Canadian Olympic equestrian rider Hawley Bennett-Awad of Murrayville, B.C., was discharged from a British hospital Tuesday afternoon after incurring a concussion and stable fracture of her pelvis in a fall on the three-day event’s cross-country course as the competition came to an end. Meanwhile, Germany repeated its 2008 Olympic medal-winning performance to take both the team and individual golds in eventing at the London 2012 Olympic equestrian venue at Greenwich Park.
Michael Jung celebrated his 30th birthday, setting a record in equestrian sport by becoming the first event rider to hold Olympic, European and world titles at the same time. He finished with 40.60 points astride Sam, just ahead of Sweden’s Sara Anglotsson Ostholt on Wega and Germany’s Sandra Auffarth on Opgun Lovo. Top Canadian, in 22nd spot, was Jessica Phoenix on Exponential.
The Germans clinched the team title even before their last rider went into the ring.
The battle for silver and bronze was a three-country battle between Britain, Sweden and New Zealand. The host nation eventually took silver while the Kiwis claimed the bronze. Canada placed 13th in team standings.
The 12-fence jumping track for the team competition was not demanding in height or width but had twists, turns, four roll-backs – and a tight time-allowance of 83 seconds.
A total of 53 horse-and-rider combinations passed the physical to start the finale after there were a number of slips, slides and tumbles on the cross-country portion – including Canadian Michelle Mueller’s Amistad, American Boyd Martin’s Otis Barbotiere and Wag, the ride of Poland’s Pawel Spisak.
The 5,728-metre Greenwich Park cross-country track – which has undergone two years of grooming to provide optimum conditions for the cross-country test – had several slippery patches, which caused several horses to lose their shoes and several riders to fall.
Among the victims was Bennett-Awad’s teammate Peter Barry, of Dunham Que., who fell from his horse Kilrodan Abbott. He was not injured.