With both the Three Day Eventing team and the sole Dressage competitor finishing well outside the medal zone at Rio, Ireland’s full attention will switch to show jumping today, writes Jack Burns.
The country’s last hope of claiming an equestrian Olympic medal in 2016 now rests on the shoulders of 30 year-old Greg Broderick from Tipperary, who had a bad start to his Olympic bid on Sunday with an eight-fault opening round that left him in equal 53rd place.
However, Broderick and the Irish Sport Horse Going Global have a chance of redeeming themselves if they can finish within the top 45 riders in today’s competition, a difficult but not impossible task.
A qualifying score today would then open the gates for the Irish combination to take part in Wednesday’s third round, from which only the top 35 riders will make the cut for Friday’s medal competition, where all combinations start on zero penalties.
Ireland’s only previous Olympic show jumping medal was the bronze won by Meath’s Cian O’Connor and Blue Loyd at London in 2012.
At Rio this month, the Irish Three Day Eventing team failed to rise further than eighth in the team championship and ninth individually, which was less than Ireland had achieved at the London Olympics.
However, although not claiming any medals, Olympic debutante Judy Reynolds lifted Irish spirits yesterday by becoming the first of the country’s dressage riders ever to make it through to a Freestyle To Music Final.
The second show jumping qualifying round can be seen from 14:00 today at this link.