Olympics

Great Britain’s Nick Skelton appeals water jump faults on Day 2 of Olympic jumping

Rider wonders if water jumps have a place at Olympic Games

The Longines Global Champions Tour of Estoril ph.Stefano Grasso/Longines Global Champions Tour

Great Britain’s Nick Skelton is appealing his four faults at the water jump on Day 2 of the jumping qualifier at the Rio Olympics after the jump judge ruled his horse touched the red tape.

The water jump has proven problematic for many riders on the tightly timed course designed by Brazilian Guilherme Jorge, which has left no room for error.

Following his near perfect round, Skelton told journalists his horse Big Star has “never been in the water. I don’t think he was even in that one from all accounts,” he said. “He put his feet over it, his heel touched the tape, which is allowed,” he said. “We’re appealing it. I mean, the horse jumped amazing.”

Skelton took issue with the fact the jump judge didn’t call the fault immediately. “He didn’t call it until two fences after. I had no idea,” he said.

“Should we have these water jumps? That’s the thing. Because it’s down to someone’s opinion and sometimes they can’t get it right in a split second.”

“I’m hopeful (about the appeal). But it’s the Olympic Games,” he added.

Skelton’s teammate Ben Maher, who is also carrying four faults after Day 2, said he was already on his horse warming up so didn’t see the water jump but says it’s difficult to judge with the lighting. “It can be deceptive if the horse’s foot misses the tape and it could be the boot was the thing that touched. That would make a huge difference in our position right now,” he said.

“We’re just a little short on luck on our team right now but there’s still a long way to go,” added Maher.

Skelton was part of the gold medal winning team at the London Olympics in 2012.


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