Canada’s Olympic dressage team is no more after the elimination of David Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital in the Grand Prix test, the opening competition for the discipline at the Olympic Games of London 2012.
Competing during a heavy downpour of rain, Marcus, 31, of Campbellville, Ontario, was mid-way through his test when Chrevi’s Capital spooked and went off course. Marcus was not able to regain his horse’s attention within the 10 seconds allowed under the rules, and was eliminated from competition by the head of the ground jury, Stephen Clarke of Great Britain.
“He was trying so hard in the first half of the test but, at that moment, something triggered him,” Marcus said.
“I am not sure if it was the camera in the corner swiveling to see him, or the umbrellas, or the amount of rain he was dealing with. He just got scared, ultimately. I don’t know what I could have done differently. I don’t blame him at all. It is just an unfortunate circumstance,” Marcus said.
“Anyone who is involved with horses has gone through something like this in their career. It is just unfortunate that it was here at the Olympics. I feel terrible for Canada, for my team, and for everyone who has been so supportive of me. This is life with horses, and we can put it all in perspective by knowing that both Capital and I are going home healthy. He is going to have a long career in front of him.”
Marcus and Chrevi’s Capital ranked second on the Canadian Olympic qualifying leader board to be named to the three-member Canadian Olympic Team for Dressage.
Capital’s owner, Deborah Miculinic of King City, Ontario, said: “We are very blessed to have been given this opportunity and we don’t take that for granted. We had an incredible experience and we are truly grateful. We will be there to cheer on our teammates tomorrow.”
With the elimination of Marcus, his teammates Jacqueline Brooks and Ashley Holzer are eligible to continue competing as individuals.
Chef d’équipe Gina Smith, 1988 Olympic team bronze medalist, said : “David warmed up beautifully in spite of the torrential rain showers. Capital was really on and unfazed by the weather. In the test, unfortunately something caught Capital’s eye and David did his best to convince him that there was nothing to worry about. It took too long for Capital to come back to David and they were eliminated. David and Capital are young and will be strong contenders for Canada in future competitions.”
Following the Grand Prix Special, the top 18 individual competitors will contest the individual medals in the Grand Prix Freestyle on Thursday, August 9. The individual medals in dressage will be the final equestrian sport medals to be awarded at the 2012 London Olympics.