Tokyo Paralympics trot-up: high spirits and nervous waits at first horse inspection

  • All four British horses have made it safely through the first Tokyo Paralympics trot-up today (25 August) ahead of the opening day of para dressage tomorrow, while one combination on the 77-strong entries list faces an anxious overnight wait.

    Two horses were sent to the holding box – Laurentio II, the ride of Russian Paralympic Committee’s Vladislay Kolosov was passed on re-inspection. Sterngreifer, the ride of Czech Republic individual competitor Anastasia Vistalova, was sent to the holding box, before being re-presented. But the ground jury has asked to see the 15-year-old son of Souvenir again tomorrow morning (Thursday, 26 August).

    The British side sailed through without a hitch. Sir Lee Pearson’s elegant 10-year-old homebred Breezer (Bacardi x Metall), presented by Jane Leese, was the first to come forward from the squad, looking relaxed and happy

    Next came Georgia Wilson’s ride Sakura, who fittingly shares her name with the famous Japanese cherry blossom. Nina Venables presented the seven-year-old chestnut mare, owned by Georgia and parents Geoff and Julie Wilson, who was accepted with a nod.

    Sakura was followed by Natasha Baker’s ride Keystone Dawn Chorus, owned by Joanna Jensen and Christian Landlolt along with Natasha and her parents, Phil and Lorraine Baker. Claire Gallimore presented the 10-year-old Dimaggio mare, who gleamed in the morning sun in Tokyo’s Equestrian Park at Baji Koen.

    Last to come forward was Don Cara M, owned by Roland Kinch and ridden by Sophie Wells. The 12-year-old Don Jovi gelding appeared delighted to be out, with one excitable moment as he trotted back towards the ground jury, before going to join his teammates.

    The quartet of immaculately turned-out Irish horses were all also accepted. Michael Murphy’s ride Cleverboy, who he co-owns with Bronte Watson, Elder Klatzko and Sue and John Murphy, opened proceedings for the squad and was given the wave of approval.

    There was a slight nervous moment for the Irish side as the ground jury asked to see both Serafina T, the ride of Kate Kerr-Horan, and Werona, ridden by Rosemary Jane Gaffney, trot again. But connections didn’t have long to wait before heaving a sigh of relief as both were accepted.

    Tamsin Addison’s own Fahrenheit was the final Irish horse to come forward, and passed without incident.

    US world number one Roxanne Trunnell’s record-breaking equine partner Dolton was in a spicy mood, on his toes with his tail in the air. The nine-year-old gelding was one of several feeling the excitement of the occasion that were asked to be trotted up again, before being waved through.

    Squads opted for a mix of sporty and more formal outfits. The Brits went for tracksuits and hard hats, for those leading up. The Danes looked particularly smart in white dresses and red blazers, or a full red outfit. While Ireland’s equine turn-out was particularly eye-catching, with Werona sporting a shamrock quartermark and Serafina T donning some subtle diamante on her bridle number.

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