Despite a seemingly effortless round for most of the Olympic course at Rio today (Sunday), Ireland’s Greg Broderick and the Irish Sport Horse Going Global lost concentration at the final double, clipping both elements and finishing with eight faults on the scoreboard.
In this, the first qualifying round of a possible four, the Tipperary rider then had an agonising wait to see if his two mistakes would still keep him in the top 60 combinations who will go through to Tuesday’s second competition.
Higher penalties from some of the horses following eventually let eight fault riders and horses through to the qualification zone, but Broderick, who is Ireland’s only Olympic show jumper at Rio, must carry today’s penalties into the second qualifying round.
The Irish rider’s final place was equal 53rd.
A clear round from Broderick on Tuesday is almost essential, as only the top 45 riders from that class will make it through to the third round on Wednesday. If he makes it through to the third round Broderick would then need to finish in the top 35 to qualify for Friday’s medal competition, where all riders start on a zero score.
Though a controversial choice when he was selected to represent Ireland because of his low world ranking compared to some other Irish riders, the 30 year-old has nevertheless achieved a significant number of clear rounds in top class competition with Going Global, the most recent being his double zero score in the Aga Khan trophy competition at the Dublin Horse Show last month.
Today’s challenging course at Rio led to 24 clear rounds being achieved by a starting field of 75 riders, with two combinations racking up a single time fault, 26 riders collecting four faults, eight on eight faults, three on 12 faults, three on 16 faults, and one on 24 faults.
There were six eliminations, one disqualification and one rider who retired.
The second qualifying round will take place at the Deodoro stadium in Rio de Janeiro at 14:00 (Irish time) on Tuesday.