The fate of the U.S. Show Jumping team fell into four-time Olympian Ward McLain’s hands in Wednesday’s Battle Royale for a spot on the podium.
The team entered Wednesday’s team finals in a four-way tie for first place with Germany, Brazil, and the Dutch after performing multiple clear rounds to earn perfect scores. The French trailed in fifth place with a mere time penalty.
Unfortunately the U.S. Show Jumping team had to withdraw two-time gold medalist Beezie Madden from Wednesday’s competition due to horse Cortes ‘C’ sustaining a tendon injury during Tuesday’s team competition. As a three- member team, the U.S. was not given the opportunity to use a drop score. The Dutch and Brazil teams also dwindled to three riders.
The U.S. Show Jumping team delivers another phenomenal day in the arena with a 5 point penalty score claiming a spot on the podium for the first time since Beijing. The team arrived in Rio hungry for a spot on the podium after a tough break in London. Performances from Farrington, McLain, and Davis left carried the team into Wednesday’s final round with a clean slate of 0 penalty points.
Kent Farrington set the tone for the team with a 1 penalty point score. Farrington and horse Voyeur are seconds away from a third clear round, but cannot complete the circuit under the 82 second time allowance, and accumulate 1 penalty point. Lucy Davis has one heartbreaking mishap, hitting a rail at the middle element of the triple to accumulate 4 jumping penalty points. Four- time Olympian Ward McLain comes in clutch with a second perfect day on the course, leaving team USA with a total of 5 penalty points.
France comes out fighting on Wednesday from fifth place position to take home a second equestrian team gold in Rio.
France fell behind Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, and Team USA in Round One of the Team Jumping Finals on Tuesday with 1 penalty point. Kevin Staut and Penelope Leprevost deliver clear rounds on Tuesday and Roger Yves ends the day with 1 time penalty point to land the team the No. 5 spot heading into Wednesday’s finals.
The French compensate for Tuesday’s performance with three back-to-back clear rounds to seal the deal on gold after just three competitors. France secures the gold early as the only team to score a total of 1 penalty point. The U.S. trail France by 4 penalty points, while Germany and Canada are forced into a jump-off after ending the finals in an 8 point tie.
Germany refuses to lose their spot on the podium after entering Wednesday’s competition in a four-way tie for first place. Christian Ahlmann, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Daniel Deusser seal the deal in just three rounds with flawless performances, bringing home Germany’s first Olympic team show jumping title since 20004.
The top 35 individual riders will compete in Friday’s jumping finals for individual glory on Friday at 9:00 am EST.