It’s been a big day for the eventers in Tokyo, because they woke up early to the news that the cross-country course at Sea Forest was open for walking. And walk they did: round and round and round again, before many of them opted to dash back to the stables and pop over some of the cross-country training fences laid out there. Sounds like it gave them plenty to think about!
Our on-the-ground reporter, Sally, is out on her own walk now with course designer Derek di Grazia, and we’ll be bringing you lots of interesting insights into the course soon – but in the meantime, catch up with what went down with the riders today.
The USA’s Doug Payne took his first look at the course and found it similar to a track back home:
Inspiration evidently struck while he was out and about, because he opted to head out for a cross-country schooling session on returning to the main venue:
The Belarusians made their way out to Sea Forest, too:
They also found time to celebrate competitor Alexandr Zelenko’s birthday:
Cathal Daniels could deliver us one of the quickest rounds of the weekend – but first, he had to check out all the spots where he and pocket rocket Rioghan Rua could shave off the seconds:
Lara de Liedekerke-Meier, Belgium’s individual competitor, got an early start to check out the challenge:
Team Thailand headed out with trainer Maxime Livio (on his birthday!):
And Sarah Ennis admired the themed carvings and decorations:
Brazil’s Carlos Parro knows a photo op spot when he sees one:
The Aussies adopted a buddy system with suitably bright t-shirts to ensure they didn’t lose one another. No word on if they had to hold hands in pairs:
Sweden’s Louise Romeike got inspired:
Back at the main venue, Russia’s Andrey Mitin got stuck into some cross-country training:
As did the sole Spanish competitor, Francisco Gavino Gonzalez and his horse Source de la Faye:
The Kiwis opted to practice their showjumping:
It wasn’t just about cross-country today. Some riders also took the time to welcome the newly arrived show jumpers – and Great Britain’s Laura Collett couldn’t resist some snuggles with Ben Maher’s Explosion W:
Someone tipped the Aussies off that the Kiwis had nailed the Olympic rings photo, so they scurried off to get their own done. We’re glad Shane remembered to bring a bucket hat, at least:
Plenty of teams also took the time to acknowledge their super line-up of grooms, including the Brazilians:
And the Aussies:
And a legendary Lucinda sent lots of luck across the pond(s):
The Kiwis, as usual, were too popular for their own good:
Oh, and the first equestrian medals of the Games were awarded, of course!
Want to stay in the know with all things Olympic eventing? We’re getting ready to kick off daily editions of our Olympic Digest starting Wednesday, July 28. You can sign up for free right here.