Rolex XC 2012

2012 Rolex XC Map
This year’s cross country course at Rolex asked some tough questions — which was apparent right from the start when only one of the first five riders (experienced ones, too) finished the course.

In terms of safety, this was a day when the frangible pins did their job. The Chronicle of the Horse reports that the frangible pins broke at least twice at fence 9 (the coffin). Nicholson retired his first ride, Calico Joe, after breaking the pin there (see the video below) and then Clark Montgomery and Loughan Glen broke the pin as well. The good news is that no serious injuries occurred to either horse or rider.

You can watch the whole XC day here but there are a few highlight videos below. According to Eventing Nation, the YouTube videos are available only to watchers in North America. Apologies if you can’t access them.

There are also some great XC photos on Eventing Nation.

One thing that I took away from the video/photos is that these top riders stick like glue! It amazes me that they can stay on, hold their cool, give their horses as re-assuring pat, and move on. Even in the video below where Karen O’Connor has an unscheduled water landing, she nearly recovered from being popped out of the tack. I am going to have work on getting stickier.

William Fox-Pitt on Parklane Hawk (currently in first place going into Stadium) made the XC course look, if not easy, at least not as technical as it was.

Other experienced riders including Andrew Nicholson, Karen O’Connor and Becky Holder found the course to be trappy. In fact, it’s reported that the frangible pins were broken twice on Fence #9 – the Coffin jump. No serious injuries so it’s safe to watch the spills and thrills below.

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