Dutch show jumpers seem to be missing out on medals at the Nations Cup at the Olympic Games. After two of the three contestants from the ten participating countries entered the final, the Orange team is in fifth place with 9 penalty points. Only the French knights did not make a single jump mistake, although they exceeded the time limit. France leads the standings with two penalty points, followed by Sweden, the United States and Belgium with four penalty points.
Mark Hotsager was the first Dutchman to enter the ring with Dante. Houtzager (50) led a net long run, but in the eleventh and twelfth hurdles, he’s still throwing a rod. He also received one penalty point for exceeding the time limit. Harry Smulders, who took over from Willem Greve in the final, then clearly went with Bingo du Parc.
Maikel van der Vleuten is the last to enter the ring, with the Beauville Z. This combination earned a bronze medal in the individual competition earlier in the week. Van der Vleuten can’t afford any mistakes and should hope that the top 4 riders who come after him throw the packs in.
“It’s all possible like this,” Smulders said. “The last lap is in reverse order and there is a lot of pressure on the last riders. I hope we stick to it and can jump from fifth on the podium. We have an extraordinary craftsmanship this week that we saw from Michael, I hope he does us a favor again today.”
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