“It was a freak accident in the barn – he fell asleep in the cross ties and somebody walked up to him and it stunned him,” explained Tamie. “He pulled back and slipped and crashed on the side of his wither and broke it.”
The US rider had hoped to have the chestnut as a contender for the eventing World Championships – where she was a team silver medallist on Mai Baum – but the accident put paid to Danito having any spring season as it took four months of rehabilitation, including swimming and time on the water treadmill, for him to return to ridden work.
Tamie admitted she was nervous about bringing the five-star first-timer, who does not have a great deal of thoroughbred blood and has only done three events this year, to Maryland, but he stepped up to the challenge today with a clear inside the time.
“He’s got a heart of gold and a huge step and gallop,” she said. “He was a bit distracted and green, but I was able to tap him and say, ‘Hey, pay attention’ and he answered all the questions great, stayed on his feet and was full of run at the end.”
Tamie had heard before she set out that Liz Halliday-Sharp had had a stop and retired at the Mars Sustainability Bay with Cooley Quicksilver.
She explained: “I would have thought that my horse would have been around the same amount of percentage of blood as hers and I had some intelligence from a good friend up there, Ariel Grald. She said Liz’s horse landed from the crab trotting so it was tired and we expected that they would be tired there.
“So I gave him two reminders maybe 20 strides out, like ‘Get your butt in gear, buddy’ and he came up the hill really strong and just jumped in and then I kicked him again and he just answered the question and went. He jumped up the bounce perfectly and got the three strides out like a million bucks.”
Her performance on the Maryland 5 Star cross-country today means Tamie sits just two penalties behind leader Tim Price going into tomorrow‘s showjumping.
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