Eventers Have Successful Cross Country Run Ahead of Tokyo 2021

The Plains, Va. – July 1, 2021 – The U.S. Eventing Team is currently hosting a Mandatory Outing at Great Meadow International in The Plains, Va, where 12 athletes gathered to prepare for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. On Thursday morning, they took their turn over Ian Stark’s 21-obstacle cross country class to prepare their mounts ahead of the Games. All of the U.S. athletes had successful runs, including the current U.S. Eventing Team composed of Phillip Dutton and Z, Doug Payne and Vandiver, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z and Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF

Boyd Martin on Tsetserleg TSF:
“It’s nerve racking obviously with this last run before the Olympic Games you just want everything to go perfect. The old campaigner Thomas was last to go and he’s feeling really fit and strong so I think I’m in good shape. The horses are fit and feeling good so not long to go.”

On his fitness routine:
“We’ve been galloping them every 5th day, 4th day – jumping them with Peter Wylde and doing a little bit of cross country schooling with Phillip and Erik Duvander. I’ve had my lovely wife tuning them up on the flat as well, so going into a big championship it’s a wonderful feeling that you’ve given everything you’ve got to give a good performance.”

Doug Payne and Vandiver

Doug Payne on Vandiver:
“He’s excellent, we always joke he’s an old man, but he’s seen it all so it’s pretty nice – a very comforting feeling honestly. You can just go out and kind of cruz around a little bit, that makes it a lot of fun and not a whole lot of stress so it’s cool.”

On looking forward to first Olympic team experience:
“I think we’re looking to keep refining and keep getting better. In the fourth spot basically I see myself as more of as a supportive role, unless called upon in which case you’ve got to be ready to do it, which two hours before anything I guess isn’t near enough getting ready as if your doing it – new experience for sure, new for everybody though so it’s a huge honor to represent our country and certainly looking forward to it.”

Phillip Dutton and Z

Phillip Dutton on cross-country gallop:
“It was good. It was a good last preparation for Tokyo. It certainly gets you sharper than just schooling at home. The footing turned out really good, and the course was about right. It was strong enough to make us all think and work, but it wasn’t overly taxing on the horses.”

On Z:
“He’s as good as they get. He’s starting to really understand each phase. He’s a real competitor. Hopefully that’s going to happen at Tokyo.”

On going to his 7th Olympic Games:
“It’s always pretty humbling to represent your country and being here with these other riders who, on any day, you’d be proud to be on a team with them. I just feel fortunate that I’m one that gets to go.”

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z

Liz Halliday-Sharp on Deniro Z:
“He was really good out there. We haven’t really had the exact prep we wanted for this so he’s a little rusty running cross country so it was really great for him to do this, but he’s such a super, super brave horse and he knows his job and he’s just honest. I think he’ll be in really good shape for the Olympics with just a couple cross country schools to tidy some things up a little bit.”

On going to the Olympics with Phillip Dutton and Boyd Martin:
“I feel amazing about it. I’ve thought the entire year, I thought gosh I hope I go to the Olympics and I hope it’s with Phillip and Boyd. Like it’s been my dream to ride with the two of them – they’re such wonderful athletes and so experienced and so professional. That’s what I want from this, go in as team that is there to fight for something and I’m just gonna try and take as much knowledge as I can from those guys cause they know so much about being at a big championship like that so I’ll just be trying to absorb it all and do my best and I think we’re all going there for a fight.”

Athletes will gather at Great Meadow International on Friday morning to complete the Show Jumping phase of the Mandatory Outing before traveling to the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.


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