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A Ride in Rio 2016

Christopher+Burton+puts+in+a+stellar+cross-country+round+putting+him+in+first+place+going+into+the+final+Eventing+phase.
Christopher Burton puts in a stellar cross-country round putting him in first place going into the final Eventing phase.

Christopher Burton puts in a stellar cross-country round putting him in first place going into the final Eventing phase.

Christopher Burton puts in a stellar cross-country round putting him in first place going into the final Eventing phase.

Kimmie Lull, Staff Writer

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The 2016 Olympics taking place in Rio, Brazil are in full swing with the top riders from each country competing head to head in Eventing. This morning, we watched as riders returned from yesterday’s technical dressage test to complete the cross-country phase of their three consecutive events. Although riding as part of the team effort, how well the course was completed will determine the individual medal for each rider as well.

This challenging course was full of thrills and spills. We watched as horses flew over narrow hedges and bravely leapt into pools of water, demonstrating the total trust and bond between horse and rider pair. Unfortunately we also saw horses lose their footing through tight turns, catch their legs and topple off of fences, and countless refusals and eliminations. We witnessed the youngest rider, 23 year-old Elmo Jankari of Finland complete his course with only a few time faults as well as the youngest horse at just 9 years old.

With a total of 33 obstacles, 45 individual fences, these athletes must be on the top of their game. The course was 3.6 miles long and had a time allowed of 10 minutes 15 seconds, set as the ultimate test of a horse’s endurance. To ride this round without time faults, the pair need to average 570 meters per minute or just over 21 miles per hour. Complete with obstacles sitting at the top of steep hills and tricky combinations on downward slopes these riders were allowed no room for error. It’s no wonder experts are calling this the most difficult cross-country course seen in the Olympics in a very long time.

To watch the live stream for yourself visit NBC here.

Team results after Eventing: Cross-Country

  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand
  3. France
  4. Germany
  5. Netherlands

Individual results after Eventing: Cross-Country

  1. Christopher Burton and Santano II from Australia
  2. Michael Jung and Sam FBW from Germany
  3. Astier Nicolas and Piaf De B’Neville
  4. Mark Todd and Leonidas II from New Zealand
  5. Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice from the USA
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