The Australian Eventing Team are ranked 6th following the dressage phase of the competition heading into tomorrow's highly anticipated cross country test.
Andrew Hoy made history today becoming the first Australian athlete to compete at 8 Olympic Games. Hoy rode the chestnut gelding Vassily de Lassos, owned by Paula and David Evans, to an impressive score of 29.60.
The performance not only boosted the overall Australian score but also sees the combination ranked 13th in the Individual competition.
Hoy believes Vassily de Lassos is one of the greatest horses of the world and sees it as a privilege to ride him.
"The joy that I get riding this horse is just unbelievable," Hoy said.
"I use one word to describe what I am trying to achieve and that word is harmony, and that is what I am working towards. It doesn't matter if it is the dressage, the cross country or the showjumping."
Teammate and Olympic medallist Shane Rose rode Virgil, who he co-owns with Niki Rose and Michelle Hasibar, to a score of 31.70 in the dressage. Currently, they are ranked 24th in the Individual standings.
Rose said he was pleased with his dressage test and is looking forward to riding the Sea Forest Cross Country course tomorrow morning where he will be the pathfinder for the Australian team.
"I think it is great. I think the course is really, really good," Rose said. "
"It is strong enough and is going to test the riders. I am very experienced at riding early in competitions; I do it every weekend at home. I am very confident with my plans and I just have to go and execute, and if it works well it will be great for the other two guys to go around and bring it home."
Fellow Eventing Team member Kevin McNab is making his Olympic debut in Tokyo riding Don Quidam, owned by Scuderia 1918. McNab scored 32.10 in the dressage phase and is sitting just behind Rose in the Individual competition in 25th position.
McNab was named as reserve rider for the Australian Eventing Team but was called up the evening before the start of competition to replace Stuart Tinney and Leporis. Under the new Olympic format Tinney and Leporis become the reserve combination and still have the opportunity to be subbed in later if required.
"Unfortunately it is one of those sports where it does happen, and I was a little way down the list, but I have ended up here," McNab said.
"It is unfortunate for Stuart, my teammate, I feel really sorry for him and his team but it is great to be here. There is such a wealth of knowledge between the team that I am lucky to be making my debut with them."
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