Karen O’Connor and Mandiba
It was a brisk morning in Kentucky when the eventing horse inspection began at 9:00 a.m. Horses were feeling their oats in the 45-degree weather, and as expected, some were rather frisky! When the time came for Team USA to present, it was announced that Kim Severson and Tipperary Liadhnan had withdrawn prior to the jog. The other five U.S. horse-and-rider pairs passed inspection.
Bruce (“Buck”) Davidson Jr. and BallyNoe Castle RM, Phillip Dutton and Woodburn, and Boyd Martin and Neville Bardos all remain as team riders.
Geoff Curran and The Jump Jet
According to the press release issued Wednesday morning, Tipperary Liadhnan had a cellulitis infection that had been improving and responding well to antibiotics, but it took a dramatic and unexpected turn for the worse. “It was 24 hours too late to make a substitution to the team,” said U.S. chef d’equipe Mark Phillips. “We have had not only our team vet, Dr. Brendan Furlong, but also the best veterinary expertise available in Lexington working with the horse. In the best interest of the horse’s welfare we made the difficult decision not to run him.”
On a lighter note, the eventing jog is normally known as a place to show off individual fashion and style. Most teams opted instead to wear matching conservative gear, such as khakis and blazers. I give the Italians credit for having the snappiest attire, a military-looking black hat and coat with brass buttons, black breeches with a red stripe down the side and tall black riding boots.
Hawley Bennett of Canada
Ireland’s Geoff Curran and The Jump Jet returned after riding at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event earlier this year. I was very impressed with his military riding gear then, and was glad to see it had returned again for WEG!
The U.S. wore their team outfits from the opening ceremonies – cowboy hats, blue blazers, jeans and boots. I must say, there is something humorous about Phillip Dutton in a cowboy hat. But there was no doubt they were representing the good ol’ U.S. of A!
I also give the ladies of Canada big snaps for their beautiful outfits – black slacks, a cream-colored double-breasted coat and red maple leaf scarf. Stunning! (Just keep those slobbery horse mouths away from the jackets.)
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