Everything has gone up today, the jumps, the temperature and the pressure! Bruce Goodin and Backatorps Danny V didn’t have the round they hoped for, finishing with 23 faults and putting them well down the leader board.
There are only two clear rounds at this point of the competition, where 75 of the 122 competitors have done their second round of the World Equestrian Games.
Bruce wasn’t sure whether the heat affected them or not, it was certainly the hottest part of the day so far. “Those early rails, he just wasn’t as sharp as yesterday. I thought I had sorted out the smoothness problem quite well but he wasn’t nearly as sharp as he was yesterday and felt a bit lethargic, possibly due to the heat. He warmed up really well I thought, but those first three rails in particular were really cheap rails and ones that he wouldn’t normally have. It was pretty frustrating and annoying.”
The course Bruce described as not huge but very technical and he said that Allan Wade, the course designer, uses the colours really well. “There are a lot of traps and places to faults everywhere. The first part is a little bit open, Alan wants to get you thinking about the time allowed early on. There are things like the placement of the second fence where he is asking you to go on a little bit of an angle and then the horse is taking their eye off the jump as the water is sitting right behind on that angle.”
The last line of jumps continues to cause the biggest problems and it caused some problems for Bruce and Danny as well. “Those long stripes [on the poles for the double] are really difficult for horses to see, especially when you have them in combinations or oxers, as the front and the back meld into each other. Then you have a Liverpool behind and they dig them into the ground, it is different from when they are just sitting on top as well. All these things, as it is showing, make it for a difficult course.”
“We had talked about it quite a bit whether I should do the five or six strides [between the prior fence to the double], and in the beginning my plan was to do the five. The only ones I had seen do it successfully who hadn’t had faults already, were doing it in the six. But I couldn’t get him back fast enough to be able to fit that last stride in well enough. He was a good guy and still tried his best.”
Advice Bruce would offer to to Sharn at this point is that he should trust himself. “He knows his horse really well and his horse could go out there and jump a really good round, Bruce said. “He just really needs to believe in himself and his horse.”
As to what was going through Bruce’s mind as Danny skittled the second part of the double (the second-to-last jumping effort), nearly unseating him, Bruce said: “I was just trying to stay alive!” Bruce then had to put in a circle to recover before jumping the last, as he was in an impossible position after recovering.
“I knew that he would go from there, but it was a big ask and sometimes they can do amazing things and he can, but today it was just too much, especially at the end of that long course and in this heat. It would have been a hell of a thing if he had managed to do it, it was nigh on impossible.” Bruce took the prudent approach and cleared the last but incurred faults for circling.
The horse is now going on the market. “It was part of the arrangement of getting people to front up with the 40% that I needed to buy into him to get the ride and the other owners also want to sell him at some point. He will be a very very good horse, he is inexperienced to be here but he has a super brain and we thought that it was possible to bring him here as he goes in and doesn’t think twice and tries his heart out. It is a great quality to have.”
At this point Bruce hasn’t got anything in his stable that is capable of Olympics but Bruce isn’t ruling himself out yet. “I will keep looking!”