Belgium Replaces Ireland at Tokyo Olympics 2021 Equestrian Event

Published 06/27/2021, 9:35 AM EDT


The Tokyo Olympics 2021 wouldn’t go ahead without a significant amount of drama. With the Irish dressage team withdrawing from the competition, their spot went to the Belgium dressage team. The process looked straightforward, but it’s actually a quite the rollercoaster.

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Ireland out, Belgium in for Tokyo Olympics 2021

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Three members of the Irish dressage team withdrew from the Olympics for various reasons. Veteran rider Judy Reynolds announced she’s retiring her horse, Vancouver K, Ireland’s finest Grand Prix horse. Kate Dwyer’s pregnancy stops her from traveling to Tokyo, while Anna Merveldt withdrew for unknown reasons.

Their teammates, Dane Rawlins and James Connor, still want to travel to Tokyo, but Horse Sport Ireland’s Performance Director, Johann Hinnemann doesn’t think his riders are up to speed. As a result, not only did he withdraw the Irish team from their first Olympic dressage spot since 2004, but gifted Belgium their a golden opportunity, as they field their first full dressage team since 1928.

It looks like the legal action taken by Rawlins and Connor did not pay off, and their relationship with Hinnemann and the HSI is in jeopardy. As Rawlins stated, “The HSI are not only killing the dreams of these riders but of a whole generation who will now think if they are not first string they will not be considered.

The Belgian team rejoices as they get a shot at staking their claim on the international dressage circuit. They weren’t even the first reserve team, but Luxembourg could not field an entire team, giving the spot to the Belgians.

Equestrian schedule for the Olympic Games

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The Olympic Rings monument is seen outside the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) headquarters near the National Stadium, the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo, Japan June 23, 2021 on the day to mark one month until the opening of the Olympic Games. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Following are the dates, timings and events for the equestrian games for the Tokyo Olympics 2021. The teams to watch out for are: USA, Great Britain, Australia, France and Germany.

Day 1 [July 24Dressage Grand Prix- Individual and team [1:30pm]
Day 2 [July 25Second day of Dressage Grand Prix- Individual and team [1:30pm]
Day 3 [July 27Dressage team- Grand Prix Special [1:30 pm]
Day 4 [July 28Dressage individual- Grand Prix Freestyle [2 pm]
Day 5 [July 301) Eventing Dressage Session One- Team and Individual [5 am]

2) Eventing Dressage Session Two- Team and Individual [2 am]

Day 6 [July 31Eventing Dressage Session Three [5 am]
Day 7 [August 1Eventing Cross Country- Team and individual [4:15 am]
Day 8 [August 2Eventing Jumping- Team and Individual [1:30 pm]
Day 9 [August 3Jumping Individual Qualifier- Individual Jumping [3:30 pm]
Day 10 [August 4Jumping Individual Final- Individual Jumping [3:30 pm]
Day 11 [August 6Jumping Team Qualifier- Team Jumping [3:30 pm]
Day 12 [August 7]Jumping Team Final- Team Jumping [3:30 pm]

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DIVE DEEPER

‘Top Three Riders are Well Deserving of Their Position’- US Equestrian Performance Director Eric Duvander Praises his Tokyo Olympics 2021 Team

about 1 month ago

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Nathan Fulgado

1200 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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