OG Tokyo: Gold for Sweden, the Netherlands 4th
The Dutch showjumpers ended on the fourth rank after the magical clear round of Harrie Smolders and Bingo du Parc. The Swedish team won well-deserved gold, followed by the USA and Belgium.
What an eventful final for the team championships today! Enormous disappointment for France that was in the lead before disaster struck. And finally, after a thrilling jump-off between the USA and Sweden, well-deserved gold for the Swedish team!
The orange team of Rob Ehrens gave it their all on the last day and came close to a podium spot. Nine penalties for Marc Houtzager and Sterrehof’s Dante N.O.P. sport-spr (Canturano out of Zidante ster IBOP-spr sport-dr D-OC by Phin Phin, bred by J.W.J. Soeter in Stokkum), zero for the reserve combination Harrie Smolders and Bingo du Parc (s.Mylord Carthago) and eight for Maikel van der Vleuten on his Bustique-son Beauville Z, totaled 17 penalties. More than one rail of a distance to the podium as our southern neighbours Belgium grabbed the bronze with 12 faults.
As Sweden and the United States both incurred 8 penalties after three rounds, all the riders had to come back for the jump-off. All the six riders remained clear, so the total time in which the teams had completed the course was decisive. The USA definitely gave them a run for their money, but as expected the Swedes claimed the gold. To say it was well-deserved is an understatement. These three riders have been in a class of their own in Tokyo. Out of 18 rounds, they cleared 16! Henrick von Eckermann and King Edward (s.Edward) were the only combination this tournament to maintain a clear slate throughout all the rounds. What an accomplishment at the Olympic Games!
Photo Dante: Dirk Caremans, Hippofoto.be