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One More Day Left in Equestrian Eventing

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It has been a crazy, good day and we are all wound up but tired. Karen is in 24th and rode very well, the U.S. team moved up to 5th. (We were 8th yesterday.) We have 155 penalty points and the German team is in first with 124.7, so between first and fifth there are 30 team points, and that, my friends assure me, is not a lot. Every rail that falls in show jumping tomorrow is worth four penalty points and there will be some stiff legs from the effort today.

On the U.S. team, the best individual scorers (the top three finishers are combined for the team score, the lower scores are dropped) are Phillip Dutton (47.10), Karen (53.80), and Boyd Martin (54.3). The other two riders both finished as well, and will be show jumping tomorrow. There were 60,000 people in Greenwich Park today but it was easy since everyone seemed to be thrilled to be there.

The weather was great, which always helps -- mild and breezy with sunshine and puffy English clouds, and even the royals showed up to watch Zara. William, Harry, Camilla, and few more sat in the stands or strolled the grounds with everyone else. Princess Anne came by the equestrian teams' hospitality tent when Grandma Joanne and I were having a drink, but like everyone else, we pretended we didn't notice. The Brits are in 2nd and had a great day for the home fans. The top three scorers on the team are all women. That is especially nice since this is the only Olympic sport where men and women compete as equals. Zara is among them, riding with no time penalty points on an Irish horse named High Kingdom that is the full brother of one of Karen's other horses, Mandiba, who is not here this time. High Kingdom lost two shoes, but finished strong anyway.

I will keep my report brief, as Nancy is showing me the pictures she took today on her iPhone, Suzanne needs some help Googling the "order to go" for tomorrow's show jumping, and Grandma Joanne is trying to figure out how the all-in-one washer-dryer in the bathroom works. It is late and we need to be up early for the show jumping tomorrow. Gill has gone home to Badger's Cottage tonight to see her husband. He is one of the Olympic volunteers who are everywhere, and who are all very friendly. Gill's husband is a retired Royal Air Force intelligence officer and an amateur rugby player. He was assigned to be security at the rhythmic gymnastic competition. (I know, who knew it could get rough in there?) Karen said she wished she didn't have any time penalties, but was happy with her ride.

The first place rider going into today fell, and so he is out (but unharmed) and David's Canadian team had three falls so the whole team has been eliminated. Grandma Joanne was very, very pleased that Karen made it around the course safely and in good time. "I've seen it all," she told me, "and it can be very bad," when we were watching Karen on the big screen TV from the hospitality tent, which isn't a tent at all, but an atrium inside the Maritime Museum with a bar and buffet. Equestrians prefer white wine, beer, or Pimm's to Gatorade. I spent most of the day running around the grounds of this ancient park watching riders jump different fences while Grandma Joanne looked at the BBC broadcast and socialized in there with old friends. "Today, I think people underestimated that cross-country course. Tomorrow ought to be really interesting as well," Suzanne just said, announcing that we had better get some sleep so that we will be fresh in the morning, when the ten teams that are still intact will show jump for medals and the top 25 riders will compete for individual medals. Nancy has just turned off my light, so good night (or good morning if it is where you are...)

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