On the heels of anchoring the German Rio Olympic team to a bronze medal on Aug. 17, the legendary show jumper Ludger Beerbaum has announced that he’s stepping down from the German national team.
“It is difficult for me to take this step,” said Beerbaum. He will continue to show, but just not in international championship teams. “I will continue to participate in international tournaments. I have a few more interesting projects. I’ll focus on my competition stable, the training of young horses, and sell horses.”
The top eight teams after the first team round jump again for the team medals from 9:00 - 10:45 a.m. EST today, bringing their Round 1 scores forward to Round 2. The cumulative scores of each team's top three riders over the two rounds determines the medals—any medal ties are decided by a jump-off.
So, Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands and the USA—all tied for the lead on 0 faults—will jump again along with France, Canada, Switzerland and Sweden.
Dutch rider Jur Vrieling definitely didn’t have the Olympic Games he was hoping for. He came to Rio with Zirocco Blue as part of a strong Dutch team, after having helped them earn gold in the 2015 European Championships (Germany). “Five years ago, I said this was going to be my horse for the Olympics. And I came here with the feeling that I might have a really good chance at a medal,” Vrieling said.
There are 69 horses on the start list for the first round of the team competition and the second qualifier for the individual final (9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST). The first nine to jump are the individual competitors, with the remaining 60 members of the 15 teams rotating. They jump one course today, with a time allowed.
The Olympic show jumping competition takes place over four different days, with an initial round, two rounds that determine team medals, and then two rounds on the final day that determine individual medals.