What a day it has been! Endurance will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
We’re not talking our riders Jenny Champion and Philip Graham either – they certainly did New Zealand proud and their love of their horses saw them withdraw before the rescheduled 120km ride was canned. You read it right – canned.
Things didn’t exactly get off to a flying start at 6.30am either with the 160km ride – competitors split into two, headed down two different tracks and boom – game over. You can imagine tempers were more than a little frayed too – those who had gone hard out thinking they still had 160kms to go and were in the lead and those who heard the race was to be restarted and pulled back. It was a shambles.
So – over five hours later, the ‘new’ championships gets underway.
All competitors had done around 40kms – give or take. They all had to pass a vet inspection, which didn’t go too well for some. The new race comprised four loops – 31.1kms, 40.1km, 28.2km and 21.7km. During the second loop TIEC got hit with another deluge and things got tricky and then – as the leading bunch came in off the third loop they called time.
It’s fair to say the place erupted – people were yelling, whistling and venting. There’s an investigation to be had and plenty of chatter – I am sure we haven’t heard the end of that.
Eventing is heading into full swing now too. The trot up was watched by many and looked fab. Our team are amped and ready to go. They were all in great form for a press conference too – much to the delight of many.
That’s it for tonight – more to come in the adventures at TIEC.
By Diana Dobson – NZ Team Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