New Zealand threatened to win medals in both the individual and teams events in the equestrian three-day eventing competition, but in the end it didn’t quite happen for them.
Going into the third and last section, the showjumping, it was Tim Price, aboard Vitali, who was best placed in the individual event, in fourth.
But Price had a torrid showjumping day, with Vitali hitting three rails. In the final, restricted jump for the top 25 riders in the individual event he hit five rails and he finished with 60.40 points, plunging him to 24th position.
The top-finishing New Zealander was his wife, Jonelle, riding Grovine de Reve. She was virtually flawless in the cross-country and very good in the showjumping and finished in 11th place with 41.90 points.
The third New Zealander was Jesse Campbell, on Diachello. The horse struggled in the heat in the cross-country and incurred some penalties in the showjumping. Campbell finished with 54.50s points and in 22nd place.
The individual gold went to Julia Krajewski of Germany, who was on Amande de B’Neville. Her final total was just 25.60 and she shaded Briton Tom McKewen and Australia’s Andrew Hoy.
The British were far too strong in the teams event, totalling 86.30, well clear of silver medallists Australia, 100.20, and bronze medallists France, 101.50. Even with a few rails down on the last day, New Zealand were fifth, with 116.40 points.
As is the way of it in equestrian sport, the New Zealand riders were very praising of their horses afterwards.
Tim Price said he was disappointed with how the jumping had gone. “He’s just a young horse and I haven’t had that much experience with him,” Price said. “He’s a good athletic horse, but not a straight-out jumper. I think he’ll be formidable in a year or so.”
Campbell said he was pleased to go clear in the jumping. “My horse has been awesome, except when he got hit with that heat in the cross-country.”
Jonelle Price, a medallist at the London Olympics in 2012, had three consistent days with very few errors. If Grovine de Reve had managed a slightly lower dressage score, she’d have been contending for medals.Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games