I’m sure everyone who watched the cross country phase yesterday will say that it was a bit stressful! The course was very challenging with only 3 riders making the time, 22 going clear with time penalties, 23 getting jumping faults, 2 retiring and 14 getting eliminated. So I think it is safe to say that the course wasn’t easy!
Due to the complexity of the course, it has massively changed the placing heading into the show jumping phase. William Fox-Pitt had a refusal/run out in one of the water combinations and dropped down to 22nd place. In fact it was a bad day for all of team GB with every team member getting at least 20 penalties. This means the GB has dropped down to 8th place.
On the plus side, my other favourite nation New Zealand have improved massively, despite Tim Price having a fall early on in the day. Mark Todd got round clear with a handful of time penalties which has landed him in 4th place, just outside the individual medals and only a jump behind 3rd place. Clark Johnstone and Jonelle Price also got round clear with only a few time penalties placing them 7th and 13th. If they all go clear in the show jumping they are guaranteed at least team silver!
However, once again, I am going to look at the racehorses in the competition. And although I haven’t watched these cross country rounds yet (I missed the first 2 hours waiting for the vet!) I am very impressed with their results! Both horses jumped clear around the cross country, getting a small number of time penalties and being in good stead in the placings. Blackfoot Mystery is currently 6th with 50.90 penalties. Summon Up The Blood is right behind him in joint 7th place with 51.30 penalties! These results are fantastic and I would love it if they keep these places to go into the final round of show jumping to contend the individual medals!