Tuesday 16 August - 18h57 | Lulu Kyriacou
GB out After Ist Team Jumping Round
The first team round of the 2016 Olympic Show Jumping in Rio saw the British fail to qualify for the Final tomorrow as France, USA, the Netherlands and Brazil all went through on zero scores after another dramatic day of jumping.
Today's jumping round was the first of the team competition but also counted as the second qualifier for the individual final which runs on Friday for the best 35 riders. The teams would all start on zero today but individual rails would count towards the individual final.
The course had an 81 second time allowed which proved to be quite tight and also featured the combination early on at Fence 4 and a difficult looking line of an oxer followed by the open water followed by a gate with an open looking double as the last fence. First to go was Luciana Diniz who needed a clear after an unlikely 8 faults on the opening day. On this occasion the Portugese star and her chestnut mare Fit For Fun, made light of the 1.60m course as well as the time allowed and gave the competition its first clear of the day, popular with the crowd as Diniz is Brazilian born. But by the time the few individual riders had completed and the first of the team riders came in, Diniz was the only one to have jumped without fault and over half of the others had had time penalties. The team tactics were going to be interesting with the tight time. Jumping the fences would not alone be enough.
The first round on Monday had determined the start list and the bottom four teams jumped all of their riders before the other teams started. The combination and the last line were proving most influential and Argentina's Bruno Passaro was the first to leave all the fences intact at the expenses of a single time fault on Ramiro Quintant, making up for their disastrous round on Monday where they had two stops in the final double. Right afterwards, Matt Williams and Valinski rode a foot perfect round to be only the second person completely clear. Rene Tebbel was the first to jump a second clear after the first round, although he also scored one time penalty. Of the first four teams though, Argentina came off best with a score of ten which became the total for the other teams to aim for as only the best eight would ride in Wednesdays team final.
Faults and appeals.......
The Americans's started well with a clean sheet from Kent Farrington and Voyeur as did the Dutch when Jeroen Dubbledam was faultless on Zenith. As Dubbeldam is riding with the imminent auction of his World and European championship winning horse hanging over his head, this was all the more creditable. Yann Candele and First Choice matched them but biggest cheer of the round was for Eduardo Menedes who sailed round on Quintol for the home team. He was followed by Christian Ahlmann and Taloubet who became the first combination to be completely clean, jumping and time, over the two rounds. Nick Skelton was judged to have a foot on the tape at the water on Big Star which he appealed as the decision according to the commentators was so marginal but the judges decision was upheld.
In the next round of riders, Peder Fredrickson joined the small group of those still without penalty and Lucy Davis kept the USA right up there with a clear on Barron. And Michael van der Vleuten reminded everyone that despite Monday's drama with Jur Vreiing, the Dutch are still the current World and Olympic champions with a zero score on Verdi. Romain Duguet ( Quorida de Treho) lived dangerously but gave the Swiss their first clear who was followed by Kevin Staut who did the same for France on Reveur de Hurtebise. Stefan de Freitas Barcha couldnt maintain the Brazilians good start and Spain and Qatar still had to score a clear round at all. Second to go for Germany, Meredith Michaels Beerbaum was also clear on Fibonacci. Eduardo Alvares Aznar was eliminated for two stops in the combination putting pressure on their remaining rider.
Third and fourth rider decider.
The third rotation began with the news that both Cassio Rivetti and Stefan de Freitas Barca were disqualified for overuse of the spur . Then into the ring came Michael Whitaker and Cassionato. With the first two British riders both having four faults the British really needed a clear but he was in the water as was Nick Skelton and then added a time fault. McLain Ward and HH Azur put a third zero on the board for the USA but they were matched by Harrie Smolders and the gorgeous Emerald which meant regardless of the next rotation both those teams would finish on a zero score. Martin Fuchs rode brilliantly on an argumentative Clooney to give the Swiss a second clear with their defending champion still to ride. Roger Yves Bost and Sydney Une Prince lived even more dangerously down the last line to add just one time penalty to the French score. Doda de Miranda rode a fabulous round in deathly silence as the crowd held its breath but then gave their rider a standing ovation as he crossed the line fault free. Daniel Duesser made sure the Germans also stayed on zero and certain qualification.
The last rider rotation began with John Whitaker under pressure for a British clear but it was not to be as Ornellaia stopped at the combination. Although Whitaker managed to finish, his 23 was the discard score and left the team on 13 and in imminent danger of not qualifying. Beezie Madden saw her individual chances take a nose dive as Cortez C dropped two rails but that did not affect the USA overall. John Whitaker will not have taken any comfort in being in good company when Jur Vreiling got his second elimination in two days for two stops on Zirocco Blue in the combination. The Qatar team added another four faults from Bassem Mohammed and Dejavu which gave them a chance of qualifiying and Eric Lamaze made sure the Canadian's got through with a clear on Fine Lady. The Swiss were counting on Steve Guerdat and although Nino des Buissonnets had a foot in the water and the following gate which put paid to their chances of defending their gold medal but it was enough to keep the Swiss in. The French were already through but Penelope Leprevost had a point to prove after her first round fall and she did that in immaculate style, flying round on Flora de Mariposa to leave the French on just 1 penalty for the team final. But the most crucial round, after their team member disqualification was that of Pedro Veniss. There was total silence in the arena as he and Quabri De L'isle jumped round. But they did not falter, and the arena erupted as they crossed the line, giving Brazil a zero team score and totally justifying George Morris' decision to leave Rodrigo Pessoa out of the side. The Brazilian result stopped Qatar from qualifying and meant the eight teams through to the team final are Brazil 0, USA 0, Germany 0, Netherlands 0, France 1, Canada 4, Sweden 8 and Switzerland 8.