Everyone predicted that the cross country course in Rio would be hard and it lived up to their expectations. It really shook up the leaderboard with some top combinations falling out of medal contention and others moving way up in the rankings.
I really wish I had access to the live stream of the cross country but unfortunately I don’t have cable and while I’ve signed up for Sling, they haven’t broadcast any equestrian events yet. It’s highly frustrating to only see still photos!
About 70 percent percent of the field completed the course, with just 40 percent jumping clear, which is the lowest clear rate in the short-format era according to EquiRatings. Just three combinations made the time, and they’re all sitting in the top three after cross country. Chris Burton piloted a relatively green Santano II, who has only competed in one CCI3* prior to this, to a foot perfect round, coming home bang on the optimum time to remain on his dressage score of 36.0 and move from second up to first.
— Eventing Nation
Dressage leader William Fox-Pitt picked up 20 penalty points for crossing his own line when he realized that he needed to take the long way through a combination. Michael Jung is now sitting in second place and Astier and Piaf de b’Neville’s moved from 11th up to third place and Mark Todd moved from 17th to fourth.
“That was one of the most physically demanding courses — you had to jump a jump, turn, accelerate. It was tiring, it was laboring, it was intense,” Boyd said. “Question after question after question, and you get through one tough jump and you come to another tough jump. I’m so thankful I was on an old racehorse from Kentucky because he kept firing the whole way home. He was definitely on empty coming to the last three and he just tried his heart out and jumped every jumped.”
— Eventing Nation
Unfortunately, the US team is no longer in contention for a medal at the games. Clark Montgomery withdrew after several problems on course with Loughan Glen. And Lauren Kieffer and Veronika fell at fence 24. Right now the leading teams are Australia, New Zealand, and France followed by Germany, The Netherlands and Brazil.