Another day of high winds and driving rain but with a reasonable weather window from about 13:00 to 16:00 when most of my videoing was done. You can see the threatening skies as Oliver Townend leaves the Quarry.
|The Scoreboard tells the story: withdrawn, retired, eliminated!|
The drive to the competition was relatively easy so either they'd sorted out the traffic problems of earlier years our people kept away because of the weather. We had been promised a challenging course, as I previewed yesterday, and that soon proved to be the case with top name after top name going out after uncharacteristic mistakes.
I'd promised to take some photographs of Lara de Liedekirke for the VYGO website in Belgium and I've got to be honest I was concerned that she wouldn't get round so I videoed her at the beginning. I should have had more faith as she completed a clear round jumping albeit with time faults. To show what a great achievement this was Mary King and Imperial Cavalier, who went just before Lara, pulled up at the Mirage Pond.
|Ducati is prepared for action|
|Lara and Ducati on course|
I managed to get some great video of Paul Tapner coming out of the Vicarage Vee and through the Mirage Pond, he came so close we could see the white of his eyes and I have to say his face was a picture of absolute concentration. It's his to lose now?
|"Taperz" clears the B fence at the Vicarage Vee|
|Slightly sticky moment at the Mirage Pond|
We made best use of the weather and had a late lunch. As I headed back to the car I was able to get close to the action when they closed the crossing just after the lake to let a horse through. The picture was taken with my iPhone.
|Close to the action coming away from the Lake|
So an interesting days cross country, full of surprises and some hideous weather conditions, the crowd did not seem massive to me and with the large number of people withdrawing, retiring or being eliminated there were long periods of time when there wasn't a horse on the course.