July 30 – London, England
Course designer Sue Benson predicted two horses would go clean and inside the time on her Olympic cross-country course in Greenwich Park. In fact, nine of the 59 riders who finished earned a double clear.
But 15 were eliminated, and of those, 14 were either a fall of rider or horse. Brazil's Serguei Fofanoff and Barbara were eliminated for refusals at 20B, the skinny element of the Royal Greenwich Borough.
The most serious rider fall was Canadian Hawley Bennett-Awad, who was transported to the hospital after Gin & Juice fell at 3A, the Bandstand Rails.
“Hawley suffered a concussion, which is improving significantly. She also suffered a stable sacral fracture and was transported to a hospital by ambulance and admitted for observation and pain management. We will continue to monitor her progress,” was the statement from the Canadian Olympic Committee.
“Ginny” wasn’t injured in the fall and went back to the stables.
Irish rider Camilla Speirs and Portersize Just A Jiff also suffered a significant fall, at 24AB, The Rose Garden. The pint-sized Irish Sport Horse glanced off the corner and landed on his side. He was transported in the horse ambulance, but all reports were that he was just winded and was doing OK, as was his rider.
Other falls in order of go included:
Michael Ryan of Ireland fell off Ballylynch Adventure at 27B, the second element of the Saxon Village.
Alena Tseliapushkina of Belarus took a tumble off of Passat at 23, The Cricket Ball Basket.
Australia’s Sam Griffiths fell off Happy Times when the gelding slipped at 21, The Altar. “My horse slipped on the flat and lost his back end. Then the next thing I knew I was on the floor,” said Griffiths.
Belgium’s Carl Bouckaert fell off Cyrano Z at 3A. He’d been held at the start while Bennett-Awad was being transported off the field for her fall at the same fence. Cyrano Z twisted on the landing, just unbalancing Bouckaert.
Japan’s Takayuki Yumira and Latina fell at The Cricket Ball Basket. “It was my mistake,” said Yumira. The horse just tipped his hooves on the top, buckled on the landing and rolled over on his side, but horse and rider were OK.
Harald Ambros of Austria fell off O-Feltiz at 5B, the second element of The Chestnut Logs.
Canada’s Peter Barry tumbled from Kilrodan Abbott when the gelding had an awkward jump at 11B, the skinny angled hut that made up the last element of the Ancient Marketplace.
Kenki Sato of Japan parted company with Chippieh at 14B, the skinny sundial brush at The Sundials.
Australia’s Clayton Fredericks and Bendigo fell after slipping as they landed off the drop at 20A, the Royal Greenwich Borough.
Rebecca Howard of Canada also fell off her mount, Riddle Master, at 14B.
The Netherlands’ Elaine Pen was close to having a spectacular save in the water jump at 18, The Inland Waterways, but after trying desperately to climb back into the saddle from half way off the side of Vira for about a minute, she had to give up and let go.
The dressage leader, Yoshiaki Oiwa of Japan, came to grief on the landing side of 20A, tumbling over the head of Noonday de Conde.