With three of the first eight riders biting the dust, the 33 fence course across the undulating terrain of the Olympic Equestrian Centre course in Deodoro was influential.
And so it proved to be - a tough day for Team GB.
First to ride, taking on the 'pathfinder' role for the team was Gemma Tattersall and Quicklook V.
"Unfortunately today, for whatever reason, she went very ‘green’. She jumped fence three absolutely enormously and I think that frightened her a bit. She certainly would never want to do anything wrong, but I think she had a bit of a fright.” said Gemma.
Having a second refusal later in the course added 40 penalty points, plus time faults to her dressage score.
The over-night leader, William Fox-Pitt and Chilli Morning were next to ride. Sadly, they picked up 20 penalty points for a refusal, despite having an otherwise lovely round.
William said, “I had a very good run, it’s just annoying that I went past that third element. It was really unfortunate and my fault entirely. I went too quickly for him and there was no way I could turn so he didn’t do anything wrong. He is a lovely horse and to be riding him around the course is a luxury so I’m sad I have wasted it.”
GB's third combination was Pippa Funnell and Billy The Biz. They were impressive to watch, and flew round the course, but unluckily had a run-out towards the end.
“I'm very proud of him,” commented Pippa, “when I walked that last fence I thought it was really unlucky at that stage of the course; I know other great horses have done it, but when you see a lot of horses struggling, I was a little worried because he’s so special but I'm delighted with him today. I’m just gutted for Yogi, the team and all the connections.”
Finally, towards the end of the day it was the turn of Kitty King and Ceylor L A N to tackle the course. They had a good, positive ride, but they too had a run-out at fence 11.
Kitty commented, “There are a lot of positives to take out of it, and he still did a great job. He jumped really well in the warm-up and felt fantastic and he felt brilliant over the first few [fences]; as soon as he jumped the first two I thought we're going to have a good ride and we did."
All four combinations incurred time faults, and the results as of the end of the XC phase see Team GB lying in eighth place.
Individual placings for Team GB athletes after the cross-country phase; William Fox-Pitt (22), Pippa Funnell (28), Kitty King (34) and Gemma Tattersall (44).
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