Despite the disqualification of Tiffany Foster, the Canadian Olympic Team for Show Jumping is currently ranked in sixth position following competition on Sunday, August 5, at the London Olympic Games. Canada will compete in the team final at the Olympic equestrian venue of Greenwich Park on Monday, August 6.
With Foster’s disqualification on Sunday under the International Equestrian Federation’s (FEI) hypersensitivity protocol, Canada was reduced to three members. In team competition, the best three of four scores are counted, giving Canada the disadvantage of having no drop score. Counting all three scores, the Canadian Olympic Team for Show Jumping placed sixth in Sunday’s first round of team competition with a total of five faults. Saudi Arabia leads with zero faults while Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland are tied for second position with four faults.
Individually, defending Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze, 44, of Schomberg, ON, is currently tied for 13th position with one fault. Lamaze jumped clear, but one time fault for exceeding the 88-second time allowed left him one point behind the 12 riders tied for the lead on zero penalties. Lamaze, whose Olympic Champion partner Hickstead tragically died last November, is riding the newcomer Derly Chin de Muze, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Ashland Stables and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable.
“I was debating bringing this horse to the Olympics because she lacked experience, but (Canadian Chef d’Equipe) ‘Torchy’ Millar convinced me to keep going, and I’m glad he did,” said Lamaze.
Setting a world record in his tenth Olympic appearance, Ian Millar, 65, of Perth, ON, enjoyed a fault free performance over the London-themed track set by course designer Bob Ellis. Riding Star Power, Millar is tied for 17th position with a two-day total of four faults, carried forward from Saturday’s first round of individual competition.
“He was tense yesterday but today he was perfect,” said Millar of the 11-year-old Dutch-bred gelding owned by Team Works. “He was sharp, up in the air, and listening to me. I am very pleased with the step up from yesterday when he was a little over-impressed by the atmosphere.”
Jill Henselwood, 49, of Oxford Mills, ON, was first to jump for Canada on George, a 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Brian Gingras. Incurring four faults for one rail down, Henselwood now carries a total of nine faults and is tied for 47th place.
“If you were scouting for a basketball team, you would scout him – my horse can jump a building in a single bound!” laughed Henselwood. “George was phenomenal. He’s setting the stage, and positioning himself in the world of international show jumping. Perfection is earned, and I’m still on the journey.”
Henselwood, Millar and Lamaze were all members of the Canadian Olympic Team for Show Jumping that won the silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Show Jumping competition continues on Monday, August 6, after which team medals will be awarded. The top 35 athletes from the original starting field of 75 will advance to the two-round Individual Final on Wednesday, August 8, where they will all start with a clean slate of zero penalties.
The Canadian Olympic Team for Show Jumping is supported by Chef d’Equipe Terrance Millar; Assistant Chef d’Equipe Mark Laskin; Veterinarian Dr. Sylvie Surprenant; Stable Manager Lori Green; and Team Manager Karen Hendry-Ouellette. Grooms include Cristian Canobbio (Foster), Jessica Dooley (Henselwood), Delphine Rouston (Lamaze), Sandy Patterson (Millar) and Anne-Sophie Canut (Candele). Kerri McGregor is the Team Leader for the Canadian Olympic Team for Equestrian and Tina Collins is Assistant Team Leader.
For more information, including live scoring and results, please visit the equestrian sport section of the official 2012 London Olympic Games website at www.london2012.com/equestrian