All the major contenders passed the eventing final horse inspection at the Tokyo Olympics and will carry on to contest the show jumping phase in a few hours’ time.
The ground jury (Nick Burton, GBR, Christina Klingspor, SWE, and the U.S.A.’s Jane Hamlin) and vets only failed to accept one horse - Fantastic Frieda, ridden by Poland’s Joanna Pawlak, who had completed the cross-country in 41st place with a refusal and 25.2 time-faults.
Glenfly, the Irish-bred former racehorse ridden by Marcelo Tosi of Brazil, was withdrawn, while Brazil also subbed in their reserve rider, Marcio Appel (Ibero Jmen) for Rafael Losano, whose mount Fuiloda G pulled up two fences from home on the cross-country. Appel will carry forward Losano’s 36 dressage score, 200 penalties for non-completion of the cross-country, and 20 penalties for the substitution.
The jog was done in drawn order, meaning that Team GBR - currently in gold medal position after all three of their riders (Oliver Townend, Laura Collett, and Tom McEwen) posted clear cross-country rounds inside the time - went first. Townend and Collett and in gold and bronze position individually.
Second out were the U.S. team, who lie in fifth position but only just over two show jumps away from a medal standing. Doug Payne’s Vandiver, Philip Dutton’s Z, and Boyd Martin’s Tsetserleg all looked fit and ready for the final phase, which starts with one round of show jumping to decide the team placings. While the Brits, on a collective score of 78.3 after dressage and show jumping, have four fences in hand over Australia (Shane Rose, Kevin McNab, and Andrew Hoy), the Aussies’ score of 96.2 gives them no margin for error over France in bronze on 97.1. The New Zealand team of Tim and Jonelle Price and Jesse Campbell hover in fourth with a score of 104, with the USA on 109.4 in fifth.
The Germans, joint pre-event favorites for gold with Team GBR, are in sixth. Their Julia Krajewski is in silver medal position individually - just two penalties behind Oliver Townend - but Sandra Auffarth’s 20 cross-country penalties and the 11 penalties awarded to Michael Jung, Olympic champion at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, for breaking a frangible device at fence 14c has dropped them down the reckoning.
The Italian team are seventh, with Ireland eighth, the Chinese in ninth, and the Swiss 10th. Japan, hosts of these Games, are in 11th, but they still have a potential contender for individual honors in Kazuma Tomoto, fifth individually going into showjumping on Vinci De La Vigne. Tim Price and Vitali currently separate him from the podium in fourth, with Tom McEwen sixth and Australia’s highest-placed rider, eight-time Olympian Andrew Hoy, in seventh.
The showjumping commences at 5 PM Tokyo time, and the individual riders will jump first, followed by the lowest-placed riders from each team in reverse order of team placing in rotation, meaning that Doug Payne will jump first for the U.S., followed by Philip Dutton, and then Boyd Martin. Britain’s Oliver Townend will be the last of all to jump. This will decide the team medals and placings. Then, after a break, the top 25 will jump again at 8:45 PM local time for the individual medals and placings.
United States Eventing Association (USEA) members at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention were in for a treat on Friday as the U.S. Eventing Team was on hand to discuss their accomplishments this year at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
“Test the best without hurting the rest,” said show jumping course designer Chris Barnard as he and fellow designer Marc Donovan led a lively discussion for nearly 50 participants at the Show Jumping Seminar on the first day of the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
This afternoon, USEA President Louise “Lou” Leslie welcomed U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors members, USEA staff, and USEA Annual Meeting & Convention attendees to the first of two Board meetings which will take place during this year’s Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, with the teaser that 2024 is going to be full of initiatives for more opportunities to access the eventing experience, some of which attendees might get first wind of during this year’s gathering. The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place Dec. 7-10 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.
Welcome to the Show Me state and to Area IV USEA members! The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention kicks of tomorrow and features four full days of educational seminars, committee meetings, and social gatherings all with one aim—to bring the eventing community together to continue to improve upon and celebrate the sport that we all love. This year’s Convention takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Marriott St. Louis Grand in downtown St. Louis from Dec. 7-10, and we have rounded up everything you need to know to make the most of your time in the heartland.