‘Like being in a tumble drier’: Holly Smith jumps first for Britain in Olympic team medal decider

  • It was a less than ideal start for Britain in the Olympic showjumping team final at the Tokyo Olympics, as Holly Smith and Denver had three down and a foot in the water to finish on 16 faults.

    The team pathfinders had got off to a strong start on Santiago Varela’s 14-fence track, and it was looking to be a good round until the sixth fence – the nature, landscape and animals treble. Holly was heard to cry “woah” on the approach, and Denver rattled the first upright.

    That stayed in place but the second element, an oxer with a water tray, fell.

    Denver then looked a bit far off the water at fence nine and landed with a foot in it for another four faults. They hit the second part of the double at fence 12, a 1.65m oxer, and the Japanese calligraphy oxer at fence 13.

    “The result just isn’t good enough, we’re a great showjumping nation and it must be better than that,” Holly said.

    “It started off really well, I think. The beginning of the round was great, an unlucky fault in the middle of the combination; he jumped a little bit to the right at the oxer, normally he jumps to the left. The seven strides then became ridiculously long and it just unravelled a bit after that.

    “But we’ll come back by thinking ‘I’m tough, my team’s tough, bring on Paris’.”

    Holly said today’s track is tougher than yesterday’s, for the medal decider, adding: “It’s like being in a tumble drier in there.”

    “Let’s see what Harry and Ben can do,” she said.

    Harry Charles and Romeo 88 are the next combination due to jump for Britain, 14th to go in the overall order.

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.

    You may like...