‘The whole course is tough — and the time is very tight’: riders react to Olympic team showjumping track

  • The whole course is difficult and the time very tight, is the reaction from early riders in the Olympic team showjumping qualifier at the Tokyo Olympics.

    Clear rounds inside the time have been hard to come by in today’s Olympic showjumping team qualifying competition, designed by Spain’s Santiago Varela, in which two combinations have been eliminated for horse falls so far.

    Mexican rider Enrique Gonzalez, who had finished on one time-fault on his 14-year-old ride Chacna, said: “The whole course is difficult; you cannot expect to come to the Olympic Games and think the course is going to be easy, but we’ve been working so hard to be here and, and to make this happen for my team is fantastic.”

    Enrique added that he had to change some of his plans on course.

    “After the triple combination, I had planned to do four strides to the vertical, and she landed a little bit shallow from the oxer, so the minute she landed I decided to do an extra stride and do five, and fortunately it worked out,” he said.

    “The last line is really complicated. I decided to do that on six instead of five. I think there are some horses that are going to make it work with five, but for me it’s a six. Then it’s five to the [next fence, which is quite long] then you have two vertical planks, which you just touch and they come down.”

    US rider Laura Kraut, who finished on four faults on Baloutinue, said: “Both my teammates know their horses really well so I probably won’t give them too much advice, other than the time allowed is very, very short. I didn’t feel I wasted time anywhere; my horse is really a naturally quick horse and I was just under – I think I was less than a second and a half under.”

    Willem Greve of the Netherlands, who lowered three rails and clocked up one time-fault for a total of 13 on Zypria S, added: “The height of the jumps is fine, it’s just you have to have a good plan. It comes up quite quick, forward and long.”

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