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Equestrianism at the 2004 Athina Summer Games:

Mixed Jumping, Individual

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Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Centre, Markopoulo
Date Started: August 22, 2004
Date Finished: August 27, 2004
Format: Three rounds of qualifying advanced the top 45 riders to two final rounds, maximum of three riders per nation advanced.

Gold: BRA Rodrigo Pessoa
Silver: USA Chris Kappler
Bronze: GER Marco Kutscher

Summary

There were a number of notable absentees from the Athens Olympic Games. Dermott Lennon, the Irishman who had won the 2002 world title missed the Games as his gold medal winning horse, Liscalgot, had suffered an injury in 2003 that would eventually end her career. The same fate befell another top contender, For Pleasure, the mount of Germany’s Marcus Ehning had to be withdrawn shortly before the Games when it too fell lame. A different reason was responsible for the non-appearance of the top German Meredith Micheals-Beerbaum, her horse Shutterfly tested positive for the sedative hydroxyl promazine at the World Cup final earlier in the year and the German federation did not consider her for Athens. Of those that reached Athens, the Brazilian Rodrigo Pessoa and his “superstar” horse Baloubet du Rouet had been consistently amongst the world’s best for nearly a decade, German riders had finished 1-2-3 in the 2003 European Championships and Jos Lansink in his fifth Olympics, although this time representing Belgium instead of the Netherlands, was also considered amongst those in strong contention for medals.

A single qualifying round held on the 22nd of August was added to individual results from the team competition, those riding solely as individuals competed over the same course with the top 45 competitors moving into the final. The rule stating that only three from each nation could qualify for the final proved costly for the European champion Christian Ahlmann of Germany, he finished nineteenth but only fourth German.

Qualifying scores were not carried through to the final which consisted of two rounds of jumping over courses of increased difficulty. Only two riders produced faultless first rounds, Jessica Chesney-Kürten of Ireland and the veteran Briton Nick Skelton. Skelton was a sentimental favourite, having retired in 2000 following a fall in which he suffered a double break of his C1 vertebrae. By 2002 the injury had sufficiently healed that surgeons were able to pass him fit to resume his career. The outsider Daniel Meech of New Zealand placed third with a single time penalty but no less than twenty-eight riders were within eight penalties of the leaders.

For the second round riders went in the order of their positions with the leaders going last. Rodrigo Pessoa was the first rider to go clear, adding zero to his first round score of eight. As those around him produced disappointing performances he moved up the leaderboard until the entry into the arena of Ireland’s Cian O’Connor. O’Connor and Waterford Crystal jumped impeccably and stayed on their round one score of four faults. With only the last three combinations to go O’Connor still led with Pessoa and the USA’s Chris Keppler jointly in second. Meech and Skelton produced identical rounds, knocking three fences down and being slightly over the allowed time. This guaranteed a gold medal to Ireland, a nation that prides itself on its’ horsemanship, for the first time in Olympic equestrianism. The only question was whether it would go O’Connor or to Chesney-Kürten. In the event Chesney-Kürten would have a disastrous round, knocking five fences over and O’Connor would win the gold. A jump-off for the silver medal was decided in favour of Pessoa when Royal Kaliber, the mount of Chris Keppler pulled up lame.

On the 8th October 2004 it was announced that a urine sample taken from Waterford Crystal had tested positive for prohibited substances. The substances were later revealed to be Zuclopenthixol and Fluphenazine, anti-psychotic drugs used to treat schizophrenia in humans.

O’Connor requested that the “B” sample be tested but it was reported missing, believed stolen, in transit between Medication Control Programme Central Laboratory in Paris and the Horseracing Forensic Laboratory in Newmarket, England.

On the day that the news of the theft became public, the offices of the Irish Equestrian Federation were broken into and some documents taken although no link to the case has ever been proven.

A blood sample taken at the same time as the urine sample was later tested and the results confirmed the previous findings. The explanation given by O’Connor was that the horse suffered a fetlock injury a month prior to the Games and his veterinary surgeon recommended the horse be given a mild sedative to prevent him becoming upset, which might have caused further injury. Although the FEI inquiry absolved O’Connor of deliberate doping he was stripped of his medal, his Olympic results were annulled and he received a three month ban from competition. Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil inherited the gold medal, Chris Keppler (USA) moved up to silver and Germany’s Marco Kutscher took the bronze

