We left VERY early, so that we'd miss the traffic of the diehards trying to get a good seat at the water jump. We ended up getting to the park by 7:45, and as it turns out, the first rider didn't go until 10:10, so we had plenty of time. Unfortunately, I did not get the very best view of the combination, because this year my job was to be a second timer in case we had to stop someone, and to watch to see if anyone crossed their tracks if they took the long route. So I was at the back of the jump--but I still got to see the approach, the landing on A, and the take off and landing on B.
Very, very educational.
I remember Ralph Hill saying that after landing from A, you want to push the horse a bit faster than you're comfortable with, so you'll have enough gas to get out at B. I see how that could come into play!
Several things I noted:
It was almost painful listening to the announcers and waiting for the next horse....because often, they never came. We ended up losing over HALF the horses that started out! LOTS of rider falls--most notably by Becky Holder and Karen O'Connor!--and lots of eliminations because of three refusals.
I was VERY impressed with Becky Holder's ride on both her horses, but she came off Comet at a corner, and then was stopped at the next to last fence because Can't Fire Me's knee was bleeding....!! That sounds suspect to me, but perhaps it was for the best.
Will Coleman made our difficult combination look like an exercise. That man can RIDE!
William Fox-Pitt was, of course, amazing.
I really enjoyed watching Mighty Nice and RF Demeter and Mr. Medicott over our fence, too. Well done, all!
REALLY interesting to watch Tullibard's Hawkwind with Jordan Linstedt aboard--he looked to be cantering around like a hunter the whole time! He went clear, but had must've had about 75 time penalties!! Interesting approach to a four star event.....
After the Cross Country, we went to Larry and Roxanne's for a family get together. We had some luscious barbeque (chicken, steak, and shrimp), plus yummy dessert made my my niece Kate....that went REALLY well with bourbon. :) I got to see all my nieces/nephews, their kids, and we even skyped my 87 year old mother. Family is good!
It will be interesting to see how the Stadium Jumping goes tomorrow....several of the horses were REALLY huffing and puffing by fence 15. Notable exceptions: Arthur, Mr. Medicott, and Parklane Hawk, along with both of Becky Holder's horses.