Hard luck continued for the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team as they rallied for a sixth place finish in the Team Championship at Greenwich Park in London.
American anchor rider Rich Fellers said “Clear rounds win medals,” and that proved true, as Great Britain won Team Gold for the first time since 1952. They did it in classic style in front of a home crowd of 20,000 fans, jumping off with Holland for the Gold medal. Saudi Arabia won Bronze.
The best American effort was turned in by Beezie Madden, of Cazenovia, who rebounded back from a rough start to the Olympic Games on Via Volo to fault at the third to last fence, a massive oxer.
“For sure it’s harder without saying,” Madden said. “And more technical. The water is more difficult and the double to the vertical is quite difficult ... and the last three jumps are just plain old big.”
Madden and Coral Reef Ranch’s 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare jumped a confident effort up to that point and were in good company on four faults.
“I don’t think she was so much tired as just a little aggressive,” Madden said of her rail. “Instead of backing up there she went at it.”
Madden said she felt like her mare was finally back on track after being eliminated in the First Individual Qualifier.
“She felt great,” Madden said. “It felt like a normal round out there for us today.”
Fellers, of Wilsonville, Ore., on Flexible and McLain Ward, of Brewster, N.Y., on Antares F, advanced to the Individual final despite the fact that they each had eight-fault efforts in the second round of the Nations Cup.
They bookended the team and Ward and Grant Road Partners 12-year-old Baden Wurtenburger gelding were unlucky to have the second fence down, followed by a mistake in the triple combination.