British equestrian Ros Canter has added to her country’s impressive record at the Badminton Horse Trials with a memorable victory on board Lordships Graffalo. Undeterred, Canter maintained her focus and drive throughout, ultimately securing the coveted £105,000 prize. And delivering a statement of intent ahead of the Olympic Paris. Her dominant performance from start to finish ensured her place in the history books. Further cementing the British dominance of this prestigious event.
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The 37-year-old equestrian rider was determined to maintain her lead and put in a faultless performance. She incurred just four-time faults to finish with a final score of 35.3 penalties. Her impressive 15-penalty winning margin is a record for any elite eventing competition. She highlights the outstanding skill and talent of her partnership with Lordship Graffalo. The duo had finished as runners-up in Badminton the previous year. But this time they left the rest of the field trailing far behind and are targeting Olympic Paris.
The chasing pack was led by former world number one, Oliver Townend, and his mount Ballaghmor Class. But they were a distant second, while Austin O’Connor of Ireland and his horse Colorado Blue claimed third place. This was O’Connor’s first podium finish at Badminton, coming 24 years after his debut. On the other hand, Townend secured his sixth top-three finish across the prestigious Badminton, Burghley, and Kentucky events. And that was by riding Ballaghmor Class to another impressive performance.
Canter expressed her delight with her mount’s performance, stating that he loved himself and that things could not have gone any better for him. She also acknowledged the support of her team, without whom she could not have achieved success. She is really excited about Olympic Paris Games.
Paris 2024 set to scrap Equestrian Eventing test event at Versailles to save costs
As part of an effort to reduce costs, there will be no eventing equestrian test event held before the upcoming Paris 2024 Games in France. Ahead of major sporting events like the Olympics, a full test event is traditionally conducted. But according to the website An Eventful Life, the International Equestrian Federation has decided against holding one for Paris 2024.
The FEI has confirmed that the decision not to hold a test event for the equestrian competition at the Olympic Paris has been made, at least in part because the competition is scheduled to take place in a temporary outdoor arena at the Chateau de Versailles. And that was to save on expenses. According to a spokesperson from the International Equestrian Federation, the decision not to hold an eventing test event before the France Olympic was made during the FEI General Assembly in November 2022 in Cape Town.
The spokesperson explained that the decision was based on the logistical and cost implications of delivering a temporary venue twice. And their main desire is to minimize the impact on the UNESCO world heritage site of Versailles. As there the equestrian events will be held. The spokesperson also noted that hosting a major equestrian event in a temporary venue without a test event is not uncommon. As such, the FEI is confident that the equestrian competition at Paris 2024 will be successful, despite the lack of a test event.
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In addition, test activities for pontoon water crossing and general venue familiarization are scheduled to be held in Versailles. But with invitations extended to National Olympic Committees and National Federations. The decision to use existing events and conduct targeted test activities is a cost-effective approach. As it will also minimize the impact on the iconic Versailles site and the local community. GL Events Equestrian Sport is confident that its plans will ensure a successful and memorable equestrian competition at France Olympic.
Olympic 2024: Irish eventing team secures Olympic Paris Equestrian Eventing spot
The Irish eventing team secured a spot at the Olympic 2024 by finishing in fifth place at the FEI World Championships held in Pratoni. The team, managed by Dag Albert, comprised Sam Watson, Padraig McCarthy, Susie Berry, and Austin O’Connor. Following the dressage round, they began the competition in 12th place with a score of 99.0. However, they managed to climb to fifth place after the cross-country section with a score of 105.0.
In the jumping round, they ended with a score of 136.8. And that secured their position within the top seven teams, who were eligible to participate in the Olympic 2024 Games. Germany, the USA, and New Zealand clinched the top three spots in the team eventing competition at the World Championships. While Great Britain finished fourth. The Irish team finished in a strong fifth position, with Sweden and Switzerland coming in sixth and seventh, respectively.
With this result, the Irish eventing team has secured a place at the Olympic 2024 Games. And joined the Irish showjumpers who qualified the previous month with a fourth-place finish at the FEI World Competitions in Denmark. Dag Albert, acting High-Performance Director for Horse Sport Ireland, expressed his delight at the team’s success. But particularly praising their performance in the cross-country section. He thanked all those involved in helping the team achieve their goals, including the riders, grooms, owners, and support staff.
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