Three of the four British riders were disappointed today in the speed competition which opened the showjumping at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
This afternoon, championship debutant Scott Brash was first out for Britain with Intertoy Z, having three down to finish with an adjusted time of 89.02sec, including 12sec added for faults. He now lies 82nd out of 120 competitors.
“I’m very disappointed, to be honest,” he said. “The speed competition wouldn’t be his strong point, but I expected him to be spooky in there and he wasn’t, he was too forward. I expected him to back off and jump, but he didn’t. It’s a learning curve and I hope he’ll be better tomorrow.”
British anchorman Michael Whitaker was enjoying a brilliant round on GIG Amai until taking off too far from the parallell over the water tray at fence 12 and taking off the bar, and then going on to hit the second part of the double which followed.
“The first one was definitely my fault — I was too far off,” said Michael. “I really fired him at the one before and got away with it, so I went on the same one again, but didn’t get away with it. It was a bit too much of an ask for a younger horse. You can’t blame him, he was trying.”
Michael’s adjusted time of 82.28sec leaves him 43rd.
David McPherson also had two down this morning on Chamberlain Z, and now lies 56th.
The British team lies ninth, and although this is a training team of younger horses here for experience rather than medals, the riders were visibly disappointed with today’s performance.
The home side dominated today, with lunchtime leader Marco Deslauriers holding top spot on Urico at the end of the day and McLain Ward slotting in just behind him on Sapphire. Hungary’s Sándor Szász is third on Moosbachhofs Goldwing. (Pictured are McLain, Mario and Sándor, left to right).
In the team standings, America leads, followed by Germany and then France.
All Britain’s riders will jump again in the team round tomorrow, after which the top 10 teams go through to the team final on Wednesday night.
Log on again for more updates on the showjumping at WEG, full report in H&H out 14 October.