GERMANY has made amends for losing out on top honours at the Olympics four years ago by securing the team gold medal in the eventing competition in Hong Kong.
They narrowly increased their advantage over Australia in the team show jumping round, held under floodlights at the Sha Tin arena.
Two of their squad, Hinrich Romeike (Marius) and Ingrid Klimke (Abraxxas), who remain in the gold and silver medal positions going into the final individual jumping phase, added four faults to their scores leaving the individual placings following the cross-country unchanged.
Andreas Dibowski and Butts Leon, whose score also counted for Germany, jumped one of the 14 clear rounds notched up during the team contest to rise into individual fifth place with another round of jumping to come.
“It is so wonderful to possess such a wonderful, magical horse,” said Hinrich Romeike. When asked whether this medal was fitting compensation for Athens he added: “There is no disappointment from Athens. Athens is put away and everyone in our sport is friends again.”
Britain maintained its third place following yesterday’s cross-country and collected the bronze medal. Individually, though, Mary King’s eight faults with Call Again Cavalier down the final line of fences proved expensive and this pair is now in individual 13th place.
“He was jumping beautifully, but he went a bit quiet down the last line. The first part of the double was quite small and he lacked a bit of spring,” said Mary of Call Again Cavalier, who hasn’t had a fence down in competition since 2005. “It was a shame he had to save it for here. I’m very disappointed, but my second Olympic medal spurs me on to keep going for the next four years to get the gold.”
A lovely clear round from Miners Frolic has elevated Tina Cook into equal sixth place with Clayton Fredericks. Megan Jones and Irish Jester remain in third after collecting four faults.
America’s Gina Miles has capitalised on a clear round to rise a place into fourth, although earlier in the afternoon she almost saw her Olympic dreams turn to dust when McKinlaigh was sent to the holding box at the final vets’ inspection. Another horse reinspected by the ground jury this afternoon, Ringwould Jaguar, the ride of Australia’s Sonja Johnson, also jumped clear improve in the reckoning from 13th to ninth.
Dressage leaders Lucinda Fredericks and Headley Britannia left all the fences intact, but added two penalties for exceeding the tight 94sec optimum time, thus missing the cut for the individual final.
One casualty from yesterday’s cross-country phase, Keymaster, the ride of Sweden’s Magnus Gallerdal, underwent an operation at the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s equine clinic today for a hairline fracture to his pastern. The gelding, who completed yesterday’s cross-country in one of the fastest times, only became lame when he was in the cooling station after finishing the course.
Viktoria Carlerback’s Bally’s Geronimo was withdrawn before the final vets’ inspection suffering from a tendon injury, while Danish horse Silver Ray, the ride of Peter Flarup, has incurred a minor leg injury.
The top 25 will go through to the final round of jumping, although with each country allowed to field only three riders some competitors below 25th will get the opportunity to jump for individual honours.
Stay in touch with all the Olympic news as it happens on Horseandhound.co.uk and read H&H”s full report on the eventing competition, on sale FRIDAY 15 August