Fighting French Fly to Victory in Olympic Team Jumping Final
France claimed Team Jumping gold for only the second time in the history of the Olympic Games with a brilliant performance at Deodoro Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, today. Lying only a single penalty point behind the joint-leaders from Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, and the United States after yesterday’s first round of competition, they added just two time faults to clinch it this afternoon.
Silver went to Team USA who completed with five faults while Germany won out in a thrilling two-way jump-off against Canada for the bronze.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for the French who have endured a series of setbacks. “We had bad luck at the beginning of the week with Simon’s horse and then Penelope” said team member Kevin Staut, referring to the withdrawal of Simon Delestre’s horse, Ryan, who was injured and then a night in the veterinary clinic for Penelope Leprevost’s mare Flora de Mariposa before the pair took a fall in Sunday’s first qualifier. Flora jumped brilliantly in yesterday’s first round of the team event but such was the strength of the French effort that she didn’t have to compete at all today as Roger-Yves Bost (Sydney Une Prince) joined Staut (Reveur de Hurtebise) and Rozier (Rahotep de Toscane) to seal it with three great rounds.
There were four teams sharing a zero score as the day began, but only Germany fielded a full four-rider side, as the elimination of Jur Vrieling (Zirocco Blue) hit the Dutch hard yesterday and the disqualification of Stephen de Freitas Barcha (Landpeter do Feroleto) left the Brazilians looking vulnerable. Then this morning it was announced that Beezie Madden’s Cortes C was withdrawn from the U.S. team after picking up an injury
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