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Horse Medal F JOF JOT
1 Rodrigo Pessoa 31 Brazil BRA Baloubet du Rouet Gold 8 4 49.42
2 Chris Kappler 37 United States USA Royal Kaliber Silver 8 DNF
3 Marco Kutscher 29 Germany GER Montender Bronze 9
4T Robert Smith 43 Great Britain GBR Mr Springfield 12
4T Dirk Demeersman 40 Belgium BEL Clinton 12
4T Peder Fredricson 32 Sweden SWE Magic Bengtsson 12
4T Kevin Babington 35 Ireland IRL Carling King 12
4T Rolf-Göran Bengtsson 42 Sweden SWE Mac Kinley 12
4T Ludo Philippaerts 41 Belgium BEL Parco 12
10T Thomas Velin 29 Denmark DEN Carnute 13
10T Nick Skelton 46 Great Britain GBR Arko III 13
12 Daniel Meech 30 New Zealand NZL Diagonal 14
13 Christina Liebherr 25 Switzerland SUI No Mercy 17
14 Son Bong-Gak 30 South Korea KOR Cim Christo 18
15T Taizo Sugitani 28 Japan JPN Lamalushi 20
15T Juan Carlos García 36 Italy ITA Albin III 20
17T Otto Becker 45 Germany GER Cento 21
17T Jessica Chesney-Kürten 34 Ireland IRL Castle Forbes Maike 21
19 Bruno Chimirri 32 Italy ITA Landknecht 23
20 Hwang Sun-Won 30 South Korea KOR C. Chap 24
21 Martín Dopazo 35 Argentina ARG Furka Du Village 25
22 Ian Millar 57 Canada CAN Promise Me 30
AC r2/2 Ju Jeong-Hyeon 29 South Korea KOR Epsom Gesmeray
AC r2/2 Vincenzo Chimirri 30 Italy ITA Defi Platiere
AC r2/2 Doda 31 Brazil BRA Countdown 23
AC r2/2 Wim Schröder 33 Netherlands NED Montreal
AC r2/2 McLain Ward 28 United States USA Sapphire
AC r2/2 Jos Lansink 43 Belgium BEL Cumano
AC r2/2 Leopold van Asten 27 Netherlands NED Fleche Rouge
AC r2/2 Malin Baryard-Johnsson 29 Sweden SWE Butterfly Flip
AC r2/2 Gert-Jan Bruggink 23 Netherlands NED Joel
AC r2/2 Beezie Madden 40 United States USA Authentic
AC r2/2 Vladimir Tuganov 43 Russia RUS Leroy Brown 17
AC r2/2 Fabio Crotta 24 Switzerland SUI Mme Pompadour M
AC r2/2 Antonis Petris 45 Greece GRE Gredo La Daviere
AC r2/2 Eugénie Angot 34 France FRA Cigale Du Taillis
AC r2/2 Yuka Watanabe 36 Japan JPN Nike
AC r2/2 Luciana Diniz-Knippling 33 Brazil BRA Mariachi
AC r2/2 Grant Cashmore 35 New Zealand NZL Franklins Flyte
AC r2/2 Florian Angot 31 France FRA First De Launay
AC r2/2 Rosen Raychev 37 Bulgaria BUL Medoc II
AC r2/2 Grzegorz Kubiak 41 Poland POL Djane Des Fontenis
AC r2/2 Kamal Bahamdan 34 Saudi Arabia KSA Casita
AC r2/2 Markus Fuchs 49 Switzerland SUI Tinka's Boy
AC r2/2 Cian O'Connor 24 Ireland IRL Waterford Crystal
AC r2/2 Ludger Beerbaum 40 Germany GER Goldfever 3
18T QR Christian Ahlmann 29 Germany GER Cöster
20T QR Gerco Schröder 26 Netherlands NED Monaco
27 QR Peter Eriksson 44 Sweden SWE Cardento 933
28T QR Stanny Van Paesschen 47 Belgium BEL O De Pomme
35T QR Peter Wylde 39 United States USA Fein Cera
39T QR Steve Guerdat 22 Switzerland SUI Olympic Z
41 QR U Jung-Ho 33 South Korea KOR Seven Up 15
52 QR Federico Fernández 36 Mexico MEX Bohemio
53 QR Ibrahim Bisharat 20 Jordan JOR Qwinto
54 QR Roberto Arioldi 48 Italy ITA Dime De La Cour
55 QR Ramzy Al-Duhami 32 Saudi Arabia KSA Fall Khaeer
56T QR Marcela Lobo Pérez 20 Mexico MEX Joskin
56T QR Guy Thomas 26 New Zealand NZL Nz Madison
58 QR Hannah Roberson-Mytilinaiou 37 Greece GRE Santana 329
AC QR Marion Hughes 36 Ireland IRL Fortunus
AC QR Bernardo Resende 29 Brazil BRA Canturo
AC QR André Salah Sakakini 47 Egypt EGY Casper
AC QR Tadayoshi Hayashi 36 Japan JPN Swanky
AC QR Tim Amitrano 25 Australia AUS Mr Innocent
AC QR Emmanouela Athanasiadi 39 Greece GRE Rimini Z
AC QR Bruce Goodin 34 New Zealand NZL Braveheart
AC QR Gustavo Ramos Hernández 30 Mexico MEX Minotauro
AC QR Éric Navet 45 France FRA Dollar Du Murier
AC QR Gerardo Tazzer 52 Mexico MEX Chanel
AC QR Danai Tsatsou 24 Greece GRE Roble Z
AC QR Gregorio Werthein 20 Argentina ARG Calwaro
AC QR Mark Watring 41 Puerto Rico PUR Sapphire
AC QR Ryuichi Obata 49 Japan JPN Oliver Q
AC QR Lucas Werthein 22 Argentina ARG Warren
AC QR Bruno Broucqsault 45 France FRA Dileme De Cephe
AC QR Federico Enrique Sztyrle 39 Argentina ARG Who Knows Lilly