The much-anticipated first jumping competition at the Escuela de Equitacion del Ejercito in La Molina started out with a bang for Canada with a clear round for Lisa Carlsen and Parette … and then the proverbial horse poo hit the fan. The pair were eliminated when the horse sustained a minor rub which is contrary to the FEI Rule 241.3.30 which simply states “blood on the Horse’s flank(s).” This is usually caused by a spur and was certainly not intentional but no additional details were offered.

The bad news is that Lisa can no longer vie for an individual medal; the good news is that she can compete tomorrow in the team competition and hopefully repeat the awesome clear round she had today. You can read the full report here.

It became apparent pretty quickly who the threats are in the show jumping. The US of course has a strong squad, led by today’s class winner Beezie Madden and Breitling LS. Those troublesome Brazilians are on the hunt again and sit in second place less than 3 points ahead of us. It is no surprise that Mexico is nipping at our heels in fourth place. As there are three Olympic berths up for grabs in this competition, technically we could come fourth as long as the US is ahead of us and get our Tokyo ticket, as they are already qualified. But that ain’t gonna happen we’ve got this!

I know that the folks back home are starved for some footage, but there is no livestream (what had been promised is actually located on some sketchy website) so your best bet, fellow Canadians, is www.cbc.ca/sports who do offer footage of various sports all day and hopefully will include equestrian coverage in the mix tomorrow and for Friday’s individual final.

***

A word here regarding the supposedly legendary air pollution in the Lima area, which is supposed to be the worst in South America. I had not really noticed until Monday and today; sitting in traffic was like being in a closed garage with a bus running just brutal. Luckily it was slightly better at the venue in La Molina east of the city, for the horses’ sakes at least. When even the locals comment that it is bad, you know it’s bad.

I will leave you with a list of things I have seen in the Lima area:

Cleanest jumps ever.

– There is no litter and very little graffiti and people are constantly sweeping and washing and raking and keeping things spotless. Peruvians are the tidiest people I have ever come across. The jump crew were even wiping down every fallen rail after they replaced it at the competition today.

– We passed a car on the highway with its entire roof covered in bananas not tied down, just neatly stacked there.

– We saw a guy juggling in the middle of a busy intersection. It is common at road crossings for people to be walking among the cars selling snacks or veggies or newspapers (sort of like the windshield washers under the Gardiner in Toronto).

– There are no pickup trucks here. None. I’m not sure if they are just too big to maneouver in the tight quarters on the roads, but coming from the Land of the Black Ford F150 I find it interesting.

– There are beautiful flower stands everywhere which seem to have enormous ready-made funeral arrangements prominently featured. I’m not sure who would just walk off the street needing one, but judging by the reckless way they drive here, perhaps funeral flowers are a hot item.

– It seems that 90% of the restaurants in San Borja near the hotel are chicken restaurants. It brings to mind that line by Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine, “Every night it’s the f*#@ing chicken!”

How do you want your pollo?