Daniel Meech was the trailblazer for New Zealand this morning on what is a tough and very technical track. At the time of writing this, there is only one clear round which was from Simone Blum on DSP Alice from Germany.
Daniel had two down on Fine but looked impressive. The pair also incurred two time faults.
Speaking after the round, Daniel though Fine jumped very well. “Number two was a real bummer, I think I should have ridden a tighter line and let her jump it a bit herself. Then I would have had one less time fault as well if I had of gone a bit tighter to number two. The rest she just jumped fantastic.”
He then had the first of the double at the second-to-last fence which has been causing quite some problems. “The second fault was kind of a fifty-fifty. That line is very difficult,” he said. “The colours are really like an optical illusion. That one you could jump it one day and have it down the next. Even a good horse or any horse could have that pole but number two I am annoyed at myself about. It wasn’t a bad distance or anything like that, I just could have ridden it better to jump it.”
The track certainly is challenging with some large scores being added for some riders. Kevin Staut (France), Jamie Kermond (Australia) and Devin Ryan (USA) have all incurred four faults. William Funnell and Billy Buckingham had one down and a time fault.
Nicola Philippaerts had two down on his beautiful horse H & M Willi Chilli.
We asked Daniel if it was the toughest track Fine has done? “For sure, it is probably the most difficult. We have been doing a few five-stars. St Gallen was a really tough Grand Prix and she had one down there, Rome was massive. The heights, yes we have been jumping but this is very technical and very light jumps on the sand. It is a tough, very tough course. There are going to be a lot of faults out there.”
As to the rest of the day, which promises to be as hot as yesterday, Daniel is going to be supporting the rest of his team. “We are still not done as a team for sure. We can creep up a little bit more if the other guys can pull out some good rounds. I will just try to relax and enjoy it. I still really hope that I can jump tomorrow because the horse deserves to jump tomorrow and I am so annoyed at myself for that number two so I really want to improve on that.”