Harry Charles and Romeo 88 © BEF / Jon Stroud Media
Our three showjumpers for Team GB did us proud as they put in their best efforts to secure Britain a place in the team final tomorrow
A total of 19 teams competed for the top 10 spots on offer in the showjumping team qualifier this afternoon. With some of the tallest and widest spreads ranging between 1.65-1.70m, it was safe to say horse and rider combinations were pushed to their absolute limits. No dropped score meant every round counted, so the pressure was on for riders to get round the course clear for their team, within the 82 second time allowance.
Holly Smith and Denver were the first Brits to go, riding their debut Olympic competitive round very speedily and bravely, but unfortunately knocked fence 11 after a risky turn in attempt to shave off seconds. Finishing with just one fault but a fast time of 79.91, Team GB was left in a competitive position ready for young Harry Charles’ round. Only ever intended to jump in the individuals, Harry stepped up to the mark after teammate Scott Brash had to withdraw Jefferson due lameness. Though Harry and Romeo 88 weren’t Plan A, the 22-year-old put in a valiant effort but disappointingly knocked a rail on the third fence and then again at fences 11 and 12. However, Harry expertly got Romeo 88 back together to clear the final three fences finishing on a great time of 80.91, bringing Team GB’s total up to 16. Hopes rested with our reigning individual gold medallist Ben Maher for a place in the final as he and Explosion W took to the floor. Britain just needed to finish on a score lower than 29 in order to qualify and, with only the first part of the triple down after a close take off, Ben successfully saved crucial seconds taking a daring turn but still setting up the long-strided Explosion W well enough to clear the tricky fence 11, finishing a brilliantly ridden round in a time of 80.68, which put Britain on 20 penalties and guaranteed our team a spot in the final.
All ten teams’ scores will be reset to zero in the final tomorrow (Saturday 7 August), so it will be all to play for. You can watch from 11am GMT. The running order of the ten teams you can expect to see in the final are:
- Sweden 0
- Belgium 4
- Germany 4
- Switzerland 10
- United States 13
- France 15
- Great Britain 20
- Brazil 25
- Netherlands 26
- Argentina 27