There was a clear winner in this morningís first round of the team competition and 2nd qualifier in show jumping.  It was German course designer Olaf Petersen and the very challenging course he set that had fences crashing and horsesís shoes flying all around the stadium. American Peter Wylde, who went clear with Fein Cera the first day but had three down today, said it was one of the hardest Nationís Cup courses he has ridden. " /> There was a clear winner in this morningís first round of the team competition and 2nd qualifier in show jumping.  It was German course designer Olaf Petersen and the very challenging course he set that had fences crashing and horsesís shoes flying all around the stadium. American Peter Wylde, who went clear with Fein Cera the first day but had three down today, said it was one of the hardest Nationís Cup courses he has ridden. " /> There was a clear winner in this morningís first round of the team competition and 2nd qualifier in show jumping.  It was German course designer Olaf Petersen and the very challenging course he set that had fences crashing and horsesís shoes flying all around the stadium. American Peter Wylde, who went clear with Fein Cera the first day but had three down today, said it was one of the hardest Nationís Cup courses he has ridden. ">
Equestrian Connection Advertising Create an account Place an ad now
Back

Diary from Athens - Showjumping Part I

Jan Mansfield

Ian Millar walking the course photo ©Janus Communications

There was a clear winner in this morningís first round of the team competition and 2nd qualifier in show jumping.  It was German course designer Olaf Petersen and the very challenging course he set that had fences crashing and horsesís shoes flying all around the stadium. American Peter Wylde, who went clear with Fein Cera the first day but had three down today, said it was one of the hardest Nationís Cup courses he has ridden.  Many of the other riders said the same thing, though they also said they expected it.  Canadaís Ian Millar said Petersen managed to cause the faults subtly.  ďThatís why heís one of the very best course designers in the world,Ē he said.

Nine managed to go clear and within the time, with only U.S. rider Beezie Madden and Authentic fault free after two qualifiers.  Ian Millar again had two fences down and two time penalties and is in a three-way tie for 48th place.  After this eveningís second round the top 45 will advance to the final (where they all start with 0 penalties). Millar said heís confident of his chances to advance.

In analyzing his ride, Millar said that Promise Me got in really short to the middle element of the triple combination, an oxer, and actually had the back rail down with his girth.  ďThat wasnít an unlucky rail, that was a real rail,Ē he said.  Then he gave some interesting detail about the last fence on course, another oxer, and the second one he had down.  His description:  ďItís very, very wide.  Itís a plank on the front cups.  And when you see the front cup, the cup is perhaps 3 inches and dead flat with a polished aluminum surface on it, and the plank that sits on it has a little bracket on it that is of similar material.  It does not take much to dislodge it.  The back rail - 180 degrees of it is painted blue and the other 180 degrees is white.  And then the plank is blue and white.  So if a horse doesnít spot that back rail he just thinks itís an upright jump.  And so the idea is, that isnít a good place to be sitting still.  I was thinking about the back rail, and in retrospect, just a little too much pressure on the front rail and I had the front element down.Ē

Ian Millar & Promise Me clear the water jump. photo ©Janus Communications

The strong wind today produced some interesting moments for two of the riders when it blew the planks of fence 12 down as they were just a couple strides out, leaving only the boxes beneath to hop over.  It also moved the clouds around so that the shadows on the turf kept changing.  Iím not sure if that is what caused so many (including Swiss rider Markus Fuchsí Tinkaís Boy) to hit the water, but the judge there certainly was getting wet.  Mind you, it was on a bending line on the left lead from a vertical followed by another bending line on the right lead to an oxer.

The word on the French horse, Dileme De Cephe (this yearís world cup winner) and the Argentinian horse, Who Knows Lily,  both of whom left the ring via horse ambulance, is that they both suffered tendon strains.  Having the ambulance come into the stadium twice was unfortunate optics with the worldís television cameras and spectators watching.  More news on that as I hear it.


The riders and horses will have another chance to try to conquer the course beginning at 8:30 this evening, under the lights, when the team medals will be decided and the final 45 individuals determined.  New for this Olympics, a maximum of three entries from any one country may enter the individual final.  Itís fortunate that the computers will be doing the math on this one!

Part Two of todayís Diary From Athens later Ė much later Ė this evening.

-------------------------------------
Equestrian journalist Jan Mansfield is attending the Olympics under accreditation from Gaitpost Magazine.  Known for her ability to find interesting behind-the-scenes stories, Jan brings extensive knowledge and insight into covering the equestrian events. Jan will also be sending stories and photos from other venues in Athens as she works on her assignments with various mainstream publications. Jan can be reached at januscom@shaw.ca

 

Featured Ads
Join our Mailing List!
Email:  
EC Tweets!

Follow us on
follow us on Facebook!   Follow EC on Twitter!