LONDON, England — After a "disappointing" first full day of competition in Individual Eventing at the XXX Olympiad at Greenwich Park, Jamaica's Samantha Albert says she is looking forward to improvements as she continues on tomorrow's second stage of the three-day equestrian event.
The Canadian-born Albert finished 33rd out of 37 riders on the first day of the event with 67.20 penalties after her horse Carraig Dubh reacted badly in his first major competition.
The leaders, Germany's Ingrid Klimke and Dirk Schrade, have both scored less than 40 penalties to be well ahead of the Jamaican, whose medal hopes, slim as they were in coming, were dashed yesterday.
"I am very disappointed," Albert told the Jamaica Observer. "He (the horse) could do a lot better than that (but) the atmosphere got to him, he was looking at the big screens and got quite tense at the beginning but he got settled later."
She said the big grey horse was in his first real major test and that "his trot work, which is at the beginning of the test, is his good work and his trot work is usually very, very good, but he lost it in the trot, his canter work he did settle and he was good, but not what I was hoping for."
Today, which is a day off, Albert plans to "give the horse a gallop and a jump" before tomorrow's cross country event which she hopes will be better.
"I hope he will get better," she said, "but you can't tell as he has never been in that sort of atmosphere before, so I am hoping it will be different." She explained that "in cross country, because you are galloping and moving forward and they sort of focus on the jumps, I think he will be a lot different when he gets out there".
Tony Pasmore, the equestrian team leader here, reported that things were going well since they arrived. "Sam has been working hard," he said, before adding: "You are given schedules each day, each country gets an area to work in and it's very specific and very punctual."
He noted that they had packed days. "We leave out very early in the mornings, depending on what time she has to ride and she rides the horse maybe up to three times a day and it's a lot of hard work."
He said the organisation has been top notch: "Everything has been very satisfactory, very efficient, very professional. I've found the staff in the stewards' office very helpful, very co-operative... there are always issues to deal with so I have my work cut out for me too."