Saturday September 14 was the day off for the dressage riders at the 2002 World Equestrian Games. The eventing riders, however, were put to their hardest test today, the cross country phase at the Garapillos military cavalary center in La Barca de la Florida, a small rural town in the delightful hilly country side near Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
In the lead after dressage were Bettina Hoy/Overesch and her dapple grey gelding Woodsides Ashby. Hoy received a phenomenal 20.80 score from judges Christoph Hess (GER) and Cara Witham (CAN) and left second placed Pippa Funell on Supreme Rock far behind her as the British pair scored 28.60.
Yet, after the cross country phase of today, the provisional classification dramatically changed. Winning the cross country with the fastest clear round of all was American John Williams aboard Carrick. Williams had a superb clean and smooth ride (11'44") over a cross country course that was worth its four-star label. Australian Phillip Dutton and House Doctor also dominated all heavy jumps but finished in 11'55" and ranked second. The French Jean Teulere and Espoir de la Mare cleared the course only one second slower than Dutton and placed third.
The American Eventing team is currently leading with John Williams placing first, David O'Connor 13th, Gina Miles 25th and Darren Chiacchia 26th. Australia is provisionally second and France third.