Boekelo Cross Country
Heading out as pathfinder for the Aussies meant that at least Sammi didn't have to hang around all day....but the downside is that you have no real info on how the course is riding. There is always added pressure when you are riding for your country in a Nations Cup team but as always Sammi looked as cool as a cucumber when she left the start box.
Finduss PFB ( Louis) has had a couple of jockey changes in the last 18 months and he actually hasn't done a long format since Le Lion d'Angers in 2017. Louis hasn't really been allowed to gallop for 10 minutes before and while Sammi had no doubt that he was fit enough she didn't really know whether he would have the stamina.
Well, as it turns out, Louis has more than enough gallop and stamina! He simply flew and loved every minute of it and even with picking up a late 20 at the last combination still finished just 2 seconds over time... and only 16 of the 95 starters made time all day! He did get a bit strong and that didn't help..of course Sammi blames herself as always but he just took it on with such gusto that the skinny ended up being on 2 and half strides and that's where the penalties were then added on.
He really did think he was in the big time when he finished as he barged into people when he was being washed down and was generally quite the brat! Hels and Sammi both love the big orange dude and it was cool to see him looking so happy with himself and generally just enjoying the buzz.
Even with the 20 penalties Australia lie in silver at the end of cross country behind the Germans which is a very nice place to be in overnight. Video below courtesy of Sam Lissington who was 'spotting' for the Kiwis at the water!