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Posted by Equestrian New South Wales on 06/09/2014.
Australian Support Crew
Jenny Sheppard

2014 World Equestrian Games – Normandy – Second and Third Day of Jumping

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The first round of the Team competition was on Wednesday, jumping started at 9:10am and finishing at 5:30pm – a full day of jumping – 150 horses took on Frederic Cottier’s careful, technical and optical track.  Set at a strong 1.50 to 1.60m, 16 jumping efforts including a treble and double and the flat water 4.20m wide.  Fence number 8 hitting the floor most often, it was a 1.55m square oxer that was 1.65m wide set 22 metres after the 1.60m wall at 7 that was 32 meters after the flat water.  Some riders rode a very easy six strides to number 8 others a bending seven – the very square oxer was quite optical that dragged a lot of horses a little close with a weak jump off the floor – the back rail dropping a lot.

Australia had a great draw, Jamie Kermond the first rider out for Australia at 22 and jumped a super round to just have one rail down – Quite Cassini looking already much more settled in the big atmosphere, jumping the fences with ease.  Jamie giving this green horse a magnificent ride.

Amy Graham and Bella Baloubet were number 56, they started well, the Baloubet Du Rouet gelding started to look a little distracted and Amy had to press him a little more – they finished with three rails down.

Edwina Tops-Alexander rode at number 94, her lovely dark brown gelding Ego Van Orti jumped every fence as though it was a mountain – jumping a fantastic clear adding one time penalty – I think he spends too much time in the air.  What a great ride and beautiful jumping from Australia’s number one jumping rider.

James Paterson-Robinson and his big bay Boris III were number 136 into the stadium that by now was buzzing with noise and excitement.  James worked hard to keep Boris settled who jumped very well but three rails down left the Australian Team on 33.51 penalties after two rounds and in 17th position.   The Australian team missed the ten team cut-off for the next round by 10.53 penalties.

There was a record of 31 teams competing and Australia finishing 17th ahead of favoured countries England, Norway, Japan and Mexico.

The top ten teams qualify for the third round of jumping plus any individuals in the top 50 riders who are not in a qualified team.  Jamie and Edwina making the cut to head out in the second round of the Teams and third round of the individual on Thursday.  The total jumping field now down to 59 horses, the competition started on Thursday afternoon at 3:15pm.  Cottier’s course this time stronger again, a solid 1.60m track with 16 jumping efforts and the flat water not in.   The second fence seeing the largest number of faults, the green and white Land Rover oxer very square with turf under it set back to the middle of the oxer making it another optical fence.  Thirteen of the 59 horses jumped clear plus another four who were clear with a time penalty.

Jamie Kermond and Quite Cassini were third into the stadium, they jumped the Land Rover oxer and looking great as they turned towards home into the last line – the Rolex double of oxers  onto the French vertical and the Les Vaches  oxer at 13.   Just running a little close to 11a Quite Cassini rubbed the front rail and down it came to the sigh of the huge crowd.  Jamie finishing with one rail down plus one penalty for time – a great result and fantastic to see that an Australian based rider can hold his own to the European ‘power house’ CONGRATULATIONS Team Kermond.

Edwina Tops Alexander and Ego Van Orti were 15th into the stadium, this big scopey son of Vigo D’Arsouilles and grandson of Darco on the dam side left air above every fence jumping another super clear round adding just two time penalties to the three round total.   Edwina placed 7th in the two round competition and moving up to be ranked 23rd for Saturday’s individual Grand Prix.  Ego Van Orti is one of the very few horses not to have dropped a rail over the three competitions – super job Edwina CONGRATULATIONS and good luck tomorrow.

The final grand prix will be very exciting, loads o pressure for the top ranked riders with less than 4 penalties between first, second and third then less than 8 penalties between the top 19 – a real contest. 

Yesterday was the first day that the stadium was truly full the noise of the crowd cheering is like thunder, the next two days of jumping are sold out – it will be amazing to witness.

The Australian flags will be flying or Edwina.

Leading going into the final grand prix is Beezie Madden for the USA followed by Rolf-Goran Bengtsson or Sweden and Soren Pedersen for Denmark – interesting to note that Soren has moved up from 21st after the Table C to being onlt 2 penalties behind the leader.

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