‘Everyone agreed to give the opportunity to Harry’: Team GB manager explains Olympic showjumping team substitution

  • Great Britain’s showjumping performance manager Di Lampard has explained the reasons behind the team’s 11th-hour substitution ahead of the start of the Olympic showjumping at the Tokyo Games tomorrow (Tuesday 3 August).

    Speaking to H&H after it was announced that 22-year-old Harry Charles would replace Holly Smith in the first leg of the individual competition, Di revealed: “It’s a pre-competition change that has been made.

    “Before we left for Tokyo I discussed this plan with the team involving all the relevant owners.

    “The squad of four are working together to maximise their chances to bring medals home and everyone agreed to give the opportunity in the individual to Harry.”

    British Equestrian (BEF) announced earlier today that alternate combination Harry and Romeo 88, owned by Harry and Ann Thompson, had been brought in to replace Holly and Ian Dowie’s Denver.

    Mr Dowie’s Runningwell Sport Horses said in a statement: “Denver is still competing in the Olympic team finals, we have decided that he doesn’t jump in the individual event to keep him at his best.”

    All four British horses — Scott Brash’s ride Jefferson, owned by Lady Pauline Harris and Lady Pauline Kirkham, Ben Maher’s ride Explosion W, owned by Ben, Charlotte Rossetter and Pamela Wright, Denver and Romeo 88 — were accepted at the first trot-up on Saturday (31 July).

    The change means Harry and Romeo, Scott and Jefferson and Ben and Explosion will contest the individual competition, which starts tomorrow with a qualifying round (3 August) and concludes with the final on Wednesday.

    This is one of the major changes to the Olympic format for these Games; the individual medals’ being decided first. The individual qualifier will feature 75 combinations, the top 30 of whom go through to the final, all starting on a zero score. There will be a jump-off if there is a tie for medals.

    The team competition starts on Friday (6 August) with a qualifier, and the top 10 teams will contest the final the following day, all starting on a zero score. In line with the equestrian Olympic rules, a change may be made to the team up to two hours before the class begins.

    “A substitution may be made provided it is completed during the period between the end of the jumping team qualifier and up to two hours before the start of the jumping team final on Saturday, 7 August,” a BEF spokesman said.

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