After today’s cross-country, Bettina Hoy (GER) and Designer 10 (Dali X x Caesy), a 13-year-old Westphalian owned by Wilfried Stute are still in the lead in the four-star event on a 36.0. She is closely followed by Julia Krajewski (GER) with Samurai du Thot (Milor Landais x Melitos Du Thot), an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by DOKR, and Nicola Wilson (GBR) with Bulana, Jo and James Lambert's 11-year-old KWPN mare (Tygo x Sulana). All three riders stayed within the optimum time of 11:11.
This afternoon’s cross-country of the Luhmühlen CCI4* was something to be proud of. All the horses were presented in top form, and watching these tremendous animals flying around the beautifully built tracks was simply amazing. The sport we saw today, was certainly something special. The weather and the perfect conditions throughout the event, made the day hard to beat. The atmosphere was electric.
There was excitement and awe for riders and horses and it was certainly thrilling watching Hoy and Designer going round the cross-country course today! They had a couple of hairy moments, where they seemed a little undecided which stride to go for, but luckily Hoy remembered Chris Bartle’s "oh-[crap]-position", which stopped her from going overboard. "The rest of the course was amazing," said Hoy "Designer gave me a fantastic round. I guess, I just forgot that I have to ride him differently to Mickey, who I rode this morning, but I soon remembered! Unfortunately my watch stopped working around the seven minute mark, which left me a little unsure about the time, but I know he is a really fast horse, so I knew I would be able to just go for it. Hasi is simply cool!"
Further Hoy said she is over-the-moon to be ahead of everybody else in both events this afternoon. Looking ahead to tomorrow she said, that both horses can go clear, but really what ever happens is ok with her. Today was absolutely out of this world and she is super proud of Designer and Seigneur Medicott (who is leading the CIC3*).
Marilyn Little and RF Scanadalous are currently in 9th place. Shannon Brinkman Photo.
Krajewski and Samurai du Thot looked terrific this afternoon and they were easily within the 11:11 time allowed, to remain in second place after their stunning round. "Sam gave me a brilliant feeling all the way round the course," said Krajewski. "He was fit and forward throughout. I could not be happier! It was our first four-star-event after Rio, so I really wanted things to go well. But I knew he was in top form, so I was optimistic it would. The course rode as I had hoped and only once Sam added an extra stride going up hill, which made it that little bit harder, because he is only small. But he was amazing and what ever happens tomorrow, I am very proud of his performance."
British rider Wilson also finished the day on her dressage score of 38.7 to move up from fourth to third. "I am delighted with this little mare," said Wilson. "She is feisty and strong in cross-country and I have spent many hours practicing during the winter to bring her nose a little more forward. It was her first four-star competition and I could not be happier. She is a super mare.“
Mike Etherington-Smith was clearly happy with the way things turned out today. The course designer said, "It takes a couple of years to get to know a course and I already have some good ideas for next year. But I am really happy to have seen so many positive rounds, motivated and confident horses and smiling riders. The weather was perfect and the footing could not have been better. Though David Evans, Carl Fletcher and their team prepared the footing for anything. They have done an amazing job! The work they have put into building this course is fantastic."
William Coleman and Obos O'Reilly moved into the 12th position. Shannon Brinkman Photo.
Strong U.S. Showing Today
It was a great day for U.S. eventing as all five pairs representing the stars and stripes went around the cross-country course with no penalties.
Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot are the highest placed pair – Jacqueline Mars’ 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cruising x Shannon) moved up from 10th to 8th place with the fastest round of the day.
Overnight third place, Marilyn Little dropped down below Burnett with 6.8 time penalties aboard Jacqueline Mars, Robyn Parsky, and Phoebe and Michael Manders’ RF Scandalous. The 12-year-old Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Richardia) was originally awarded 50 penalties for allegedly jumping outside the flag at the skinny triple brush following the arena combinations, but the penalties were later removed.
Sharon White and Cooley On Show - currently in 21st. Shannon Brinkman Photos.
William Coleman and the Four Star Eventing Group's 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Obos O'Reilly, (OBOS Quality x Omard Clover Queen) climbed up the leaderboard seven spots (from 19th to 12th) with a clear round and one second under the optimum time to add nothing to their overnight dressage score.
Adding just 2.8 time penalties to their score, Sharon White and Cooley On Show, the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ricardo Z x Jogantina), are sitting in 21st position heading into tomorrow’s show jumping.
Katherine Coleman and KC Eventing's 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Longwood (Limmerick x Cavale De Or) made a huge move up the leaderboard – from 40th to 27th – with just 2.4 penalties to add to their score.
Katherine Coleman and Longwood, sitting in 27th. Shannon Brinkman Photo.
Tomorrow’s final day starts off with the vet inspection for the CIC3* at 8:15 a.m. followed by the CCI4* at 9:10 a.m. Show jumping will start with the CIC3* at 10:15 a.m and the CCI4* at 1:30 p.m.