Harry Charles, Great Britain’s second rider from the three-man squad in the Olympic showjumping team qualifier at the Tokyo Games, has kept the team in with a fighting chance after posting a 12-fault round with Romeo 88.
The pair had retired from Wednesday’s individual final after the faults began to accumulate that evening, but looked in fine form early on during their round over Santiago Varela’s meaty track for the Olympic showjumping team qualifier. However once again, three rails fell and 22-year-old Harry coaxed home Ann Thompson’s super 12-year-old gelding with 12 penalties to add to pathfinder Holly Smith’s opening four-fault round.
“The score maybe wasn’t great, but I only found out yesterday I was going be in the team and I had little preparation,” said Harry, who was drafted back in after a minor injury to Scott Brash’s horse Jefferson.
“The horse had already done two massive rounds and today was always going to be more about giving the horse confidence. I knew I wasn’t going to go clear so actually the result was pretty good.
“He ended very good, very confident, so no harm done today and I think we’re looking in good shape to get in [to Saturday’s final]. You see already that three teams have been eliminated. I think the three-horse rule is actually a very bad rule, it’s totally unfair on the rider who makes a mistake. We all knew coming here that there was going to be a bit of carnage with this rule and you‘ve seen it today.”
With every team’s second riders having jumped, Great Britain were sitting in equal eighth position with just the top 10 nations progressing to the Olympic team showjumping final on Saturday (7 August).
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