One horse didn't phone it in. Today's Advanced division of the cross-country phase of the Land Rover US Eventing Championship at Chattahoochee Hills in Georgia was a "mandatory outing" for the horses and riders who are short-listed for the US and Canadian eventing teams that will compete at the World Equestrian Games at the end of the month.
However several combinations were excused from the cross-country, and others elected not to push their horses, or deliberately only completed part of the course. This meant that they were disqualified. Others gunned on for the national championship. That included everyone in Advanced who is not on the Short List...and those who are, and thought it best to prove to the selectors just how well their horses are going.
And that was the case with crowd favorite Courageous Comet, ridden by his owner, Becky Holder. Veterans of the 2008 US Olympic Team, Courageous Comet and Holder finished third at the Rolex Kentucky**** in April of this year, and they know their way around the Horse Park well.
Was their performance today impressive enough? We'll see how they do in show jumping tomorrow. A national title would be a nice consolation prize, but a ticket to Kentucky is what is on Becky's mind tonight.
The US Equestrian Federation (USEF) is expected to announce the final team on Monday.