Aug 01, 2021

Major Contenders Pass Final Horse Inspection at the Tokyo Olympics

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Equestrian Media Services Photo

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Glenfly, the Irish-bred former racehorse ridden by Marcelo Tosi of Brazil, was withdrawn, while Brazil also subbed in their reserve rider, Marcio Appel (Ibero Jmen) for Rafael Losano, whose mount Fuiloda G pulled up two fences from home on the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.

Click here to view the USEA Tokyo Olympic Hub.

Official Olympic Scores

Equi-Score Results

All three phases of eventing will be live-streamed through NBC here.

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