Wow – what a day! The cross country phase has definitely proven to be influential for Eventing in Rio. The course was punishing and relentless with 18 horse/rider combinations out of 65 eliminated or retired. Total shakeup among the Team and Individual standings after today! Australia now leads the Team standings followed by New Zealand, France and Germany. Each Team can have one drop score but three of the four members must complete the course. The USA had 2 riders eliminated and did not qualify a team to go forward, but Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin with brilliant rounds stand 5th and 6th as Individuals. Chris Burton of Australia retained his lead on his lovely 9 yr old Santano. Germany’s Michael Jung with Sam holds second followed by Astier Nicolas of France and Mark Todd from New Zealand in 4th. What an amazing day.
Only 3 of the 13 teams finished with scores from all 4 riders. Amazingly the entire Brazilian team, the French (composed of all first time Olympians), and the British made it across the finish line, although all of the Brits had at least one disobedience and incurred time faults.
Stay tuned because – as proven in the past – anything can happen tomorrow in show jumping!
Randy Moss and I are getting ready in our broadcast booth.