LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC SHOW JUMPING - DUTCH OFF TO FLYING START
Day 1 Show Jumping Competitions Report
By Lulu Kyriacou for HORSE TIMES, London
The Dutch got their Olympic show jumping championships off to a fine start with four clear rounds in today's opening round. Jur Vreiling got the team off the mark with a clear round well inside the 82 second time allowed. Bob Ellis' course was bold but fair, ideal for a first championship round and there were plenty of clean sheets. As this round determines both team order to go and the start of the individual rankings, it was not entirely about being careful because only the top 35 riders after the end of the team contest will go through to the individual final. Saudi’s Kamal Bahamdan was the first Arab rider to go and Noblesse des Tess cleared all the obstacles but picked up a time penalty. Canada's Jill Henselwood had the unfortunate distinction of being the first to lower a pole and then added a time penalty, which was not ideal for the 2008 silver medallists team chances but following that, zero scores were common and time was the biggest factor in deciding the classification. Jordan's Ibrahim Hani Bisharat was the next rider to interest the Arab fans; Vreida has jumped well this year but today was not really their day as they felled three poles including the first part of the last double and their chances of making the cut for the individual final look slim already.
HRH Prince Abdullah bin Miteb Al Saud rode a very good clear on Davos for Saudi Arabia much to the delight of the large support contingent. Ramzy Al Duhami was the next Saudi rider in and the 40 year old, contesting his third games, showed all his experience to add KSA's third jumping clear, with two time penalties. He was followed by Syria's Ahmad Hamcho on Wonderboy, a horse he purchased from Britain's Ben Maher. Ahmad, who had a fantastic show at Hickstead recently, also was a victim of the clock but one time penalty would see him safely into the second round. Egypt's Karim El Zoghby had an early rail but then did well to regain his composure and finish with just one additional time penalty. Last but not least of Arab riders was the World Equestrian Games silver medallist Abdullah Al Sharbatly riding his former British ride, Sultan but they sadly had the very first fence and a couple of time faults - but the other excellent performances from the Saudi riders left them well in contention. Unfortunately, Ibrahim did not make the cut for the second individual round.
Among the other notable performances (both good and bad!), there were some surprises. Beezie Madden for the USA, a double medallist in Hong Kong, was eliminated from the individual contest after two refusals at the second double on Via Volo. Germany's Marcus Ehning had a time fault on Plot Blue as did France's leading lady Penelope Leprevost and Brasil's Rodrigo Pessoa, but the individual scores go back to zero after the team contest, so this will have little impact. Current individual title holder, Eric Lamaze was safely clear on Derly Chin de Muze which made up for the Canadian team's early performances. World Champions Phillippe Le Jeune and Vigo D'Assouilles were efficiently clear for Belgium. European Champion Rolf Goran-Bengtsson, without his number one partner Ninja La Silla, made little of substituting Cassall and was the fastest clear of the day. Matt Williams of Australia was eliminated from the individual contest with two stops at the water tray. Brasil's Carlos Ribas also suffered same fate at different fence. Lisen Frederickson, the last minute call up for Sweden was eliminated after a fall (horse and rider both fine).
- Clear rounds: 32
- The 15 lowest placed riders will not jump in the second round of individual competition but ARE ALLOWED to jump in the team competition if their nation has a whole team entered.
- Teams with three or more jumping clear- Belgium, France, Netherlands, KSA, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil and the USA.
- Most Olympic Games appearances: Canada's Ian Millar (Tenth Games).
Full results at http://www.london2012.com/equestrian/event/jumping-individual/index.html?v=9002012080410