TEAM GB in GOLD MEDAL POSITION after dressage
Three super dressage tests have left our Team GB riders in the Gold medal position after the first phase of the eventing out in Tokyo.
A fantastic score of 78.30 gives the British trio of Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class (23.60), Laura Collett and London 52 (25.80) and Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser (28.90) a narrow margin over the German Team in Silver medal position.
Oliver and Ballaghmor Class got the team off to fine start in Friday morning’s opening session. Their score of 23.60 was enough to put them in the Individual Gold medal spot – a position they held for most of this opening phase, just being pipped into Silver by Germany’s Michael Jung and Chipmunk FRH (21.10) in the last moments of day two.
“I’m very happy with my horse,” said Oliver. “We know he’s special and I’m just very grateful for him to do a clear round in there and a very safe test on my own terms. I’d want a little bit more but I think 23 is a very good starting mark for the team.
“The highlight was the whole thing, that he went in and did his best in conditions that he’s not used to in a stadium that’s very, very special.”
In the Friday evening session, it was time for Laura Collett and the appropriately named London 52 to do Britain proud and they certainly rose to the challenge, posting a very competitive score of 23.60. This left Laura in a great position individually and, crucially, kept the team in that top spot.
“I was a bit disappointed, because it wasn’t the best that he can do,” said Laura after her test. “He just didn’t want to show off like I know he can. So obviously I know some people will be pleased with a 25, but on a horse like him it is a bit disappointing.
“There was no atmosphere in there, normally you have that buzz and pick me up [from the crowd], maybe that was lacking a little bit and he didn’t realise that they were all watching at home on TV!”
Day two of the competition saw our third (and final – new regulations at this Olympics mean we have a team of three, with all scores to count) Team GB combination take to the arena.
Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser looked super-composed as they headed down the centre line at their first Olympic Games and rode a lovely test for a score of 28.90.
“I’m very pleased; he coped really well in there,” said Tom of their performance. “He loves situations like that. I was delighted with his walk today, I thought he walked really well.
“It was just the two early changes that really cost me. We’re still as a team in a strong position, and to be honest it gives me more emphasis to go and crack on tomorrow.”
Excitement builds ahead of tonight's cross country
This outstanding dressage performance from the three combinations leaves Team GB in a fantastic position as we head towards the cross country phase of the Tokyo 2020 eventing competition. Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class will be our cross country pathfinders, they will be the second pair on the course at 11.48PM BST this evening (Saturday 31 July) and we can’t wait!
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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.