Albert bows out in 51st place

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Wednesday, August 01, 2012    

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LONDON, England — Jamaica's Samantha Albert ended her Olympic Games yesterday in 51st place of 53 riders that completed the three stages of the Individual Eventing at the historic and centuries old Greenwich Park equestrian centre here in London.

Albert, who will quit the sport at this level after the Olympics, finished with a total score of 142.20 penalty points and actually improved from her 59th place overnight after Monday's cross country stage and was the first rider on the course yesterday.

A jampacked venue with almost 50,000 in attendance despite gloomy weather and drizzle at times watched a gripping morning session that saw Germany retain their team Eventing gold medal ahead of the host Great Britain.

After her horse Carraig Dubh, a 12-year-old grey thoroughbred had passed an inspection during the morning's preliminaries, Albert had another 21 penalty points in the show jumping qualifiers to go with the 67.20 penalty points she accumulated on the first day's dressage and the 54.0 points she got in the cross country stage.

She picked up 13 time faults and eight jumping penalties yesterday in the preliminaries of the show jumping as the top 25 riders then moved on to the afternoon's final for the individual medals and placings.

Anthony Pasmore, the Jamaican equestrian team leader here, described Albert's performance as "excellent", pointing out that finishing this tough discipline was in itself a victory.

"Fifteen riders fell during cross country and were not able to continue," all three Japanese riders, including Yoshiaki Oiwa, who led the overall competition after the dressage, "so for Sam to complete the entire course was outstanding," he told the Jamaica Observer.

There were questions whether she would even compete yesterday after her horse lost its right front shoe early in the 5,728m long course and was further hindered when her ride was delayed after a rider in front of her had an accident and the competition was stopped for the safety of the athletes and the horses.

Pasmore praised the team for getting the horse ready to compete and said he passed the inspection "with flying colours" after trotting out well during the inspection.

With the help of a farrier from another team who offered to help, the Jamaican team worked through the night to get the animal ready, by icing the sore hoof and then fitting him with a new shoe and pad.



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