Course designer Louis Konickx presented a great first-day challenge in which the narrow Longines wall at fence five, the 4-metre-wide open water at nine and the penultimate double that led the way down the final line all proved influential. Strong as the German contingent were today however, it was the defending individual gold-medal-winning partnership of Peder Fredricson and H&M All In who topped the individual leaderboard.
“it was a really nice course. You had to get going straight away between fences 1 and 2, you had to make a decision if you wanted to do seven or eight strides, and that set the pace for the rest of the course. All In is an unbelievable horse, and the plan today wasn’t actually that I had to win, but I wanted to be quick enough so that if I had a fence down I would still be in the competition”.
Maher was second-last to go of today’s 70 starters. “It’s always hard to wait until the very end, I didn’t get to see Peder or Max go. Explosion is naturally a fast horse, and he was very excited to be here yesterday, he was fresher than normal. I just couldn’t take a big risk today on the line with the Longines wall, that’s where these guys were better than me today. Explosion has won a lot but he’s young and he’s being a little bit careful sometimes at these jumps”, he explained.