Boyd, Andrea, Kathleen and I are all squashed into the truck driving home. The mood has now lifted a bit, but the feeling of disappointment will stay with us for a while. Saturday night we thought we could come home with a medal, and 24 hours later we were left with nothing.
Sunday morning was an early one to ensure the horses were sound and happy for the jog. Comet had to be withdrawn when he went into the hold box. He will live to fight another day, but my heart goes out to Becky and crew who were so close to gaining a medal.
After the jog, all the riders had a jump school with Katie Prudent to get the horses relaxed and not thinking about cross-country. Woodburn was looking fresh, and Phillip was happy with the way he schooled.
Buck and Reggie went in first and took one rail. Boyd and Neville were awesome once again and produced the only clear for the United States. Woodburn jumped well but had an unfortunate rail.
For me, it is gut wrenching to watch. I have a lot of faith in Woodburn and Phillip and know the he will be re-riding that line in his head for many days to come. At this stage Karen could only afford one rail for us to at least get bronze.
I would never be able to take that sort of pressure. Hence I am a groom, not a rider! It was not to happen for Karen. With 12 faults, any medal chance slipped out of our reach.
Needless to say everyone was tortured with the idea of being so close yet so far. All the riders are taking the blame for the loss. I am happy that the horses are coming home safe and sound, but it will be hard to avoid reading about the backlash from the eventing world.
I know that everybody will put in their two cents worth of how it should have been handled. I hope that people have some understanding of what effort has gone into getting our team to the WEG. Riders, grooms, vets, farriers and numerous others are involved in the process. We all know that changes need to be made and under the right guidance hopefully that will occur.
I think I should finish with a huge congratulations to the Canadian team—they had an amazing weekend. Eventing is a great sport, and even though it did not happen for the United States this time, I can only keep hoping that our time will come. Maybe before I retire…