Australia Takes Lead in Olympic Eventing After Cross Country Takes Its Toll on Field

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Chris Burton on Santano II on the Olympic cross country course. © 2016 Rebecca Ashton
Chris Burton on Santano II on the Olympic cross country course. © 2016 Rebecca Ashton

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 8, 2o16–Eventing was turned on its head on a cross-country course that could have been an episode of “Survivor” with Australia moving to the top of the standings with the multiple Olympic gold medalist Mark Todd of New Zealand putting his team into second place one rail back in his seventh Olympics.

Germany dropped to fourth place more than 20 points or five rails behind the leading team with the star Christopher Burton on Santano II, a Sandro Hit x Brentano II gelding that was switched out of dressage to eventing because the walk wasn’t considered good enough.

However, the pair ended cross country as individual leaders on 37.60 after being second after dressage behind Britain’s William Fox-Pitt on Chilli Morning.

Britain dropped to seventh place way out of contention while the United States was eliminated when Phillip Dutton on Mighty Nice and Boyd Martin on Blackfoot Mystery were the only Americans to make it through the cross country. Both riders previously competed for Australia.

Results:

RANK TEAM RESULT
1 AUS Australia 150.30
2 NZL New Zealand 154.80
3 FRA France 161.00
4 GER Germany 172.80
5 NED Netherlands 238.60
6 SWE Sweden 243.10
7 GBR Great Britain 252.10
8 IRL Ireland 278.40
9 ITA Italy 296.00
10 BRA Brazil 311.70
11 CAN Canada 331.10
12 USA United States 1097.70
13 RUS Russian Federation 3000.00