All 70 horse presented at final inspection for WEG eventing today were accepted by the ground jury although five horses were held and represented.
Two of the Irish horses were held (Ireland is in second place). Stellor Rebound, ridden by Sarah Ennis (who also sit in the individual bronze medal position) and Ardagh Highlight, ridden by Sam Watson, were both accepted when re-presented, although there were tense moments when Horseware Stellor Rebound was asked to trot up twice and the ground jury then deliberated before passing him. The other horses held were Magnum’s Martini (Brazil), Rumor Has it NOP (Dutch) and Jane Z (Dutch).
“I’m not sure how it’ll be jumping on Monday — I’ve never jumped a horse on Monday [after a three-day],” said British rider Tom McEwen. “It’s great they took the decision so early and the horses may come up a bit fresher, depending on the weather and what we can do tomorrow.”
US rider Lynn Symansky was among the riders who said that an extra day may actually not be advantageous for horses: “If you go out and run a really long race, you can have more muscle fatigue two days later. Part of horses’ care after cross-country is to keep them moving which may not be easy with the storm.”
But New Zealand rider Jonelle Price said: “I think it’s absurd. It really worries me who’s calling these shots, maybe I’ll be made to eat my words if it’s absolutely pouring tomorrow but I think it completely changes the game. The whole point of jumping on the day after cross-country is it’s the horse that can recover the best and come out and close their stride and be careful. Giving them an extra day is a whole different kettle of fish.”