Articles: Press Release
Miles and Dutton within Ten Points of Individual Lead; US Drops to
Seventh as Germans Impress in Eventing at 2008 Olympic Games
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2008
By Joanie Morris
Hong Kong, China - It was an interesting cross-country day at the Beas
River venue today as 70 horses took on Mike Etherington-Smith's eight
minute cross country course. Not one horse achieved the optimum time,
and Australia's Shane Rose (riding All Luck) was the only pair to have
single digit time penalties. The Germans, on 158.10, took a slim lead
over dressage winners, Australia (162.00), in the team portion of the
competition. Great Britain rebounded to third on 173.70.
The American team had a some unfortunate mistakes that proved to be
incredibly costly. They plummeted from third after the dressage to
seventh on a score of 234.00. Veteran rider Amy Tryon set off on Mark
Hart's Poggio in her usual role as the pathfinder but a mistake at fence
10, where the 16-year-old Thoroughbred left a leg, stumbled badly twice
and Tryon was ejected. With the new FEI rule (fall of rider is cause for
elimination) enforced beginning August 1, Tryon walked home after
'I'm not sure what happened," said Tryon from Duvall, WA. "I need to
watch the tape to figure out exactly what happened. The course was
riding like we expected up to that point. It's busy and the time is
going to be hard to make."
Tryon's prediction proved accurate as no one got close the optimum time.
The terrain played a huge role, the course was twisty and undulating.
Temperatures were moderate for this time of year, fortunately the sun
never appeared and it rained intermittently throughout the day.
Miles was the next American on course, riding 17.3 hand McKinlaigh - the
giant horse was one of the few that was able to find a rhythm and his
giant stride ate up the ground. Miles, from Creston, CA has never had a
jumping cross-country penalty on Thom Schulz and Laura Coats' Irish
Sport Horse gelding, and they never looked in danger of changing their
"He's amazing," said Miles. "He stays so rideable. The turns are hard to
negotiate and it was hard to go as fast. I think he's the best horse in
the world. He can do it all."
The pair sits fifth on a score of 56.10 after adding 16.8 time faults.
They are tied with Great Britain's Mary King and Call Again Cavalier.
Hinrich Romeike and Marius lead the way on 50.20, half a point ahead of
his teammate Ingrid Klimke (on Abraxxas) so the competition remains very
close going into show jumping.
"It was very hard work and very twisty" said Romeike. "I was smiling
when he was jumping so well and he did what may have been the job of his
Becky Holder and Courageous Comet looked phenomenal in the early part of
the course as they cruised through the Beas River countryside only to
misjudge their line at 21a, the first element of the dragon fence. The
13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding ran out to the right and when Holder
tried to correct her mistake she inadvertently crossed her tracks.
"I didn't stick to my plan, but my horse was really good," said Holder
after she picked up 60 penalties for her mistake.
In a split second, the US hopes for a medal changed.
Veteran Karen O'Connor set out on relatively inexperienced Mandiba with
all the pressure for a quick clear round from Joan Goswell's 9-year-old
Irish Thoroughbred gelding. Unfortunately they ran into trouble at fence
9, a massive downhill brush four strides to a narrow. Mandiba misread
the second element and ran out.
"I knew going out, that what I needed to do was stretching the
educational capabilities of my horse," said O'Connor, 50. "I knew the
goal was to go clear and within the minute of the time. That exercise
came up too quick for him."
Mandiba cruised around the rest of the course confidently until the
second to last fence two angled brushes on a two-stride line that proved
troublesome all day.
"My horse was giving me a magnificent round as I came down the hill I
had some choices," said O'Connor. "I had a 20 but I was galloping
pretty strong, I and the US had nothing to lose and everything to gain
if I could have gotten it done."
Suddenly a team medal wasn't the priority for the anchor rider.
Phillip Dutton set out on Bruce Duchossios' Connaught with his foot to
the floor. The flamboyant jumper isn't the best galloper but jumping is
never an issue.
"Unfortunately our team isn't having a good day," said Dutton. "So I was
riding for myself. I knew I had to take some chances to go as quickly as
Owned by Bruce Duchossios, the 15-year-old Irish Thoroughbred gelding
picked up 19.60 time faults despite every effort by Dutton to go as fast
as he could.
"I went as quick as I possibly could," said Dutton who rode for
Australia in the last three Olympic Games (winning two Gold medals). "He
not the fastest horse, I can't see where I could have gone faster. The
ground really backed the horses off and they didn't want to go. He is a
magnificent jumper, even if he is tired, he still jumps very well."
The pair is in 14th place on 60.20, exactly 10 points from a gold medal.
Two teams got all their riders around clear, the Australians and the
Swedes, the first German rider, Frank Olstholt had one refusal but they
certainly learned from his mistake and it was the only one they made all
The dressage leader, Australian Lucinda Fredericks picked up too many
time faults to hold on, 27.20 time faults dropped her down to 11th.
The biggest jump up the leaderboard of the day was Rose who after being
a disappointing 46th after the dressage to 16th on his masterful round
before 18,000 ticket holders. The course claimed veterans and rookies
alike, Andrew Nicholson and Lord Killinghurst fell at the second to last
after looking certain to have the fastest time of the day.
The final horse inspection is at 4 p.m. giving the horses plenty of time
to recover from their round trip to Beas River from Sha Tin. They
arrived back to Sha Tin this afternoon. Show Jumping begins under the
lights at 7.15 tomorrow evening.
The dressage horses all passed their first horse inspection Sunday
afternoon, the US Team looked particularly good. Brentina (Debbie
McDonald), Mythilus (Courtney King-Dye), Neruda (Michael Barisone) and
Ravel (Steffen Peters) looked incredible fit and beautifully turned out.
Their first day of competition is Wednesday, August 13th. The
competition begins at 7.15 pm and the US drew 11th out of 11 teams.
The show jumpers all will spend 10 minutes per team in the main arena
for familiarization tonight. They begin competing on August 15th.
For more information, please contact Joanie Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For complete results, please see
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