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Glenfly, the Irish-bred former racehorse ridden by Marcelo Tosi of Brazil, was withdrawn, while Brazil also subbed in their reserve rider, Marcio Appel (Ibero Jmen) for Rafael Losano, whose mount Fuiloda G pulled up two fences from home on the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.
The USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is an educational tool that was developed over the course of two years and is loaded with materials and resources targeted for all levels of eventing professionals, instructors, and coaches.
The USEA Future Event Horse Program (FEH) was introduced in 2007 to evaluate yearlings, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, and 4-year-olds for their suitability for the sport of eventing based on conformation and type. The FEH program also created a pipeline for horses to gain experience competing before attending USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) competitions.
The key to eventing’s success lies heavily in the organizers who put on our events. The USEA is proud to recognize each year the organizers who have made contributions to the sport through their organizational efforts. For 2021, the USEA Organizers Appreciation Honor Roll of Names honors nearly 200 organizers for five to 25+ years of service. The Blue Ribbon is awarded to those organizers with five to nine years of service, the Bronze Medal recognizes organizers with 10-14 years of service, organizers who have contributed 15-19 years of service are awarded the Silver Medal, those with 20-24 years of service will receive the Gold Medal, and a select few with 25 years or more of service as organizers are bestowed the title of Platinum Medal organizers.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the members of its newly populated Eventing Elite Program Task Force. These respected members of the Eventing community have proven expertise in sport on a global level within their respective roles and represent a diverse constituency of athletes, owners, coaches, licensed officials, governance leadership, and team support personnel.