23 and the Open Ditch.

5:16 a.m. EST: A neat, clean ride down the KEP Slide at 7 for Ryuzo, nice riding.

5:15 a.m. EST: Ryuzo Kitajima and Cekatinka JRA are also on course for Japan. Will showing clear through 16.

5:13 a.m. EST: An update: Will Coleman is now off for the U.S. and clear through the Triple Bar at 10. Meanwhile, Hawley’s 20 now looks to be under review, and she doesn’t seem to have said anything about it in her interview so I think that may get taken off. Malin Josefsson shows a broken pin at 18 and Monica is clear through 23. Arianna also made it home clear. There’s a lot to keep up with here!

5:11 a.m. EST: Monica Spencer and our new favorite Thoroughbred, Artist, are on course and clear through the fischer Brush at 11.

5:08 a.m. EST: Let’s check in with Sam Watson, our only to come home somewhat close to the time so far:

“I added in a few combinations on course which I don’t think many other people will be able to do. It really highlights A, his his footwork and B, his desire to do this job like so. I didn’t know because of the first phase if this was a horse who was going to be competitive enough to be at a championship. I came to Pratoni and I said I really want this horse to be in Pratoni, I think he can shine. And I hope today he has because he’s the type of horse that I love. And I really — I really enjoyed that. Even though it was hard work. It’s not hard work.”

And on the course itself:

“Today we’re out of our comfort zone. I think people will be out of their comfort zone today. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s high performance sport. And I think Giuseppe is — you have to be a genius now to push us out of the comfort zone and make it horse friendly.”

5:04 a.m. EST: So that’s some useful information. Nadja may have caught the time had she not fallen, but her horse looked to begin struggling as the last few fences came up. Meanwhile we are now joined by the first Swedish rider, Malin Josefsson and Golden Midnight. Arianna is clear through 22.

5:03 a.m. EST: Nadja will have to manage here as Toblerone did look a bit tired at the first element of 26. Ah, and blast it looks like they have parted ways at the Open Oxers that were next. Nadja looks to be fine — I can’t actually see Toblerone but I’m thinking he’s off to stabling on his own. Rats.

5:02 a.m. EST: Swiss rider Nadja Minder is NOT hanging around, and she’s clear through 24 with about a minute, 40 seconds left on the clock.

5:02 a.m. EST: A look at Arianna at the Slide:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

5:00 a.m. EST: Whewwwwww…Quefira de L’Ormeu almost says no at the C element of the KEP Slide, but Ariana uses all her experience to lift the French mare up and over. Esteban logs in a clear round for Spain, and a REALLY nice one at that!

4:59 a.m. EST: Home team on course! Arianna Schivo and Quefira de L’Ormeu are away.

4:56 a.m. EST: A gutsy ride down the KEP Pratoni Slide at 7 for Najda. You can really see the downhill element of this question on the live stream. Meanwhile, he’s a peek at one of the uphill pulls as ridden by Esteban and Milana 23:

GIF via ClipMyHorse.TV.

4:55 a.m. EST: Senne has about 40 seconds to get home with about 3 fences to go.

4:54 a.m. EST: Esteban also takes flags with him at the fischer Brush but he has a nice ride through this question. Senne is clear through 25 and we are also joined by the first rider for the Swiss, Nadja Minder and Toblerone.

4:53 a.m. EST: Esteban looks to be cooking a bit more in terms of pace early on (or it could be Milana’s diminutive stature and a shorter stride!).

4:52 a.m. EST: Now on course are Spanish pair Esteban Benitez Valle and Milana 23. Astier is coming to the final combination, the Pratoni Horses at 29.

4:51 a.m. EST: Senne takes the left hand flags as she tackles the fischer Brush question at 11 — this is a turning question set on the side of the hill, and I think this question may prove to be fairly influential as the day progresses. The good thing is it comes relatively early on course, before horses will be tired and less adjustable.

4:50 a.m. EST: Astier’s second 20 is no longer showing on live scores.

4:49 a.m. EST: Hawley is home with that 20 she’ll be kicking herself for and about 51 seconds of time for the Canadians. Also joining us now for the Belgians are Senne Vervaecke and Google van Alsingen.

4:47 a.m. EST: Ah, we’re really not seeing much yet while the cameras work out their kinks. But Hawley has shown as a having a 20 at the Hydro Water at 21D. Astier is also showing with another 20, the B element of 11, the fischer Brush.

4:46 a.m. EST: Astier is showing as having a 20 at the C element — the second arrowhead following the KEP Italia Slide — the first to run into trouble on course. The C does seem to come up quickly and has a rather lofty landing, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more horses taking a peek and running by here.

4:44 a.m. EST: I think the time is absolutely going to be doable today as Sam comes home only six seconds over — granted, we didn’t see much of him, but he didn’t look to be absolutely pushing hard to make that time. He will also be on orders to bring back information for the rest of the Irish.

4:43 a.m. EST: There are a LOT of questions basically carved into the side of these hills, which are taxing in multiple ways: they shift the horse’s weight and encourage runouts, they affect a rider’s line, and they sap energy. There are many reasons why the riders are calling this ” a thinking course”. Hawley is clear through the Pagoda at 14.

4:42 a.m. EST: We’ve hardly seen any of Sam, sadly, but he’s clear through 24. Hawley is clear through 10 and Frenchman Astier Nicolas with Alertamalib’or are also on course.

4:40 a.m. EST: Just a few fences left for Christoph, who peeks back to make sure he hasn’t had a pin down at the KEP Italia Open Oxer question at 27/28. He’s about 24 seconds over the time of 9:50 as he comes home, but this is a really really nice pathfinder round. Meanwhile we’re now joined by Canadian Hawley Bennett-Awad and Jollybo, all the way from California to trailblaze for the Maple Leafs.

4:38 a.m. EST: Christoph is clear through the water at 24, the Longines Water Complex.

4:34 a.m. EST: Clear through the Pagoda at 14 for Christoph. There is a LOT to do out there in just under 10 minutes: there are 42 jumping efforts (more so if you take any alternate routes) and 30 numbered fences, coupled with a lot of turning and navigating pulls uphill to add some more horse management requirements. And our second, Sam Watson for Ireland with SAP Talisman are underway! Sam shared some really interesting thoughts on the track in Tilly’s preview — check it out here.

4:32 a.m. EST: And…we’re off! Christoph Wahler is the first to see this track today — an unenviable task in some ways — and he’s clear through the KEP Italia Pratoni Slide at fence 7, getting a hair close to the second chevron but making it look very rideable. This is a pair you won’t see pushing hard for the time — Christoph’s job here will be a clear round and information to bring back to his teammates.

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