EQUESTRIAN: The Australian Eventing Team have finished in 6th position at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tyron and qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
After a mixed day in the jumping arena, the group ended the competition with a total score of 135.8.
Equestrian legend Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos stole the show with an incredible clear round and finished on their dressage score of 29.8. They just missed a podium finish and were fourth placed individually.
Australian Equestrian Team Chef De Mission Chris Webb said after the day's competition;
"We came to WEG to qualify for Tokyo and we have achieved that. No one can question the effort and application, perhaps the execution is something we still need to work on."
"Stuart Tinney and his team should be proud of what they have achieved at WEG, however they are under no illusion of what lies ahead in the next 18 months, and we need to celebrate Andrew Hoy's performance as he proves he is still world class."
Andrew Hoy could not have been more delighted with how his 9YO horse, Anglo Arab performed throughout the event.
"As I said at the start of week after I ran cross-country, he just keeps on growing each time I ride him in his performances this week. To finish on his dressage score at his first World Championships is absolutely extraordinary," Hoy said.
"When Stuart Tinney (Chef D'Equipe) said I would be the first rider of the team I said, 'Ok good well I am going to finish on my dressage score."
Hoy praised his horse highly and noted how quickly he has ascended through the ranks.
"He's just the coolest horse mentally. When I was walking down here I had to squeeze him then I could feel him take a deep breath and he grew and the more I went around that jumping course, he could have gone again.
"I could not ask for more. He's been continually finishing on his dressage score. Since he started his international career in 2015 he's had one rail down at FEI level."
There's no doubt the rapport between Hoy and Vassily de Lassos is unique and the stuff that could propel them to the top of the Eventing tree in the years to come.
"It's always about finding the relationship with the horse and every horse I get on, I have to take time with that horse's personality, where the horse is at and what I need to do with the horse.
"It takes four years to really develop a relationship, but with him it has been much quicker than that."
Shane Rose and Virgil also went clear in the jumping and finished on 57.4.
"He's a very good jumper especially at 3day, he's more responsive and patient," Rose said.
Team mate Chris Burton and Cooley Lands also posted a clear round (48.6).
"He's a lovely horse and gives you a feeling of confidence around a jumping course," Burton said.
It wasn't such a good day for Emma McNab and Fernhill Tabasco who had an uncustomary refusal and rails down (59.8).
"It as a real shock, he's never had a stop. He was jumping well but just spooking which is nothing like he normally is. Obviously not what I wanted today. It just wasn't a good day for us," McNab said.
Team GBR won gold, Ireland silver and the French secured bronze while Japan finished fourth and Germany was fifth placed.