Last night I went to see the second round of the $150,000 Nations Cup presented by Premier Equestrian. Eleven nations competed in the first round with each team having four horse and rider combinations. The faults incurred would dictate who could go on to the second round to take place in the evening. The first round had teams from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, United States, and Venezuela. The top eight returned for Round Two under the lights At the start of Round Two Ireland was tied with Canada at zero faults. In second place a tie between Great Britain, Australia, and Mexico. Belgium and the USA at eight faults. Argentina was in third with 10 faults. But we all knew the second round could shake up those placings.
The riders for Canada were Erynn Ballard, Tiffany Foster, Amy Millar, and Beth Underhill . First to go was Tiffany Foster on Figor. She rode a clear round! I am sorry to say that although I took photos of her ride they did not turn out well as I was not set up well for jump photos at the start. Next up for Canada was Beth Underhill and Chacco Kid. They had a rail down in the triple combination and another at the final fence.
Amy Millar, was the third rider for Canada. Fence after fence they were clear. Was this the winning ride? But no! Ach! A rail went down on the last fence. There was a very audible groan from the crowd when that happened. That rail added 4 faults and now Canada had a total of 12 faults. The pressure was on for Erynn Ballard but she and her mount Gakhir were unable to get the lead back as she had 15 faults and her score was the drop score.
Ireland had surprising elimination for Cian O’Connor whose horse Cerruti said a big “NO” to the wall twice. But one score can be dropped and Ireland finished on five total faults for the win. Canada and the United States both had a total of 12 faults. The tie breaker was the cumulative times of the teams’ top three rides. Canada took second place and the U.S. third. Great Britain fourth on 16 faults, Mexico fifth with 20 faults, and Australia sixth on 29 faults. Argentina came in seventh with 30 faults, and Belgium eighth with 32 faults.
So Canada may not have been the winner but I was still proud of all the Canadians and their horses. You may notice in the photos several riders were wearing armbands with the colors of the Ukrainian Flag. How wonderful! It was a reminder to me that in Canada and the USA we can make that kind of supportive statement and not suffer the consequences of a visit from the police in the night and be “disappeared” for having expressed our opinions. Gratitude!
I also want to give a round of applause to the ground crew. If a rail came down they ran in and got it up and raked the footing to make it smooth. No delays!
It was a grand night and the stands were full of people who were cheering for the teams of their countries!