Rutherglen and I had a great lead up to the event and I believe his run and win at CIC3* Haras du Pin 2 weeks before the event gave him a perfect preparation.

 

We started the week on a fabulous dressage score of 37.8 - lying in 4th place after the first phase.

I feel Rutherglen has matured a lot since competing at the 2012 London Olympics as a 9-year old and I am pleased with the consistency he is now providing in his work. Gareth Hughes, our Australian Team Dressage Trainer, has given us a huge support and I was delighted to see our training sessions paying off - being able to recall a test showing his impressive movement and ability.

Have a look at our dressage test

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1O7uREh7p7g&list=PLsWkvtc3juKBlq30jieghssf5LU5OZihw&index=9

Walking this year´s  cross country course for the first time on Wednesday afternoon was a big "eye opener" for most of the riders - it defenitely was one of the biggest and most technical tracks I have seen since first competing here in 1979.

Nevertheless we all have to pay our compliments to the course designer Capt. Mark Phillips who did a fantastic job - the course seemed to ride very well and produced great pictures of our wonderful sport.

Rutherglen started well into the cross country, jumping big and bold and being very enthusiastic. He is a big striding and very scopey horse so I was confident this track would suit him well. Coming up to Fences 9 and 10 - Capabilities Cutting - during my course walks I had decided to jump the right hand option, which seemed to me being the more "jumpable" one. After jumping the first element and running up the hill to the second one, Rutherglen did not focus - "lock on" - to the fence and only sighted it at the last moment. We came very "deep" (close) to the fence which resulted in an awkard jump and Rutherglen twisting his whole body over the fence - and catapulting me out the front.

Our journey therefore unfortunately had to end there - but most importantly neither Rutherglen nor I got injured and we will be fit to fight another day!

Germany´s Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam performed superbly over all 4 days and I would like to congratulate him and his connections to a deserved victory!