Do we dare to dream?
Three fantastic clear rounds inside the time not only keeps Team GB in the Gold medal position, but also moves Oliver Townend into the individual Gold medal position and Laura Collett into individual Bronze after the cross country phase of the Tokyo 2020 eventing competition.
Pathfinders, Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class got Team GB off to the best possible start – flying round the course clear inside the time. This superb result was not only great news for the team, it also meant that the pair could finish no worse than in the Silver medal position at the end of the phase.
Only Germany’s Michael Jung and Chipmunk FRH could finish ahead of them and after he was awarded 11 penalties for activating a frangible device, Oliver moved up to hold that coveted top spot. These penalties can be reviewed, so this individual result could still be subject to change – but for now, Team GB hold both Gold medal positions.
"We know he's special – anybody who watches eventing knows he's special,” said Oliver. “He’s quirky, but he’s tough and the bottom line is that he wants to do his job, more than most horses."
Laura Collett and London 52 were next up for the team and they too produced an outstanding round to remain on their dressage score of 25.80. This performance moved them from sixth place up into the individual Bronze medal position.
"I’m not really sure I’ve got any words for it, to be honest,” said Laura of their round. “I’ve always said he’s a superstar, and he went out and proved to everyone just how good he is."
The pressure was on Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser to make it a clean sweep of clear rounds – and they didn’t disappoint. Yet another stunning performance from a British combination means that the team completed the phase without having accrued a single jumping or time penalty and head into the show jumping phase on their dressage score of 78.30.
"That felt absolutely incredible,” said Tom. “He was just phenomenal, so straight and wanting to jump every fence – I’m just really pleased that I could give him the ride he deserved."
There were just six clear rounds inside the time on the cross country – and three of those came from Team GB. All three British riders now lie in the top six of the competition.
This leaves the team in an incredibly strong position as we head into show jumping on Monday - Come on Team GB, those golds are within jumping distance!
Show your support
Don’t forget - It’s not only our riders who will be performing during the Olympic eventing competition this weekend – how we all support them and show our love for our sport will also be in the spotlight.
All sports are extensively monitored by the International Olympic Committee during the Games to gauge engagement, coverage, popularity and how good we are collectively at promoting our sport and success. We know how much we love eventing and equestrian sport – let’s make sure we show the rest of the world.
Like, follow, comment, share, tag, create stories…
You can help show how much eventing means to you by getting busy online – the more we like, share and comment on posts, the more buzz we build around the sport. If you don’t already, consider following key support channels such as British Equestrian, the FEI, Team GB and our channels at British Eventing. Give a like to those posts that catch your eye, tag friends and family that might enjoy them, share to your own channels and add your own positive thoughts and comments.
It’s all in the ‘tags’
The hashtags that we all use are a great way to engage with other fans and a means of getting our support for eventing and equestrian sport to be recognised.
Out in Tokyo, our horses and riders are competing as part of #TeamGB, alongside athletes from a whole range of different sports. Show how passionate we are about equestrian sport remaining part of this elite group by tagging @TeamGB or using the hashtag when you’re posting.
The key hashtag for eventing at Tokyo 2020 is #EquestrianEventing – it may seem a little obvious but that’s what the world will be looking for to find fans of our sport.
Let’s show the world how much Britain loves #TeamGB, #EquestrianEventing and all #Equestrian sports.
For more information on how to support, click here.