And it seems won an award for whinging losers, the armchair brigade, not those who all put so much into their efforts, even poor Jock Paget whose horse cut its head on a protruding object in the stables before the event even began, giving Tim Price his chance that disappeared into the mud when his combination fell between obstacles on the seven kilometre "cross country" phase. An incident that left the three remaining riders Todd, Clarke Johnstone and Tim's sister Janelle all to show jump with no room for error. Another elimination would be 'The End'
Clearly many, including the moronic media with their accepted dearth of the real world understanding and 2016 industry standard lack of awareness, are wanting everyone to join them in their "End Is Nigh" reveal on the misfortune that befell Sir Mark Todd''s pony in his first attempt at the Show jumping phase of the Olympic three day event over night NZ time.
It could have been even worse, as aficionados of the sport accept and have as a constant additional stress, when competing with animals things can turn bad for any of a large number of reasons that all the training and practice will never prevent. Any one of the three horses and riders could have presented this morning and had the mortification of a horse being "vetted" out as all remaining mounts in a three day competition must pass a mandatory assessment as to soundness before being permitted to show jump. Boy oh boy does that test every ones composure.
Back in 1992 NZ equestrian rider Andrew Nicholson had a margin that allowed for his horse Spinning Rhombus to skittle seven show jumping rails in the final discipline and they still won the gold medal. What eventuated was a disaster when the combination managed to take down nine fences and drop to second to you know who, our neighbours from the West Island penal colony. Last night Sir Mark and Leonidas ll only removed four rails and the NZ team dropped from gold to zero in fourth place.
That is when a sportsman (Yes Women included) comes into their own and congratulates those who won and it is all left out there where it shall remain on the paddock.
Yes it can happen to one as experienced and street smart as Toddy, at least Nicholson and that unforgettable horse had nothing like such reserves to fall back on and with the clock running it is just not possible to stop and take a deep breath when that could be all it would take to put it right, as demonstrated so emphatically when Sir Mark and his mount went clear in the second round.