Downgraded from a Category 4 to 1 storm going into the weekend, Florence was predicted to and did, in fact, dump a ton of water on the Tyron International Equestrian Center on Sunday. That’s when eventing’s stadium jumping phase and dressage freestyle were originally set to take place. Sadly, organizers on Friday made the tough decision to cancel dressage freestyle altogether. It was largely due to logistics of those horses being scheduled to go home on Monday, on top of concerns about the storm’s impact. Having completed the Grand Prix competition on Thursday, the team medals had been determined: Germany in gold, the United States in silver; and Great Britain third, along with the rest of the top six placings that served to qualify teams for the 2020 Olympic Games. Presumably, that made the difficult decision to cancel freestyle a little easier. Eventing, however, needs stadium jumping completed to determine team standings, so that show goes on. The dressage phase and Saturday’s cross-country went off with relatively few hitches, weather-wise, as the downpours saved themselves for the jog on Sunday.
Cross-country shook up the team standings and created a tightly-bunched race for the podium. Great Britain leads, followed by Ireland, France, Japan and Australia. We’re thrilled to report that Haygain fan Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos are a big part of Australia’s good position going into jumping. They stand in overall 11th place, on their 29.8 dressage score thanks to smooth sailing on cross -country. Germany sits sixth with its leader, Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD, in the individual lead. Host country, the USA, had some rough patches and sits in eighth spot.
Conducted in a covered arena, reining stuck to its schedule as the USA fulfilled predictions of yet another WEG gold. Belgium’s Bernard Fonck and What a Wave earned individual gold. The USA’s Dan Huss and Ms Dreamy were individual silver, followed by 18 year old Cade McCutcheon and Custom Made Gun in bronze.
Reining’s smooth staging was in complete contrast to the heartbreaking shock of endurance being cancelled altogether on Thursday.
Jumping, para-dressage, vaulting are set to start as scheduled, Tuesday, Sept. 18, with driving to start on Sept. 21.