Japan produces first clear round in the Olympic showjumping individual qualifier

  • The first clear round in the Olympic showjumping individual qualifier at the Tokyo Games has come from Daisuke Fukushima and Chanyon for the hosts Japan.

    The 44-year-old was the sixth rider to tackle Santiago Varela’s individual qualifier showjumping course, which consists of some tricky lines and combinations, an open water jump, and an influential upright at fence 10 featuring wings with sumo wrestlers. The fences range in height from 1.50m to 1.60m.

    Tokyo is Daisuke’s second Olympics, his first with the 13-year-old gelding by Chacco-Blue.

    “My warm up round was really good, but when he went into the course today the decorations were massive and the jumps got bigger so it was a little bit like ‘woah’ at first, but then he got used to it and it got better,” said Daisuke, who added he was nervous representing Japan, being the host country. 

    “Since [showjumping] is not a major in Japan yet, I think Olympians should be able to tell the country how wonderful a sport it is being able to compete with an animal.” 

    Also producing an early clear jumping round was Egypt’s Mouda Zeyada and Galanthos Shk, although the pair had one time-penalty. The top 30 combinations qualify for the individual showjumping final tomorrow.

    Mouda described his round as “amazing”.

    “My horse is not really experienced [enough] to be here. He had one year off because of Covid so it took a lot out of the mileage he has to be here,” he said. “I’m so delighted with how he jumped, he jumped out of his skin for me.”

    Mouda said the track was “tricky but fair”.

    “I think Santiago did himself very proud building this track. It’s fabulous to ride and it’s very interesting to be able to solve these equations,” he said.

    “Riding to the triple combination (fence 4) is a bit tricky, because the six strides is a little bit forward, but the seven is too short so you come really deep – you really have to compose yourself coming in. When you walk the course A to B is not that short, but it rides really short.

    “Also the triple bar is away from the in gate so the horses get really shallow after. You really have to gather them up and set them up for the vertical on the corner.”

    Mouda said his Olympic experience has been “great” so far.

    “I’m looking forward to tomorrow, I think I’m going to make it and let’s hope for a medal,” he said.

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