Ireland’s sole rider in the Olympic showjumping, Greg Broderick, just made the cut for the next round of the competition after a poor start in Rio today.

Greg had both parts of the double at fence 11ab down with Going Global.

“It’s very frustrating — he jumped as good a round as I felt he’s jumped since he’s been at 1.60m level,” said Greg. “He just had a little look at it, backed off and chipped the back rail. That left him a long way off part b.

“If the horse had jumped badly you’d have to deal with that, but he’s as good as any horse in the competition. I’m sure he’s going to be in the top 60 but I’ll have to jump clear on Tuesday to scape into Wednesday.”

All the team riders progress from today to the first proper team round on Tuesday, but only individuals placed in the top 60 so Greg just qualified by being placed equal 53rd. After Tuesday, individual riders have to be in the top 45 to go through to Wednesday, which is the final team competition and the last individual qualifier. The top 35 individuals after Wednesday make Friday’s individual contest, when they start again on a clean slate of faults.

The final line of fences where the Irish rider faulted caught out a lot of riders today. It consisted of a set of unusual planks at fence 10 standing at 1.60m, then a bending line on seven or eight strides to the one-stride double at 11ab, which again was visually distracting for the horses. Then it was a long four strides or a short five to the final oxer, which was square and set at 1.55m high.

The difficult double at fence 11ab on the first Rio Olympic showjumping course

The difficult double at fence 11ab on the first Rio Olympic showjumping course

Temperatures were touching 30ºC today, but Greg said this didn’t affect his 10-year-old son of Quidam Junior I.

“He felt 100% and there’s no excuse,” said Greg. “The horse is good enough to be clear. I’ve got to get stuck in on Tuesday and make it happen.”

Continued below…


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Full report from the Olympic showjumping in Rio in the issue of H&H published Thursday, 25 August, including full analysis of every round and expert comment from Geoff Billington.