It is rare for all those who complete the cross-country at a three-day event to progress to the final showjumping phase — some horses are nearly always withdrawn before or at the horse inspection or spun by the ground jury. But perfect conditions at Luhmühlen helped ensure all were fit to continue.
“It was really hard here on Monday, but we worked hard with watering and the Verti-Drainer and horses have seldom run on better footing,” commented course-designer Mark Phillips.
The ground jury of Christoph Hess, Anne-Mette Binder and Andrew Bennie did not send any horses to the holding box or even ask any to trot again.
British competitor Emily Lochore’s mount Hexmaleys Hayday was clearly terrified of the crowd who had gathered to watch and was keen to get his trot-up over as quickly as possible. The commentator asked the crowd not to applaud so as not to upset him more.
Newmarket Vasco One also gave his rider, Britain’s Willa Newton, a moment of concern as he took fright at something while she was turning him round at the far end of the strip and jumped.
Willa was one of two Brits inside the time yesterday — she sits 15th, while Coral Keen is best of Team GB in 11th on Wellshead Fare Opposition.
Nicky Roncoroni, who finished one second over the 11min 10sec optimum time, holds 17th on Stonedge. Emily Lochore is 25th after one run-out and 22.4 time-faults and will be first to showjump today at 11.15am.
At the top end Germany’s Ingrid Klimke leads on FRH Escada JS, but the next four competitors are all within one fence of her. New Zealand’s Jonelle Price (Faerie Dianimo, pictured) lies second, the home side’s Michael Jung (La Biosthetique-Sam FBW) third and Australia’s Christopher Burton (Graf Liberty) holds fourth.
Final update from Luhmühlen online later, full report in the magazine this week, out Thursday, 25 June.