It’s the turn of the world’s best Eventing athletes to stand under the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games spotlight over the next few days as all but one of the horses presented at this morning’s horse inspection at Baji Koen Equestrian Park were confirmed for action by the Ground Jury.
Very few stallions compete at the top level in eventing - let alone at the Olympics. Windfall did just that, winning a team bronze medal under Darren Chiacchia for the USA in Athens in 2004. The fact that Windfall now has not one, but two, sons due themselves to compete for the same country as their sire, the USA, in Tokyo really does make him one in a million.
We know a lot about the athletes representing the USA on our Tokyo team, but what about those essential people, the grooms? Catherine Austen finds out more about Courtney Carson, Emma Ford, Bridget London, and Steph Simpson in this edition of Tokyo Talk.
Phillip Dutton and Z are on the road to Tokyo! Dutton, the 6-time Olympian, is going into his 7th Olympic Games. Dutton’s first three Olympics he represented Australia and helped secure the team gold medal twice (1996 - team gold, 2000 - team gold, and 2004). The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games were the first Olympic Games that Dutton rode for the U.S., and he has been on the U.S. Olympic team ever since. Dutton’s most recent Olympic performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, he earned the individual bronze medal with Mighty Nice.
Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF are on the road to Tokyo! Boyd Martin has represented the U.S. in every Olympic Games, World Equestrian Games, and Pan American Games since he gained U.S. citizenship in 2010. Going into his third Olympic Games, he competed at the 2012 London Olympics with Otis Barbotiere and the 2016 Rio Olympics with Blackfoot Mystery. The Tokyo Olympics will be Martin’s third Olympic Games and Tsetserleg TSF’s first.
The secret ballot was held at the 138th Session in Tokyo, two days before the Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games, under strict COVID-19 restrictions. The Session heard presentations by Brisbane 2032, including by video link-up from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, as well as a final report from Kristin Kloster, Chair of the Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad – the IOC body responsible for monitoring and analyzing interest in hosting the Olympic Games and the Youth Olympic Games.
Doug Payne and Vandiver are on the road to Tokyo! Payne and Vandiver were first named as the traveling reserve but, due to Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z sadly withdrawing from the team, the pair are now going into Tokyo as part of the three-person Olympic team.
Tamie Smith and Mai Baum are on the road to Tokyo! Smith and Mai Baum were first named as the first team alternate but, due to Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z sadly withdrawing from the team, the pair are now going into Tokyo as the traveling reserve for the U.S. Eventing Olympic team.
Erik Duvander and Jenni Autry are back on the show to give us an insight into Team USA's final preparations for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
From the prep run at Great Meadow, quarantine in Aachen, and the travel plans for Tokyo this is a great insight as excitement builds.
We have loved following the US Team's journey to Tokyo and a big thank you to Erik and Jenni for sharing it with us, you can listen back to all other Team Talk shows on the USEA Podcast, too.
Australian eventing legend Andrew Hoy may be approaching his eighth Olympic Games, but the thrill of the world’s greatest sporting showpiece never dims.
“It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it,” he says.
Andrew, 62, has already taken part in more Olympics than any other Australian athlete. His first was Los Angeles in 1984, and he has been to every one since, except for Beijing in 2008. He has three team gold medals - from Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996, and Sydney in 2000, and an individual silver from Sydney, too.
Many things about the Tokyo Olympics will be new and different for its eventing participants, including, of course, the venue. However, they will be greeted by many familiar faces, for the world of elite eventing is a close-knit one. The majority of Tokyo-bound riders will know Technical Delegate Philip Surl, a British-based former top-level rider who has officiated at horse trials all over the globe, including the CCI5*s at Kentucky and Burghley.