That track is something else! It has put paid to many people’s hopes and aspirations, and now it has done the same to New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley and Casper and our New Zealand team’s hopes of making it to the next stage.
The pair started off well, and looked good but it soon started going wrong and they competed with five down and finished with 24 faults to be behind all his team members.
“The horse felt great this morning and he warmed up fantastically and the first part of the course he felt really good. Then he had a very light rub on the skinny and he only must have just had a heel on the tape for the water. I don’t know if it is the heat, it is a tough track anyway, but the horse has never had five rails down in his life!”
As Sharn said, they were only just little rubs, and it wasn’t that the horse jumped badly. “The score didn’t reflect the way the horse rode,” Sharn said afterwards. “I was happy with the way that I rode, I was happy with the horse’s mind doing it, his rideability was great, everything felt good, but we were just a quarter of an inch too low on too many jumps!”
Sharn commented that it was a very typical course for the designer, Allan Wade. “He doesn’t kill you, he makes it jumpable for the good horses.”
The further the interview went, the more disappointed Sharn became. “It wasn’t a good showing for my horse, my horse is much better than that. I wasn’t worried about the track, it was a hard track to jump, but I was thinking it could be one down or two down max, but I ended up having a few more.”
Shane did wonder if the heat did zap his horse, especially towards the end. “He was still trying hard though,” he said. In my mind, it didn’t feel like a bad round but the score is really no good.”
“I am extremely disappointed for the horse and for the team but that’s show jumping I guess. If you can’t handle the jandle, don’t tack them up.”
Sharn is now thinking he may take his other horse, Barnetta, to a Grand Prix in Lexington on Saturday night. “It’s a $70,000 Grand Prix but I have to talk to the team, and I might run up there and do that. It’s about four hours away.”
As to Casper, he has three weeks off and then he will be back in Tryon for a three-star Grand Prix, and then a couple of other big classes after that before he has a holiday.
We’ll have a final story on the placings and team standings at the end of the day, but at this stage it looks as if the New Zealand team hasn’t qualified but Samantha McIntosh definitely has and probably Daniel Meech.