The first jump is a friendly hedge

First fence on the Olympic Cross Country course
The first jump is described as a friendly hedge to get the riders and horses feeling positive. The diamond shape is in honor of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Enjoy the virtual course walk for the Olympic Cross-country track with course designer Sue Benson, courtesy of the Chronicle of the Horse.

The optimum time is 10:02 and Benson predicts that just two riders may come in clean and within the time.

The first two fences are described as “friendly” and “confidence building.” Not exactly how I would describe them.

What struck me is how few of the fences look like, well, fences. It’s more like the Disney version of XC with farm animals, figures and wildly decorated fences. Denny Emerson has been posting pictures on Facebook of Olympic XC from years gone by and it does make you a bit nostalgic for the fences of yesteryear that actually looked like cross country.

Fence 28 Olympic XC
The last fence on course features horses made entirely of horseshoes. Tom Hills sculpted the horses, and they will return to him once the competition is over.

One thought on “The first jump is a friendly hedge

  1. How does the course designer determine the ‘optimum’ time?
    Kind regards Pauline Baker Perth Western Australia

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