My initial reaction to this course is that it’s quite typical of its designer Pierre Michelet. It looks really challenging.
From the off, riders will need to to be respectful and riding well as fence two looks quite upright, and the picnic table at fence three looks big.
Fence four appears to come up quickly. It's a typical Pierre Michelet question and each part will come up fast so riders will need to make sure their partners are on the ball at this early stage!
Fence five, a pine wood ramp, seems straightforward, but you should never fall asleep or disregard any fence on a course like this.
Fence six is a corner and looks like a true test of boldness, accuracy and agility. Riders will have to execute their line very well to prevent any kind of misunderstanding leading to 20 penalties and no chance of a medal.
I bet seven is HUGE! A ditch before a big brush fence. It looks big, but should ride well.
Fences eight and nine, all skinny fences, are a test of the horse’s boldness. The both need accuracy. I'll be interested to see if riders jump it face on or angle it, which will give the skinny a wider profile to aim at. The crowd barriers look close here so riders will have to be aware of that...I've no doubt the Brazilian crowd will be super enthusiastic though!
Fence 10 is pretty much a small hole in a bush by the looks of things! I don't like it.
Fences 11 and 12, a wall combination and corner fences, is a true Olympic test and classic Pierre.
13 and 14, a log and wood piles, should ride well as long as the horse is focused and on the riders aids for this turning question.
Fences 15 and 16, which includes the water complex, look related. This should ride well as long as riders are in balance. A trip up the step could easily happen here if either of the pair are too casual.
17a and b, a skinny and a corner, are a big test. Again the riders will need to be bold as I haven't walked the distance, but knowing Pierre it'll be a forward one. Both parts are big and wide, yet narrow fronted requiring supreme accuracy and turning skill. Easy to pick up a 20 here.
19 and 20 are very much related. The camber will play a part here and again the skinnies allow no room for error.
The next couple of fences are big, but are a bit of a let up. Two let up fences although they are big.
Yet again Pierre asks for a right handed curve test of accuracy with the corner before curving to the gate. The right curve has already been tested at 4, 8/9, 14, 17 and 20.
25, a water jump and out over a skinny, is another chance to get he horses feet wet which should prepare them for the next water challenge.
26, a tall, straight fence made from bamboo, is stark and tall so needs a lot of respect
Fence 27, a big jump over a wagon, looks big. The horses will be feeling a little tired now and will need support here
An overturned boat sets up the jump for fence 28. This looks a serious challenge for this stage on the course. It'll be all about having enough revs, accuracy and a good line to be successful here.
The last three fences appear relatively straightforward, but don't be fooled, on a tired horse when you're trying to make the time these are where you could make a very simple mistake.
It's a serious championship track by the looks of it and it'll be interesting to see how it rides!
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