Eventing Team Concludes Mandatory Outing Ahead of Tokyo Olympics

The Plains, Va. – July 2, 2021 – The U.S. Eventing Team concluded their Mandatory Outing at Great Meadow International in The Plains, Va. on Friday with show jumping. The team athletes, along with eight other top eventing athletes, competed over a 15-obstacle show jumping course Friday morning as one of the final tests before the team heads to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The U.S. Eventing Team comprised of Phillip Dutton and Z, Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z, and Doug Payne and Vandiver, all believed they had a successful morning of show jumping and both the horse and rider are in great shape heading in to the upcoming Olympic Games.

Phillip Dutton and Z

Phillip Dutton on the added value of the Mandatory Outing at Great Meadows:
“It’s been a great couple days here at Great Meadow and all thanks to everyone who’s put this on – it’s actually been humbling watching all the riders here, unfortunately only three get to ride and represent the country and any one of these riders you would be proud to be on a team with – there’s only three of us and Doug for example, but I feel very lucky to be apart of this and the trip and what’s ahead of us. Speaking of what’s ahead of us, I don’t think any of us have taken for granted the enormity of what we’ve got coming up in Tokyo. One the competition is going to be very stiff and the new format with just three on team, but like Boyd alluded to, everyone has put in a lot of work and effort – not just us as riders but there’s so many people behind us and I’m starting to feel pretty prepared and confident about our chances of us doing really well.”

On today’s plan for show jumping:
“I think it was a good course for our last major preparation and to practice what we need to do in the warm to prepare the horses and then go in the ring and try and ride the best we can.”

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg TSF

Boyd Martin on the added value of the Mandatory Outing at Great Meadows:
“I’m thrilled with my two horses here, obviously it was heartbreaking to have Luke out, it was a very, very sad moment when we picked up a small injury, but I was very fortunate to have two top class back-up horses – I feel like Tsetserleg is in the best form of his life, obviously we tumbled at Kentucky this year, but I think it’s made him better. Bringing him out on the cross-country he was eager to jump every jump and then today came out and jumped like a buck. I feel like [Erik Duvander] has sacrificed a whole lot, he’s walked away from his family, he’s still with them but left them in New Zealand and a huge sacrifice. Peter Wylde has also been incredible, just this year he has put everything in his life aside to improve us in the jumping. For me personally, my staff at home, my groom staff works around the clock, my wife Silva and the guys that work for me are incredible so I feel good, mentally stable, physically ready to roll and here we come Tokyo.”

On today’s plan for show jumping:
“I mean I only try to get Thomas to jump well at the important ones and I know that sounds silly but he’s been a work in progress – this is his harder phase and today I decided to see if we could get a good round out of him and he jumped unreal so I was thrilled with him.”

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z

Liz Halliday-Sharp on the added value of the Mandatory Outing at Great Meadows:
“This has been a really great opportunity for our horses to get back out and they needed to go and do a real competition. Most of our horses haven’t run since Kentucky which was nine weeks ago, and I think the preparation was great. Everyone put in a lot of effort to make this a super event for the horses – great ground, great courses, just enough pressure on the cross country to set them up. We didn’t want it too easy, but I’m lucky the course was fairly short so the questions came up fast, that was great to set them up and get them thinking ahead of Tokyo. Dinero Z is feeling fantastic, he’s in great form and really fought for me yesterday and is feeling in a great place. I’ve made this outing just a goal to put him in a really confident head place, it wasn’t about running around super fast or anything like that, just to put the horse in a good place and come away feeling confident and we’re to work hard and do our best in Tokyo.”

On today’s plan for show jumping:
“My plan today was just to give Deniro a really great, confident round. I didn’t want to chase him around too much, I just wanted to make sure the horse jumped very well. I feel like he’s in a great place now physically and mentally, he’s going to try his best for me and I can’t really ask for anything more than that.”

Doug Payne and Vandiver

Doug Payne on the added value of the Mandatory Outing at Great Meadows:
“First off I want to thank everyone for their massive amount of support and the work that went toward putting on this competition, for the horses it was very high standard and clearly it was – resulted in a lot of hard work from a lot of different people. The course was excellent, cross country I think presented a lot of good questions for these horses and got them sharp and a very good show jumping course here to finish it off, so I was very, very happy.”

On today’s plan for show jumping:
“I think just going into a competition like this, you’re trying to put your best foot forward, certainly clear in time would be the goal. For me personally, Quinn jumped exceptionally well and I am really happy with him.”

The U.S. Eventing Team will head over to Aachen, Germany next week before making the final long trek over to Tokyo for the 2021 Olympic Games.

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