Cross County Day, what every eventer looks forward to! After all the rain it was a perfect day to watch some big jumps get jumped!
For the 2*, we camped out at the water jump, getting a good view of several fences and the big screen. This turned out to be a super spot as a lot of horses had issues at the fist water jump.
|The Offending brush into the water. note the skid marks!|
The tough Adelaide track was proving to be everything it was supposed to be and more, considering the first water jump was very generous, a brush fence with a dry landing. I think the horses were distracted by the atmosphere and not seeing the water until the last second.
|Arrow head in the water|
After we had seen all the 2* riders go through, we high tailed it out to fence 8 to watch the 4*. Our plan was to start at fence 8 and work our way around the course, seeing as many fences jumped as possible.
We watched the first 2 riders jump fence 8, and both of them had stops at the third element even though the second rider, WA rider Sonja Johnson had a text book approach. I just don't think Ben had enough time to fully read the jump.
We headed out further into the course but the track was proving difficult with many riders not making it around, and very few going clear at fence 8. We spent a lot of time at the Coffin jump, being able to see several fences and as the course was causing carnage, actually got to see riders go through!
|Stuart Tinney and War Hawk|
It was very exciting and really shook up the placings, proving what eventing is all about.
|Awesome palomino from NZ|
For the 3* we decided to go back to the water and have a bit of a rest, having sprinted around the course already!
The day ended with some drama, with 3 riders int he top 5 being penalised 50 penalties for not jumping through the flags. All 3 riders appealed the decision and the ground jury removed the penalties from 2 of the riders. It was the first time this rule has been used in competition and it proved to be very interesting!
At the end of cross country day, although there were plenty of thrills and spills all the riders and there horses got home safe. I felt that the course designer had done an amazing job, the course truly challenged the riders, but it was SAFE. The jumps were designed for accurate riding and horses ran out rather than jumping dangerously.
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