Defending champion Nino Des Buissonnets was among three horses sent to the holding box at the horse inspection for the Rio Olympics showjumping this morning.
The 15-year-old horse was passed fit to compete when Swiss rider Steve Guerdat re-presented him. The pair were the individual gold medallists at London 2012 four years ago.
The other horses who were held were Amarillo, ridden by Australia’s James Paterson-Robinson, Zeremonie, the US reserve horse ridden by Laura Kraut, and Eliot DWS, the reserve horse for Argentina and the mount of José María Larocca.
Amarillo and Zeremonie were also passed on re-inspection, but Eliot DWS will be re-inspected tomorrow.
Eighty-seven horses came before the ground jury — president Stephan Ellenbruch (GER) and members Elaine Zander (BRA), David Distler (USA) and Alfred Boll (SUI) — and the foreign veterinary delegate Tim Randle (GBR) in total. Only 75 will compete, but nations are able to trot up their reserve horses and swap them in up to two hours before the action starts.
The British horses passed without problems. The team consists of Nick Skelton riding Gary and Beverley Widdowson and Oliver Robertson’s Big Star, John Whitaker on Team Harmony Management Co’s Ornellaia, Michael Whitaker with Gary & Beverley Widdowson & Hayley Robertson’s Cassionato and Ben Maher with his own and Jane Clark’s Tic Tac. The reserve is Jessica Mendoza with her mother Sarah’s Spirit T. Nick and Michael’s horses were trotted up by their grooms rather than the riders.
The jumping competition kicks off on Sunday (14 August) at 10am local time (2pm British time) with the first qualifier. This is a one-round class which counts for qualification for the individual final and decides the jumping order for the team competition. Reserves can be swapped in until 8am on Sunday.
Full report on the Olympic showjumping in the issue of H&H dated 25 August, including full analysis of the team and individual competitions and comment from Geoff Billington.