Team GB withdraw from Showjumping Team Final

Olympics Games - FEI 2nd horse inspection Jumping 342 - GBR - Smith Holly ride Denver Photo Copyright © FEI/Christophe Taniére

Team GB withdraw from Showjumping Team Final

Team GB withdraw from the Showjumping Team Final, with competition already underway.

After the completion of the first two rounds in the Olympic Showjumping Final, the decision has been made to withdraw Team GB’s final combination, Ben Maher with Charlotte Rossetter, Pamela Wright and his own Explosion W.

A total of 24 faults despite well-crafted rides from Holly Smith and Ian Dowie’s Denver and Harry Charles and Ann Thompson and his own Romeo 88, has left the team out of medal contention ahead of the final round.

Team Leader Richard Waygood commented;

Holly and Harry rode with great skill but this is the pinnacle of Olympic competition and with 24 faults, Team GB will not be in the mix for a podium place. Ben and Explosion have shown their world class calibre in winning individual gold and we have collectively decided it’s in the best interests to save Explosion for another day.”

Despite entering the final after a successful qualifier, accumulating the penalties on course, Team GB were already out of medal contention before Ben had stepped foot on the course. Therefore, the individual gold medalist withdrew Explosion W to reduce stress on his ride.

Ben explained that Explosion’s welfare was of paramount importance. Going home doing one round less, Explosion still goes home an Olympic Champion and the tactful decision means they are not missing any oppurtinty for another medal. The withdrawal at the Team Final stage also reduces the unnecessary mental and physiological pressure on Explosion, with no chance of a medal.

After withdrawing, Ben commented;

We started well enough yesterday – it’s a new format and it was about getting here today,” explained Ben. “The guys did a good job yesterday, they gave me a margin that meant I didn’t have to put Explosion under too much pressure – I could afford to have a mistake and we got in comfortably today. But it was always going to be a different day and we knew it was going to be tough, it’s a big course and a lot of horse/rider combinations are making mistakes. Holly and Harry are young riders, they’ve ridden incredibly tonight but unfortunately it hasn’t gone our way as a team. Explosion’s welfare is paramount for me. I’m not a quitter on the team, I always push to the end, but we’re a long way off any medal contention and he’s done everything for Team GB and me as a ride this week, and the welfare of him becomes a priority.”

The withdrawal ends Team GB Olympic Equestrian competition at Tokyo 2020. The British Equestrian teams walk away with a total of two gold, one silver and two bronze medals, as they look ahead to Paris 2024!

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