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This morning we knew the cross country phase would really shake up the rankings with the majority of the field being within 20 penalties (1 refusal) of the overnight leader Pippa Funnell. Any mistake from the leaders would be costly and likely drop them down the leaderboard. This combined with a challenging course made us all expect big changes to the leaderboard today, but I’m not sure any of us expected just 33 of the 66 starters to finish the course!
Unlucky day for ex racehorses
My main priority when reporting on these events is to follow the progress of the ex racehorses competing. As I said in my last posts, we had 3 ex racehorses starting at Burghley this week, and while dressage might not be their strongest phase, you can usually expect to see them creep up the leaderboard in the jumping phases. But not today.
Arctic Soul, my usual favourite to get round the cross country with an amazing time was the first of the ex racehorses to go. When I saw him on the course he looked fantastic! But I heard over the radio that at fence 13 (Joules at the Maltings) he unseated Gemma Tattersall at the massive corner, ending their competition!
Next we had Wont Wait who won the RoR prize at Badminton earlier this year. They took off at a blistering pace and looked to be having a good round. However, they ran into problems at the triple brush before the leaf pit. I need to watch it back to see exactly what happened as it was hard to see from where I was, but it looked like Clara presented at the direct route and I thought he jumped it but took the flag out. But she spun him round and presented him at the long route. So maybe he ducked out the side or she wasn’t sure he went between the flags. But he then refused the alternative and she decided to retire. Another ex racehorse out of the competition.
Finally we had Captain Jack who started right after Wont Wait. Now in my experience watching him, he can be a bit inconsistent across country. I’m not sure I have ever seen him go clear. But today he stormed around, I have never seen him go so well and they were taking all the direct routes and making them look easy. I think they were having the best round ever! But a little while later I heard over the radio that they had parted company after what looked like quite a nasty rotational fall over one of the egg boxes. I was gutted for Savannah as they were having such an amazing round, but they both got up and walked off so fingers crossed they are both okay.
Show Jumping Report
So while all the ex racehorses are out of the competition, I will still be at Burghley tomorrow for the show jumping and I still bring you the results and my own insight into the days events!