Australia’s triple Olympic team gold medalist Andrew Hoy galloped his way into the top spot with Bloom Des Hauts Crets after today’s cross-country, when rising heat and humidity provided a perfect environment to test the onsite cooling facilities for the equine and human athletes.
Sixth out onto Derek Di Grazia’s beautiful 20-fence course at Sea Forest overlooking the heart of Tokyo Bay, the seven-time Olympian and the 8-year-old Selle Français mare flew across the finish line with seven seconds to spare to take the early lead on a score of 27.7.
Hoy was thrilled to move to the top of the leaderboard. “It’s a very nice position to be in and if I win I’m very happy for this year, but it’s next year I want to win! My horse galloped very well and her heart rate and temperature were very good when I arrived. The cooling facilities here at the venue were absolutely excellent. As an Olympic venue, it’s ready one year before because the ground is excellent and the construction of the cross-country fences is very good, but next year will be very different fences.”
As the Australian combination was lying second after yesterday’s dressage phase, only overnight leaders Yoshiaki Oiwa and Bart L JRA could challenge them, but the home side star was 14 seconds down on the clock to collect 5.6 time faults and drop to fourth.
German superstar Michael Jung, another triple Olympic gold medalist heading for Tokyo 2020 as the defending champion, was second-to-last out on the track with the 7-year-old Fischerwild Wave. They too came home through the finish flags clear over the fences and on the clock to move up to second on 28.0.
“It was hot but it wasn’t really a big problem”, Jung said afterward. “The grooms and everyone took really good care of the horses and everyone tried to make the job for the horses and the riders as easy as possible. This is really fantastic here.”
Another pair for the host nation, Ryuzo Kitajima and Vick Du Gisors, were almost bang on the optimum time of 5 minutes 30 seconds to move up from fourth after the dressage to third ahead of Oiwa and Bart, with compatriot Kazuma Tomoto fractionally behind in fifth on Tacoma d’Horset. Britain’s Georgie Spence and Halltown Harley round out the top six and, amazingly, there’s less than a fence between them and the leaders.
Seven of the 16 starters remain on their dressage marks, while eight others collected just time faults. The only combination to pick up jumping penalties were cross-country pathfinders Kazuya Otomo and Condorcet, who had a runout at the second element of the angled rails double at fence 10 to drop one place to 16th.
“All the horses recovered really well after the cross-country, despite the challenging conditions, and they are all now back home in their air-conditioned stables at Baji Koen resting ready for tomorrow’s [show] jumping”, FEI Veterinary Director Goran Akerström said.
Ready Steady Tokyo test event (placings after cross-country)
1, Australia’s Bloom Des Hauts Crets (Andrew Hoy), 27.7 penalties;
2, Germany’s Fischerwild Wave (Michael Jung), 28.0;
3, Japan’s Vick Du Gisors JRA (Ryuzo Kitajima), 28.2;
4, Japan’s Bart L JRA (Yoshiaki Oiwa), 30.1;
5, Japan’s Tacoma d’Horset (Kazuma Tomoto), 30.4;
6, Great Britain’s Halltown Harley (Georgie Spence), 30.6.
US Equestrian is pleased to announce the dates and location for the 2022 USEF Young Rider Eventing Championship. This championship will take place at the Tryon International Three-Day Event November 10-13 in Mill Spring, N.C.
Sidnee Milner and My Valentine did not become partners out of sheer coincidence. The pony and rider combination that took home the 2021 SmartPak USEA Pony of the Year award were a product of the thoughtfulness and generosity of family friend and trainer Tawn Edwards. Milner was, at the time, a young and inexperienced child rider looking for a partner to teach her the ropes of eventing; My Valentine was a well-seasoned eventing pony who knew the job of advancing young riders well and was looking for her next partner. Over their three-year relationship, the duo have accumulated various ribbons and accolades together with 2021 being the most impressive of their seasons thus far.
Updated January 18, 2022: The 2023 Eventing Calendar webinar, originally scheduled to be held on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. EST, has been postponed and will be rescheduled with an additional commmunication in the coming weeks.