Equestrian disaster at Tokyo Olympics

By Dan Walsh

The dream of Wexford’s Bertram Allen and his Ireland showjumping team-mates of Tokyo Olympics glory has been shattered after Ireland have taken decision to pull out of the qualifiers for the team showjumping final after Shane Sweetnam’s mount Alejandro had a horrible experience.

Shane Sweetnam, Bertram Allen and Darragh Kenny (Pic; Horse Sport Ireland)

Bertram Allen and Darragh Kenny did not compete as there was no point as qualification was impossible.

Sweetnam, who replaced Cian O’Connor after his horse Kilkenny suffered a nose bleed at the individual qualifers on Wednesday, was the first of the Irish riders in the ring, but he came off the horse after barrelling into a number of fences and he lost a shoe in the process.

Qualification for the final with just two riders was a virtually impossible task and the decision was taken not to continue.

It was a hugely disappointing end to years of preparation and qualification, however, that is sometimes the outcome in equestrian sport.

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