Although it was a disappointing Tokyo Games for the Irish team in the Olympic eventing competition, Austin O’Connor fought on for an individual placing. And when he added just four faults in the final Olympic eventing showjumping round this afternoon (2 August) – around a course that caused a lot of penalties – he rose from 20th place after yesterday’s cross-country action, into eventual 13th.
Riding his own and The Salty Syndicate’s Colorado Blue, Austin kicked off his Tokyo campaign with a 38 dressage, jumped clear inside the time across country and then added four faults in both the first and second showjumping rounds. But as the jumping phases proved to be very influential, Colorado Blue was able to capitalise on his strengths, climbing 36 places on the leaderboard from the first phase.
Austin O’Connor reflects on his Olympic eventing showjumping rounds
“[Colorado Blue]’s a class horse, and it’s his first championship actually, so it’s quite a big deal,” Austin said after his final showjumping round. “I think the future is pretty exciting.”
Austin went onto explain what he thought of today’s showjumping tracks.
“The time was very tight, so it was sort of pedal to the metal – it was almost like a speed class. I think we were unlucky to have those rails down today, but I thought that, if we were going to go out of the competition, we might as well go down fighting.”
The Irish team finished in eighth place.
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