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Olympic showjumper labels 2020 format “disastrous”

Eric Lamaze of Canada on Chacco Kid - © FEI/Martin Dokoupil.jpg

Eric Lamaze of Canada on Chacco Kid 

© FEI/Martin Dokoupil

Canadian showjumping legend Eric Lamaze has hit out about the format changes to the showjumping at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, saying it’s “the worst thing that could have happened to our sport.”

Under pressure from the International Olympic Committee to increase the number of countries participating in equestrian without adding more athletes to the Summer Games, the international governing body of equestrian instituted modifications for the 2020 Games.

These changes mean that showjumping teams in Tokyo will compete with three riders plus an alternate, instead of four plus a spare. Alternates can now replace a teammate during the competition, whereas a substitution could only be made before the first round previously.

This means there is no “drop score” (where the best three scores of the four team members counted) as has been the case previously.

The other main format change is that the individual event will precede the team event — whereas previously, the team rounds served as qualifying rounds for the individual final.

Lamaze is concerned the changes will negatively affect team dynamics and diminish the glamorous feel of the individual final, and labelled them “disastrous”.

The rules for the showjumping at Tokyo 2020 can be found on page 40 of the FEI Regulations for Equestrian Events at the Olympic Games, which can be found here.

 

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